So, you think you’re ready to purchase a portable metal roof panel rollforming machine, but still have some lingering concerns and questions.
What do you do?
One of the best ways to help you decide is to learn about some common reasons that others have purchased a portable rollformer to see if any resonate with you and your business. That way you can become a more educated consumer and end up making the most logical choice that you feel confident in.
Here at New Tech Machinery, we know the rollforming industry. After over 27 years manufacturing and selling the world’s finest portable rollforming equipment, we’ve helped contractors all over the world make their buying decision based on their own business’s needs.
In this article, expect to learn the top seven reasons that a contractor might want to purchase a portable rollforming machine. Let’s discuss.
#1: You want to start a metal roofing contracting business
As of 2018, the construction industry is booming, meaning the demand for qualified and hard-working contractors is on the rise. Plus, the buyer’s market continues to evolve to where consumers are looking for long-lasting products that are modern, long-term cost-effective, and eco-friendly, while not compromising on durability. These are just a few of the reasons that metal roofing is growing in popularity for nearly all applications, including commercial, architectural, industrial, and residential.
This opportunity for constant work is attractive for someone wanting to start their own metal roof contracting business. One of the first things a new contracting business owner will have to decide is where or how they want to get their metal panels; either buying from a factory panel supplier or owning a portable rollformer that produces panels on-site. While some begin by purchasing from a supplier, more and more are now choosing to take control of their new businesses right from the start by buying their own portable roof panel machine.
Another point to mention here is that starting a metal roof contracting business requires significantly less of an investment than other start-up businesses. Since it doesn’t require much more than some tools, a few employees, and metal roof installation knowledge in the beginning stages of a new company, it’s easier to justify spending the money on a portable rollformer that can be used for many years. Plus, if you do start a business and it doesn’t go as planned, you can always sell the machine to another company to make a portion of the investment back.
#2: You want control of your own production, inventory, & profits
Owning or leasing your own portable rollforming machine allows you to operate more control of your business and projects. We often hear from contractors who miss out on jobs or are just tired of being at the mercy of others and their schedules to get the supplies they need to complete their projects. Here are some examples of how owning a portable rollformer helps you better manage your company:
- You don’t have to wait for panels to be shipped from the supplier.
- In other words, if you need a panel now, you can make it with your own portable rollformer.
- You don’t have to worry about the costs and environmental impacts associated with shipping.
- You can produce the panels you need when you need it.
- If you receive factory-supplied panels that are damaged or the incorrect color, profile, or gauge, you may have to wait weeks for proper replacements to arrive.
- You cut out the middleman.
- No one cares more for your customers’ projects as much as you do. Portable rollforming allows you to operate the most control over the panels you are installing for your customers. Instead of putting your profits in the factory suppliers’ pockets, you’ll be increasing your own bottom line.
- For example, you can take extra care when transporting the panels from the rollformer to the roof to ensure nothing happens to the metal. This is a luxury you lose when freight companies handle shipped panels.
- You can move at your company’s own speed.
#3: You want to do more roofing jobs efficiently
As we mentioned, owning a portable rollformer can improve your efficiency, especially if your business is growing and taking on more projects. With a portable machine, you’re producing the panels or profiles you need, when you need them, and exactly how many you need.
We’re not trying to knock factory panel suppliers because these businesses are still great options for many companies. But, we’re saying that if you want to improve your efficiency and cut out some of the time spent on ordering and waiting for panels to be run by a supplier, having your own portable rollformer is one way to do this.
#4: You can afford it, and it’s more profitable in the long run
If you can afford to purchase a portable rollformer and give yourself a little more control over your own business, why wouldn’t you? If you find yourself in a position where your business is thriving and you feel comfortable and secure in making a capital investment on a portable rollformer, it’s an opportune moment to do so.
We understand that not all contractors are in a place to pay for a machine all at one time, which is why financing options are available with most portable rollforming manufacturers.
