In the Lions' Den

This week I took a trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to meet and present to what I consider the toughest venue in the roofing industry; the Benchmark Technical Committee.  Benchmark Inc is one of the premiere roof consulting firms in the industry as they employ 46 roof consultants and their clientele is a who’s who of industrial/retail corporations that manage and retain millions of square footage of roofing investments nationally.  Benchmark’s technical and industry leadership is grounded in the fundamentals of commitment, expertise, integrity and trust.  These fundamentals mirror Seaman Corporation’s vision and commitments for our FiberTite Roofing Systems.

The Technical Committee is represented by at least a dozen of these professionals from among their ranks.  Is it any wonder that my anxiety begins to build in the weeks leading up to such a visit?   My first appearance before the Technical Committee was over 20-years ago and I quickly learned that they’re a tough group and don’t take any prisoners. If you’re intent is to go in and impress them with the fluff of your marketing propaganda you can be sure you’ll try their patience and probably never be invited back.  They’re not called the Technical Committee for nothing.

My first visit involved trying to persuade them of the benefits of KEE and tear down the thicker is better paradigm.  After the initial bloodletting I learned that this was no ordinary group and you need to be prepared to deal with a broad spectrum of issues and intellect beyond your own paradigms of why your product is the better than anything available.  For subsequent visits I changed my approach.  I was more interested in challenging them and being challenged to find answers or solutions to their real needs.  I became more interested in what they had to say than what I was going to present.  And if I didn’t have an answer it was ok.  It just meant I had further work to do.  Trying to blow smoke and mirror arguments is not an option.

And now after all these years and some solid relationships among the group I still feel intimidated standing before them but in a different way.  They are students as I am and that makes us peers.  I don’t want to let them down as their time is valuable and giving me a couple of hours to have a conversation about FiberTite and roofing in general is greatly appreciated.  The butterflies subside and before I know it I am in a jam session with some of the best players in the industry.  I just hope they feel that they get the opportunity to learn as much as I do.

If you need assistance in managing your roofing assets, please contact , you won’t be disappointed.

And on a little side note just to prove I wasn’t pulling their leg at dinner the evening before our meeting, I have the following link for you Tom:


Getting through Security at the airport with a pouch of Palcohol might be a problem. 

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About Mr FiberTite

After 10-years in Local 88 out of Canton Ohio, the opportunity to drink the FiberTite Kool Aid came in 1984.  Since then I've been a student as well as a teacher in all manner of roofing with a focus on the engineering, design and installation of thermoplastic single ply roofing systems.  The industry is growing in complexity so there's plenty of opportunity to learn and sharpen your skills no matter who you are.  Hence, one of the most important things I've learned is that "to sharpen the blade, you have to rub steel with steel".


FiberTite® is a Registered Trademark of Seaman Corporation.  The views and opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of Seaman Corporation.

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