Roofing with metal provides customers with a long-lasting and sustainable product. Roofing professionals who use roll formed metal panels can go a step beyond and meet customer demand for a range of profile options, ensuring the roof will look as good as it performs. While these benefits may seem exclusive to the people living and working underneath the roof, they can also extend to the fabricators themselves.

One often overlooked benefit of fabricating and installing metal roofs is the potential to become a certified regional manufacturer. But what does that look like? Regional manufacturing is a think-local approach to roofing and construction. It transfers the production of the metal roof panel from the traditional "brick and mortar" factory to a local service area, and many times at the actual project site. When a roofing company joins an association of regional manufacturers, it can focus on doing what it does best: building local market connections and reliable roofs. The national supplier, in turn, supports the business’ end goals by providing quality materials, low-risk shipping, onsite roll forming, back-office support and more. 

Access to Reliable, Quality Materials

As a regional manufacturer, a roofing contractor can rest easy knowing their materials will be consistently durable, beautiful and delivered on time. This “one-stop shop” approach eliminates having to source materials from different suppliers, whose quality may differ. Sourcing materials from one supplier also helps ensure that a roofing project will stay on a predictable timeline — a contractor no longer has to track down multiple shipments from different parts of the country. For added peace of mind, top roofing suppliers will fully test, engineer and back their products to maintain standards. 

Efficient, Low-Risk Shipping

Certified regional manufacturers have access to the latest metal roof fabricating equipment, which means they can receive pre-formed metal coil and sheets onsite and roll them to the desired profile then and there. This allows suppliers to ship materials more efficiently and with a substantially lower risk of damage. In turn, a roofing company can receive materials in days instead of weeks and without the hassle of having to replace materials that may have gotten damaged during transport. Both advantages can help reduce lead times to keep a project on or ahead of schedule.

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Onsite Roll Forming 

Preformed panels can be limited to certain sizes. And when they are trimmed onsite to fit a project’s specific dimensions, installers can be left with easily damaged excess material that likely will not get used. On the other hand, contractors who receive coils and sheets directly from a national supplier will not accumulate an excess number of unused profiles. Instead, they can make the profiles they need and save any leftover materials for their next project. The freed-up storage space allows contractors to invest in a larger range of coil materials and colors to provide more options to potential customers. A more efficient and cost-effective approach to roofing, not only does onsite roll forming help maximize yields on material purchases but it is also more sustainable. 

Since onsite roll forming makes it possible for fabricators to shape metal coil into almost any profile, it can provide speedy service to projects requiring a specific look. As such, it can sideline delays due to having to order a particular profile. Further, it can also help fabricators accommodate any last-minute changes a customer makes to a profile after material orders have been placed. Having the ability to adapt translates to higher customer satisfaction. 

Back-Office Support 

Small roofing companies who are part of a regional manufacturing program can lean on a partner — not just a vendor. Working with a national supplier-partner means a fabricator not only gains access to materials, but they also gain access to a wealth of roofing knowledge and local hand-in-hand assistance. Providing back-office support improves a roofing fabricator’s ability to provide quality service, giving contractors more time in front of their customers. Certified regional manufacturers may also receive additional marketing support, machine maintenance, sales leads and increased sustainability benefits.

What’s Next?

With 20-plus years of experience in regional manufacturing, Drexel Metals is committed to fulfilling roofing contractors’ needs for business growth. Learn more about Drexel and their think-local approach to manufacturing at