Plus, when you purchase, finance, OR lease equipment in the United States, you’re able to write off the full amount of your equipment purchase with the Section 179 Tax Deduction:
“…Section 179 allows your business to write off the entire purchase price of qualifying equipment for the current tax year. This has made a big difference for many companies (and the economy in general). Businesses have used Section 179 to purchase needed equipment right now, instead of waiting. For most small businesses, the entire cost of qualifying equipment can be written-off on the 2018 tax return (up to $1,000,000).”
Also, we want to mention that while owning or leasing a metal roof panel portable rollforming machine is very similar to owning a car, a rollforming machine retains much of its original value and makes your business profits for many years. This is just another reason that if you can afford a machine, whether it’s paid for all at once or financed via monthly payments, you should look into it.
#5: You need to produce longer panel lengths
Projects are unpredictable and vary quite a bit in size and roof geometry, but if you’re a contractor who frequently installs on commercial structures, you may have encountered a project that required longer than average panel lengths at some point. If you buy from a factory panel supplier, one of the most defining limitations is that most standard shipping and freight containers can’t transport panels longer than approximately 53 ft (16.2 m), which can pose a problem for projects requiring long, continuous panels.
Some contractors are fine with end lapping panels and, if installed correctly, it can work out well. However, lapping panels to compensate for length does open the roof up to many issues, including one of the most damaging roof problems: A water leak.
Portable rollformers allow you to run continuous lengths without ever having to pay extra to get it to the job site. So if you want to avoid paying extra for special shipping, having a portable rollformer cuts the issue of shipping long panels from the equation.
#6: You want to reduce on-the-job wasted metal
When you’re measuring the roof during the bidding phase of a job, it’s easy to get a rough idea of the size and amount of metal panels that you’ll need to complete the install (often called a cut list). But things can change quickly on a job site, especially when it comes to sizing and cutting the panels to fit on the roofing structure.
With portable rollforming, you can change the length of the panels on the fly, which helps reduce the amount of metal that gets cut off, unused, and wasted. Many portable rollformers come with computer controllers (the NTM100 and NTM200 controllers come integrated with AppliCad software) where you can easily input the desired length between runs. Additionally, with a portable machine, there’s no need to overbuy coil that may or may not be used; you can just buy the coil you need when you need it.
If you have panels delivered from an in-plant manufacturer, you run the risk of having significant material “drops” that cannot be used elsewhere. As discussed earlier, there’s also the possibility of incorrect or damaged shipments of finished panels that are not able to be used and must be discarded.
#7: You want to change/expand your business to start manufacturing chop & drop panels
Some contracting companies want to just focus their efforts on installing, but there are those that maybe want to branch out and diversify what they can offer by rollforming panels to sell to others as a “chop and drop” operation. So instead of just rollforming your own roof panels, you could transport your portable machine to another contractor’s job site, run the panels they need, and then move on to the next job. This is just another avenue for making extra profits at little to no cost to you as the machine owner.
Choosing whether or not to buy a portable rollforming machine is an important decision with a lot of factors to take into consideration. However, if you’ve identified with any of the seven common reasons listed above, buying a rollformer might be an excellent choice for your contracting business.
For further assistance in determining if buying a portable machine is right for you, ask yourself these questions:
- Will I be overextending myself or my business if I were to purchase a machine? Will my business qualify for financing? (For reference: Depending on the features and functionalities, metal panel portable rollforming machines generally cost $26,000 or above.)
- Is my business able to operate on a factory panel supplier’s schedule? Or are my projects frequently unpredictable?
- Is my business wasting a lot of metal, frequently having to cut up panels, or having ordering issues? Am I okay with that?
- If I were to purchase a machine, is there someone on my staff who can operate it? If not, am I able to hire a new employee?
- Do I want to diversify my business by offering a chop and drop panel service with my portable rollformer? Or am I just looking to focus on installing?
At New Tech Machinery, we take pride in helping and educating contractors so they’re better equipped to make the decision that best fits their individual and unique business needs.
In other words, we want to answer all of your metal panel production questions, so contact us today!