“A majority of the roofing companies out there are still doing business with a pen and paper,” said tech entrepreneur Josh Davis. “It really boggles the mind when you consider the efficiencies that can be realized when you put technology to work for you.”
That’s exactly what he’s done – harnessing technology to create a company that seeks to revolutionize the roofing industry and save homeowners a bunch of money. It’s called Viirt, a virtual roofing project management company.
“Most people don’t realize that when they hire a roofing company, they’re hiring a project manager,” Davis said. “The person they get on the phone probably isn’t the guy selling the materials and very often isn’t part of the install crew doing the work. What that person does do is project management, including taking measurements, troubleshooting and basically overseeing the installer to one degree or another.”
Those management services can add as much as 40 percent to the cost of a roofing job.
“The technology exists to perform most of the project management functions remotely, especially on the front end, thanks to satellite technology,” he said. “That’s where we come in.”
Viirt handles pinpoint roof measurements (by satellite) as well as labor and material negotiation and coordination. No expensive physical locations, no sales people, and centralized and automated administration (Viirt is in the Cloud) means lower costs for the consumer. Actual savings vary widely by market, but on a $13,000 project that can put $5,000 back into the consumer’s pocket, Davis said.
Viirt was one of seven companies chosen for the 2014 class of Straight Shot, Omaha’s e-commerce and software-as-a-service startup (SaaS) accelerator. Davis said he came to Straight Shot with an open mind, planning to learn as much as possible about startups and the resources Omaha had to offer.
“Straight Shot mentors have given me guidance and direction that I didn’t expect,” he said. “Having the ear of potential investors and understanding the venture capital space has been invaluable.”
“It’s been quite a ride,” he added.
Davis was so impressed – he said he’s seriously considering relocating the company from Portland and calling the Midwest home.
“I have to say, the Omaha community is beginning to win me over,” he said. “There are amazing resources, great people and a lot of opportunity here for Viirt. I think we’re definitely going to be here is some capacity for a while after Straight Shot ends.”
Want to learn more about Viirt? Check out http://viirt.com.