The Real MF’ers Episode 4: Andrew Ammons

Posted November 3rd, 2020

Andrew Ammons is the founder and president of ACR Roofing, an incredibly successful commercial roofing company located in Texas. Andrew shared a secret with us during this episode: He isn’t super passionate about roofing.

What he IS crazy passionate about is building processes that work and building up people to perform at their best and achieve their goals.

In this episode of The Real MF’ers, Andrew shares how that passion led him to start several successful businesses and create the One Tribe Weekly, a movement that is changing lives and the world one week at a time!

Full Transcript Below

Scott Peper  0:37

Everybody, welcome. Today, with me is a great friend of mine, somebody who I’m really excited to introduce you guys. Excellent roofing contractor, human being, father, and business owner, someone I’ve learned quite a bit from actually and really enjoyed working with and getting to know personally and professionally. Andrew Ammons is the president, owner, co founder, founder of ACR, Roofing and ACR Companies. So we’re going to talk a little bit on all those. But Andrew, welcome.

Andrew Ammons  1:04

Thank you. Thanks for having me on. It’s been a little bit in the making. First off, I appreciate not only you have me on here, but everything that you guys have done. It’s interesting. Almost immediately after me and you met, there was business to be done between us. And I don’t know that I knew at the time how helpful that was to our organization. And I know I’ve I’ve thanked you before, but I got to do it, you know, in front of all the millions of people that will see this.

Scott Peper  1:31

Well you’re very welcome. Number one, thank you. But more importantly, I’m glad that we were able to help you and the things, anything that we were able to do to push you forward faster to help yourself has been great. I’ve shared your story with many customers now just how you’ve saved money on those projects, how you utilize our loan program, as good or better than anybody I’ve ever seen. And I’m really interested in talking to you about that as well. But if you don’t mind, can you give everybody take take two or three minutes, just give us some give everybody an overview, just who you are, where you’re at what you do what the business is just so they can get a concept of the ins and outs of your life.

Andrew Ammons  2:12

Gotcha. I took a big gulp right before he said that, because I don’t know if I can do it in three minutes. Because I’m a little bit long winded, but I’ll I’ll do my best. So I think you covered my name. And I am stationed out in West Texas Actually, I’ve been in the contracting business. Gosh, ever since I can remember I grew up with a dad who was in the residential remodel and roofing business. So I kind of saw how that ran growing up had the blessing to see both of my parents go from, I guess what you’d say as a nine to five job into more of a owner operator or entrepreneurial situation. So I got to see both sides of that it always intrigued me to be able to have you know, full control of your future, right, the good and the bad, everything that came with it. So I get to watch that growing up. I am in the contracting space.

People ask me often, you know, what’s your passion? Or what do you enjoy doing? And the fact is, I’m not crazy passionate about contracting in general, I am crazy passionate about building processes, building people being able to put my mark on something and seeing that continue to operate. So just a little bit of history, say I started contracting business. First was landscaping, landscape maintenance in the residential markets, which is probably some of the lowest barriers to entry you could probably have in construction, right? You gotta have a trailer, couple mowers, not much to it. So I started there, kind of built out some processes and cut my teeth so to speak, in that world ran a landscape company for Gosh, almost a decade. A little bit crazy to think that I can say that. Because I still consider myself young, even though before we started recording, you make sure to call out the gray in my beard, which

Scott Peper  4:07

If I grew one out, I’d have that same problem.

Andrew Ammons  4:12

I don’t know if you can actually see it. But anyways, I did that for about 10 years. I enjoyed it eventually got burnt out, hit my head up against the same brick wall over and over again. I didn’t quit rather than doing that I brought on a partner who was a little bit more seasoned in the landscape world than myself. Let him come on again to operate it. And I’ve still maintain ownership and very high level involvement with that company very landscape companies. So once once I was kind of done with that I fell back into I guess you could say my roots where I saw you know my dad first move into the contracting world. But I went straight into the commercial roofing world rather than residential mostly because more opportunity there at least as I saw it, and the clientele. You know, it seems to be more about solving problems and a little bit more of a challenge. I enjoy that. And so jump right back into commercial roofing. And that’s where I am today.

Scott Peper  5:17

Awesome. Man, I was really curious of how you decided in the construction world pivoting from doing landscaping, or like you said, getting into residential landscaping and also in jumping into commercial roofing, you got different licenses got different skills, bidding, I mean, all that’s a big leap, I was curious of how that came about.

