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Pinnacle Group

He started small but had big plans. “It was just me with a little car that had a ladder rack and a ladder. I was working out of a bedroom in my house.” The leap of faith quickly paid off, and Pinnacle Group Inc. now boasts 19 employees and over two decades of success.

The company also remains family owned, and Mr. Hexham’s son, Brandon, is both co-owner and Vice President. The father and son led company offers a range of consultancy services including roof condition reports, specification / tender document writing and review, a full range of inspection services, a full range of testing services, infrared thermography, and budget programs. “Anything to do with the building envelope, we will get involved with,” Mr. Hexham explains. And the group’s services are customized to meet each client’s individual needs.

Strategies for Success

Mr. Hexham credits his insider knowledge for Pinnacle Group Inc.’s early success. “Initially it was my experience and knowledge in roofing,” he says. “I have been an industrial roofer. I have worked for suppliers and manufacturers. There is nothing in this business I haven’t done.” Indeed, it is absolutely essential for a building envelope consultant to know the ins and outs of the business. “We are a good representative for our clients because there is no one who could buffalo me. They try to pull the wool over your eyes, but I always know what’s going on.”

Mr. Hexham has continued his involvement in the industry since founding Pinnacle Group Inc. He was on the board of the Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association (OIRCA) for eight years, has been President of the Ontario chapter of the international Roof Consultants Institute (RCI) and Director of RCI for all of Canada. And the company’s inside involvement doesn’t stop there – Brandon Hexham has held both of these RCI positions as well.

Experience and inside knowledge are not enough to guarantee success, however. Mr. Hexham insists that stellar customer service has been equally important. “What really [brought success] was the fact that we bent over backwards to provide service for our clients,” he says. Mr. Hexham has had to put in the time and energy personally to ensure top notch service, particularly in the company’s early days. For example, “if a competitor offered to do a spec in two weeks but my client needed it faster, I would tell them that I could put it on their table at eight o’clock the next morning. And if I had to work all night to do it that’s what I did. That’s how you get clients and that’s how you keep them.” Maintaining a loyal client base is crucial to long lasting success, Mr. Hexham adds. “It is a lot easier to keep a client than find a new one.”

To maintain Pinnacle Group Inc.’s substantial client base, Mr. Hexham has made it a priority to employ team members that share his drive for customer service. He also ensures that his team is as knowledgeable and experienced as possible. “Our people work hard,” he points out. “They are talented and very knowledgeable.”

Continuous training helps keep everyone at the top of their game. “They are well trained,” Mr. Hexham reports. “We send them to every course that comes up. We want them to continue growing. We will pay for courses; we will pay for testing. We want people to keep going forward.” In fact, the company requires each employee to have completed at least two years of training before they are allowed to become full-fledged inspectors. And, to earn the title of Registered Roof Observer (RRO) each team member must have substantial experience, complete a number of rigorous courses, and pass an extensive exam. “Everyone is really well trained,” Mr. Hexham reiterates. “That is number one with us. Our guys really know what they are doing.” Indeed, the evidence speaks for itself. “Our clients keep coming back year after year after year, so we must be doing something right.”

Pinnacle Group Inc. also specializes in several services that help to set the company apart. Most notably, the team offers a service called Leak Tracker. A building owner who suspects a leak in his or her roof can simply call the Leak Tracker number to be instantly connected with a team member. After that, Pinnacle Group Inc. will take care of everything. “We send out a roofer for them,” Mr. Hexham reports. “They don’t have to do anything else.” The team will also generate a full report to help clients make the best decision regarding their roof repairs. “We plot [the information] on a diagram of their roof so they can see on a yearly basis how much money they are spending and when it becomes feasible to replace the roof or just fix it,” Mr. Hexham explains. “It helps them keep their costs in order.”

Pinnacle Group Inc. is also experienced with green roofing techniques. Brandon Hexham has earned the certification of Green Roofing Professional (GRP) and heads up the company’s sustainable building initiatives. Green roofing is a broad term, and the Pinnacle team offers the full range of green roofing solutions. This may mean that the roof surface is covered in vegetation. Or, a green roof might utilize sustainable building materials or solar panels. A green roof could also be specially designed to reflect solar radiation, thereby lowering the building’s cooling costs and reducing the urban heat island effect.

Mr. Hexham reports that, currently, the most popular types of green roofs in Ontario are those that reflect the sun by utilizing a white membrane, coating, or white dolomite gravel surfacing. This relatively low cost solution is gaining popularity over green roofs that utilize plants or solar panels, he adds. “We don’t do as much vegetative roofing as we used to. It is very expensive to put on and very expensive to take off and people are finding it is just not economically viable. The solar roofing is also dying a little bit because the government has ended their program for buying back the energy. So a lot of it is now down to using green materials.”

Company Values

Pinnacle Group Inc. is dedicated to its talented workforce and, as a result, the staff has remained loyal to the company. “In 22 years we have only had two people quit,” Mr. Hexham points out. “We have a very happy company.” A number of extra perks and team building initiatives help keep everyone on board. For example, each staff member is guaranteed a day off each month. If there isn’t a holiday during any given month, then the company gives a “Pinnacle Day,” in which employees can take a Friday off to enjoy a three day weekend. “We divide the company so that the office is open and the clients are covered but everybody gets a three day weekend every month,” Mr. Hexham reports. The company also hosts employee lunches and events throughout the year. Most recently, the team has enjoyed pizza making contests and dogsled racing. “We do all kinds of stuff to try and keep people interested and feeling good about the company and themselves,” Mr. Hexham explains. But, of course, the focus isn’t just on having fun. “We do work hard,” Mr. Hexham remarks.
The company is also committed to keeping employees safe as they work. “In 22 years we’ve never had a WSIB claim because we practice safety,” Mr. Hexham reports.

Pinnacle Group Inc. doesn’t just look out for its employees. The team is also committed to supporting the wider community, and has been actively involved in a number of charitable initiatives since the company was founded. Specific charities that the team supports with its time and money include Christmas Wish, Second Harvest, The Salvation Army, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, SickKids, and the York Region Food Network.

Giving back has always been a core company value, and the team is determined to maintain this focus as the business grows. And, Pinnacle Group Inc. is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. In fact, multiple clients have been requesting that the company head up their roofing projects in other regions of Canada. The team is slowly expanding westward and is looking to open up new offices outside of Ontario to meet these growing client demands.

Looking even further ahead, Brandon Hexham will eventually take over the helm. “There will be continuity,” Mr. Hexham points out. “We are both on the same page as to how to run the company and do the work. As the transition occurs over time it will be good for the clients because nothing will change.” Indeed, Pinnacle Group Inc. is well positioned to provide exceptional customer service and expert advice to many clients for many years to come.

October 23, 2017, 2:13 AM EDT

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