Andrew Ammons  5:36

There was a lot more of an evolution than I probably gave credit to because we started in residential. And eventually, and I’m not knocking residential whatsoever, it just isn’t quite frankly congruent with with me and how I deal and operate with people. So there was an evolution there, we were doing the residential work. And at some point, I started to build relationships with property management groups, and ownerships and, and really understood some of the unique challenges that they had. So we slowly and systematically started started moving out of the residential world is strictly in the commercial with the landscaping company. So I’d already started that again, and been around residential roofing my entire life. In fact, you know, my first job, so to speak, and Kane Harvey called a job that was residential roofing sales. So I knew the business. But because of the some of the relationships, we’ve begun to build with the landscaping company in that world that I was so intrigued by especially what I refer to as the multi stakeholder situation where, you know, you’ve got a, you’ve got a local property director, a property management group, and then somebody somewhere behind the veil that owns the actual asset. So I became very interested in how that worked. And that was a big driver for why we went straight in to the commercial space.

Scott Peper  7:00

Yeah, it’s awesome to hear you talk about why you wanted to get into this business and where your passions really lie in how you’ve used construction as a vehicle for you to be able to do that, you know, when you and I first met out in, gosh, almost a year ago, now, maybe a little longer out in Whistler, the first thing that attracted me to you is, I was like, I can’t believe you’re in construction. I mean, we’re amongst a group of 100 or so entrepreneurs. And most construction folks are not thinking about the why they’re, what they’re doing for business and why they want to help who they want to help and how their teams and employees first, they’re always thinking I grind it like you did. But the first thing they talk about typically is that grind and how they got to it. But you talked about your team, your, your your employees, the people you’ve developed your passion. And it wasn’t till five minutes of the conversation, you’re like, yeah, and by the way, I’m a roofing company, I was, I was waiting for you to tell me Oh, like software or some other b2b organization. And I asked me that, because I think it’s so important, why you do something is more important than what you do. And if you focus on why you do things, what you do becomes even better, and everyone recognize that. And I want the audience to hear your words how you took that part of your life and passion, and molded it into a construction company. Because I think it’s a really hard bridge when I talk to our customers or potential customers, how they mold those those passions and that desire to help not only into our project, but into their team and the organization inside of a construction environment.

Andrew Ammons  8:38

Right? Well, I’m glad you bring that up. Because that goes back to the first thing we talked about on this call, like I would argue, and I may be wrong, but that you Scott are probably not just overly passionate about the funding side or, or the nitty gritty of what you do. You’re passionate about helping people. Right, you’re passionate about, okay, my client base or prospective client base are contractors who suffer a certain problem that is or a certain set of problems that are probably very common amongst all of us. And you found a way and a very specialized service that you can help us with. So you’re passionate about going in, how do I make that product better? And how do I help more people with my thing that I’ve put together, right? I mean, I would say that’s, that’s what gives you the drive and why we’re doing this podcast and everything. And it’s a it’s the same for me. I love telling people that in fact, during our One Tribe meetings on Monday, which I hope we get to talk about a little bit here in a second. I say that frequently. I’ll tell people like, Listen, I’m not passionate about roofing. You know, I don’t wake up every morning to say, Man, I can’t wait to put on the best damn single ply membrane you’ve ever seen in your life. Like that’s how could have given you I mean, yes, I enjoy the construction process, but to get to your question, I struggled with it for a long time as the answer. I went into contracting, and into what I do, I mean way back, probably like most people go into business or went into a job way to pay the bills, right. And I grew up with guys who accelerated either either some of them came from families who already has established businesses, or maybe just like any of us, you know, friends who accelerate faster, whether it be financially or success across different areas. And I, I really struggled with man, I feel like I’m talented to be doing something more of a professional career or something that’s a little bit more flashy requires me to dress a little bit nicer. And I, I really did, I was like, I’m sitting here doing construction. And I’ve got these buddies who are doing this, that the other half this buddy, Scott is a, you know, a slick financial guy, I got, no, I got all these people doing this. And I struggled with it. Eventually, I landed on and I talked with my team about this a lot. Like, if you’re chasing passion as what you do, rather than a part of what you do. And I think I’ve worded it better than but if you’re just looking at saying, you know, the same old dream of I’ve got to grow up meet a certain thing. And that’s what I’m passionate about, you’re never gonna find it, you’ve got to find something about what you do. So inside of what you do, that you enjoy that you wake up every single morning for and you’re excited for. It doesn’t matter if that’s being a firefighter, landscaper contractor, it doesn’t matter, you got to find that thing. And I guess I consider myself blessed to find that thing for me is to build out processes and systems and things that I can watch grow, wouldn’t matter what the industry was.

Scott Peper  11:44

I mean, you hit the nail on the head. And you’re right. And I appreciate you bringing that up and recognizing that because for me, and you’re right, and I care more about helping people. I mean, I have a sales background, a finance background, a lot of people think, oh, he must have graduated with a finance background, not as a sales guy, either. Yeah, I mean, I was more in sales. But you know what, what I liked about sales, I like talking to people. And when I talked to you by like hearing what their problems were. And I liked figuring out what the how to solve their problem. And if there was a product to solve their problem that I happen to sell great. But most of the time, the problems they had my product wasn’t solving. So I just would connect them with the the other sales rep that I knew that was selling that product or the company I just heard about, because I’d go to every single Hospital in the entire state. I knew what the other physicians that were like them that were selling, I happen to sell medical devices. So I’d say, oh, in that procedure, I saw Dr. Song, so do that. And what happened was I created so much value in the knowledge that I had from me traveling all over the place and sharing that just in communication. The people naturally when they did have the problem that my product was all they come to me instead of my competition. And right, what I realized going into this finance business, one, I better find somebody that has a lot of knowledge about finance, because I’m not the one that’s gonna program. But once I could see what the value was, I said, I don’t want to bring that what I want to find my father was in construction, I think I shared this with you. And to grow and scale, I knew the cashflow problem. So when I when the Prop, someone had the idea of this product, and we mold it into this, I said you know what we need to do we need to solve the problems of business owners have first which is they can’t make payroll, keeping them up at night, we don’t need to lend the money, we need to give them a solution to have an ongoing relief of stress. If our loan product can do that great. But what we also need to do is help them with all the other things, find the right insurance, find the right bonding, be part of a solution that can offer all the value out there to educate while they’re grinding these construction business, which have a lot of employees a lot of money back and forth. They’re constantly bidding, they don’t have time to educate themselves on all these other things that we can be that resource. If and when they do need money or a product will be there. That’s the part that I contributed to this business and what I thought you did so well with your construction business and what we talked about what our potential clients how to mold that over. And I watched you do it so well that I was really wanting to make sure that you shared that. Right like what I do want you to talk about which I think is part of what we’re going into now is how you implemented your One Tribe concept which really labeled everything you and I just talked about and for the audience.

I want you guys to pay attention to this part because this is really the key piece. Well all those words being entered just threw back around he put in he put a label on it called One Tribe and then he built that One Tribe brand inside of his own company. So they go ahead and talk about that because this is this is the this is the real importance.

Andrew Ammons  14:45

One Tribe in general?

Scott Peper  14:46

Yeah, how you doing your meetings, the concept how you implement it weekly.

Andrew Ammons  14:50

it well, first of all, it came just the same as it came as to how I recognize what my passion was. It came from me, from me going into an office and I just despised. And working with people that I hated. And having this is true, but I don’t know any better way to say it. Like, it came from such horrible company culture that quite frankly, the the type of fear driven person that I was in a previous life, I probably created that. But at some point I decided it’s time to break out of that mold. Like, we’ve got to build some unity here, we’ve got to, if I want to achieve this monstrous goal, it’s going to take a tribe, right? It’s going to take a it’s gonna take a family.

So long story short, all One Tribe is I sat back and I looked at it. And I saw how people in the administrative department were teaching or treating people in the sales department, the sales department was treating people in the field. And, you know, you hear that concept that people talk about team, you hear family? Well, to me, it was kind of like, your team’s not strong enough. Family, you don’t get to pick I don’t, I don’t want that right, a tribe infers a strong bond, a strong group of people who are collectively working towards one goal. And where the one came in, was just the simple concept that no matter what department you’re in, how old you are, what your pay ranges, what color you are, whatever it is, we are one tribe, we’re one group of people that are all here for the same exact reason. And that reason is we showed up here to make money. We want to be respected and have a decent time. But we want to walk out these doors every single day and feel like, Hey, I contributed something and I did something. And when people start to realize that no matter if you are aggravated in your HR department, because let’s say a salesman screwed up in a contract, or you’re upset with this person, for whatever reason, when you realize that your job, right is dependent upon that person. And we’re all human beings up here. And then we can drop our stuff at the door and just work together, which is not an easy thing to do. I believe that huge momentum would start to occur with our business. And I think that I think the One Tribe movement, honestly, Scott, I think the world needs it. I know that sounds crazy. But I set in front of my team last last couple of weeks, and almost got emotional about it. Because I I see so much hate, I see so much arguing and it’s like, the world needs to hear this.

Scott Peper  17:29

And you’re right, man, everybody needs to calm down and chill out a little bit. And if you focus on something other than yourself, you know, what, you probably won’t get so emotionally charged, and the world might actually be a better place. And I think that’s the difference maker right there.

Andrew Ammons  17:44

Right. And, you know, from a tactical standpoint, for you, if you’re a business owner, it was also something for my team to rally behind. You know, the second I came up with it, I trademarked it, it’s got the law next to it, you know, it’s something that I want them to know is ours, you can rally behind this doesn’t mean that every everything’s perfect. And we, you know, are always just congratulating everybody. And it’s rainbows and cupcakes, no. But it means at the end of the day that we stand for something more than just roofing or landscaping or whatever the thing is, and I think that that drives a lot of things in a business.

Scott Peper  18:21

And you know, it’s a great segment, because one of the other things you do really well. Well, you do you market your business. Well, you do it in a more unique way than most in the construction field. And I think you also and I know you do this, you take your One Tribe branding concept. And that’s one of the biggest parts of the marketing that you have for your entire roofing business. You need your customers down your One Tribe path just like you do your team and your employees and anyone else working with you. And you’ve marketed that way. Can you talk about your thought process and how you went about doing that and sharing some of the success that you had that you put together doing it?

Andrew Ammons  19:01

Here’s the fact man I believe in it, I feel so strongly about it. You know, that’s care about people taking care of people. It’s one of the things you know, when me and you first met, I picked up on immediately. And it’s not something that I’ve always been good at. But you’re very keen, you listen to people, right? You know, what their struggles? Are we going back to what you said about your products in general. So I think what I recognize really quickly is people like you who are successful in what you do, and people in the Arete Syndicate, which we’re both involved in, who are successful. There’s a deeper meaning behind what what they’re doing. And so when it comes to the marketing, and it comes to all that kind of stuff. Yes, we utilize that and we make certain that our customers know about it. But I think we’ve done a good job of and I think that you do and I wish more people would do is recognize that their prospect or their client at the other end of the table is another human being who needs help. Now, maybe they need help. With financing, maybe they need help with roofing. But they probably also struggle just with self doubt and all the other things that we struggle with too. So I think what I realized and we’re still seeing happen is, what if we tried to connect with people to their real struggles in life, and we shared a part of our weekly meeting where I typically talked to the team about stuff like that. What if we could help somebody better their relationship with their spouse? What if we could help them have less self doubt? When it came time for them to buy a roof? Who are they going to buy from? Somebody who who has the best warranty? Or somebody who helped them? I know I’m getting deep there, but do something have actual substance in their life?

Scott Peper  20:45

Yeah, you given value before you’ve ever asked for anything? And that’s, I mean, what better reward could you possibly give somebody? Right? And even if they never bought a roof mirror, and they don’t even need a roof? The friends might other people, right? You putting a positive ripple out there that, you know, is gonna reverberate.

Andrew Ammons  21:03

But one of our one of our joint mentors or say mentors, and Andy told us both, I think he told us this at Whistler. He said, some of the best people that he has ever hired, were actually friends of people he didn’t hire. Right? And because he treated those people so well in the interview process, and actually gave them some level of value. But that person left and said, Hey, listen, man, they didn’t have a spot for me. But what they have with fits you perfectly, you got to go work for this person, it’s it’s the Rule of Reciprocity, it’s the same as you set me up with the bonding company that we work with. Now, you are responsible for that long before you ever made $1.

Scott Peper  21:39

For me, that was the problem that you had. And you know, it’s a great segue, because I was going to ask you about something, there’s another compliment on it gives you that, that this turning into complimenting you, but

Andrew Ammons  21:50

A little reverse, and I’ll just give you yours.

Scott Peper  21:53

This may sound a little self serving, but what I want people to hear, one of the things I’m really passionate about is aside from what we’ve talked about, and how to help them and how to deliver resources, is using our loan product when it is applicable in the best possible way gain those efficiencies grow. And you know, you did that as well as anyone give a little story background for everybody. Andrew came to us, he had a great contract working billing, putting the roof on a VA government facility. And he needed bond for it. So I told him, Hey, look, I know exactly where to get this bond, here’s the deal, this guy can work this up for you. And he did. And it’s part of getting the bond he needed. He also realized going into the winter, whether he could accelerate this project. So he said, Scott, what would a loan look like? So I explained the loan product? Well, we built our cash flow model out, Andrew saw it in a cash flow, and made like five tweaks to it. And ultimately, the outcome is Andrew saved more money by borrowing our money in the project cost, which is astonishing to me, but it showed them what you did and how you did that. Because that’s the key to using our product it is.

Andrew Ammons  22:57

So I think that it’s one of those things that your heart is to help people grow their business rather than necessarily. Not that you wouldn’t bail somebody out of a position where they’re, you know, in a corner somewhere. I think that’s I think that’s powerful to note, because I know that you talk frequently about people not wanting to tell their general contractor, they have a financing partner, and all that kind of stuff. And listen, I’ve I’ve got a whole nother opinion about that. And my opinion is that I agree with you. But the way that we did that, and the way that will accelerate the job, not only did it save us money, and and we were able to actually accelerate the job with more crews, more material landed in advance, as well as a an additional supervisor that we wouldn’t have had on site had we not been able to make those arrangements. And you know what, let’s not just over let’s not just step over those things, because being able to stage materials earlier that we might have held on because of cash flow decision making, having multiple crews out there, because the cash going out the door was not so much an issue anymore. I mean, those are huge things, right, our time is money, the faster I can get that job done, it was about a one I think is a 1.6 or $7 million contract, the faster I can get that done, the less impact it has on overhead company resources, all that I’m in and out and get my money on the way. So that was huge. The tool that you gave me up front laying out the cash flow projection is being able to see that and really think it through. I pride myself on on being a very analytical logic driven person. But I don’t know if I would have taken the time to have thought that project out the way I did. Had you not sent me that tool as the starting point for us to explore if that was an option.

But I don’t want to I don’t want to also overstep before we before we close this out the value of sleeping at night. And it’s not that money solves problems and it’s not that your tool is to just give somebody might have to worry about anymore. But not worrying about cash flow because you’re covered with an army out there is a very good feeling for an owner or operator. And it allows them to focus on which what I did. And this is the truth. I’ve told you this before. But during that time, I was building our estimating department that went from zero dollars in what I refer to as retail or new construction bid to now we’re at $38 million year to date in bids out the door. From a estimating part, it’s got nothing to do with me, I did that while that VA job was going because truthfully, y’all solution gave me the ability to focus where I needed to as a business owner.

Scott Peper  25:44

You didn’t have to run around all week chasing down receivables. And

Andrew Ammons  25:48

Or watch, are you guys timing this shit? Just right?

Scott Peper  25:51

Yeah, no, did I like I said, you put that together then watching you finish the job. In 75% of the time, that was a lot, which

Andrew Ammons 25:59

by the way for like two months Didn’t we are to

Scott Peper  26:02

You finish in eight weeks. It was set up for 13. I mean, you save five weeks worth of labor? I mean, how many crews? How big was your crew on that job?

Andrew Ammons  26:09

I think we had up to 28 at one point in time spread out.

Scott Peper 26:13

Yeah. I mean, what’s the payroll on 28? People?

Andrew Ammons  26:17

I don’t know. I get too many numbers in my head.

Scott Peper  26:18

10s of thousands of dollars. I’m sharing file ship. times 10s of thousands is a real number. Yeah. The business?

Andrew Ammons  26:25

Yeah, it’s um, so I think the answer you’re probably looking for it in less words, is my story. Or the way that I would think to maximize it is to put it into place, even if you don’t think you need it. And run the job. quick, fast and efficient, allow it to run faster for you, and you make more money in the long run.

Scott Peper  26:47

Another thing that might be a good time Yes. If we ever come up with a brochure, maybe that’s the tagline that’s on the brochure. That’s it. And I really appreciate you going through all this again, I know you’re a busy guy and taking the time out to do it to help share your story with everybody means a lot to me and I really appreciate it I know it’s gonna add some value to folks that get a chance to listen to us.

Andrew Ammons  27:07

I hope it does.

Scott Peper  27:09

Everyone I hope you guys enjoyed this today. I hope you and your stories Andrew puts out a lot of great content on LinkedIn feel free to reach out and connect with them it’s got a great Instagram story as well.

Andrew Ammons  27:20

It one tribe to any you guys and it’s got no self gain there you see what I’m doing. It may help you lead your guys and your team as well. That one tribe weekly.

Scott Peper  27:31

Thanks everyone. I hope you guys all have a great day. Better evening and enjoy the rest of your week. Take care


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