‘No.1 Roofing & Building Supplies’
– the best in the business
Store name: No.1 Roofing & Building Supplies
Store owners: The Scali family
Buying group: CSS
After opening its first ‘No.1 Roofing & Building Supplies’ store in North Narrabeen in Sydney 2002, the Scali family have since gone on to open a further six stores across Sydney and the central coast. Today the Scali family prides itself on growing the business by offering high quality roofing and building products.
‘No.1 Roofing & Building Supplies’ first opened its doors after recognising a gap in the market for a customer focussed business that services the needs of metal roofers.
Sixteen years on and the business is today one of the largest wholesale suppliers of steel, corrugated iron and metal roofing products in Sydney, supplying a range of Colorbond and Zincalume roofing systems, as well as its associated custom steel roofing products and almost any building product on the market.
The first store was opened by David and David’s father, Tony Scali after David left the Australian Army and went to work with Tony in his roofing installation business in 2001.
It quickly became apparent that roofers in the area needed a local company that understood their needs and could offer a high-level service. Soon after, in 2002 the first ‘No.1 Roofing & Building Supplies’ business was opened in North Narrabeen to meet that need.
At this stage the business was not manufacturing roofing and building products, which meant David and Tony brought in custom made steel products from elsewhere – however this caused extended lead times. To combat this problem, a second store was opened at Mona Vale in 2006 with manufacturing facilities incorporated into the business for the first time.
In 2010 the same demand for a roofing business was being made by local roofers in the Hills District, so David and Tony went on to open the Seven Hills branch. Just four years later, in 2014 an increased demand for manufactured products, combined with Sydney’s residential expansion in the South West saw the Prestons facility created.
In 2016 an increased demand for timber, as well as general building products across the business, saw the acquisition of a building supplies yard at Regents Park and the fifth branch was created.
In 2018 two new facilities were also created to service the ever-increasing demand for ‘No.1 Roofing & Building Supplies’ high quality products and services, with the Caringbah and Somersby facilities offering online ordering to its customers.
Point of difference
No.1 has found that being able to manufacture at its own facilities spread across various geographic regions has set it apart from other players in the same space, General Manager, David Scali said.
“Custom Colorbond flashings have always been an extremely popular part of the No.1 offer but it has more recently moved into the architectural panelling and half round guttering markets,” he said.
While David is heavily involved in the day to day running of the group, Tony Scali (his father) still comes to work most days to offer his support and advice. Both founders say they owe much of their success to their strong work ethic and great staff.
“We believe that our alliance with the right supply partners has assisted us in significantly growing our business and has also allowed us to supply the right quality products to our customers when they need them,” David said.
“We shape our business around the feedback and the needs of the trades people we deal with daily. We listen when they ask us for certain products and services, and readily invest back into our business when we need to. This has led us to becoming one of the largest distributors of metal roofing products across NSW,” he said.
Running their own manufacturing operations remains a significant point of difference for the Scali family, with the manufacturing of custom steel flashings and other related products at five sites including: Mona Vale, Seven Hills, Prestons, Caringbah and Somersby. The business also operates as a key distributor for other major building product companies at all seven stores.
“We stand out from competing stores in the area because we have the ability to manufacture products ourselves and are strongly aligned with the major roll forming manufacturers in NSW. We have a huge investment in our own asset base and work closely with our network of supply partners, so we find that we don’t struggle to deliver time critical products like many of our opposition do,” David said.
Working alongside CSS
The ‘No.1 Roofing and Building Supplies’ group joined with CSS just over seven years ago, with all seven branches now linked through the CSS group.
“What we liked most about CSS is that they allowed us to maintain our independence. While CSS is always there to assist us, and works well for us as a buying group by providing access to an incredible range of products, it does not dictate to its members and this was important to us,” David said.
“We supply direct to the public, as well as the trades professional, who know the value of good quality roofing supplies and building supplies. Most brands, and their associated materials are readily available,” he said.
With the store’s customer base sitting at 70 per cent trade and 30 per cent DIY, David said the business is heavily marketed online as well as through word of mouth.
“We will continue to grow the business through our social media and our web presence. We have invested a lot on our website, and strive to provide quality information to our online clientele. We are also a sponsor and supporter of local sporting teams and charities – but we really see this more as a responsibility we owe to our community – any added exposure we get through doing this is just an upside to supporting worthy organisations” David said.
“On the business side of things, we are also closely aligned with a lot of manufacturers who aren’t set up to deal with end user customers. We act as an access and display point for all types of customers for all types of products.”
“Although we carry a large amount of stock for immediate collection customers, they are never left to muddle their own way through what they may need. Our staff are trained to ask questions and provide answers, and if they can’t immediately provide answers, to seek answers for the customer. They are also able to serve a customer for stock items for immediate sale and carry out a full custom order transaction all at the same time. Although we carry stock at all locations we definitely are not a Bunnings type of set up,” David said.
With its seventh store opening in Somersby on September 10, David said it was time to take a short breather before moving on to open any more stores.
“We are always looking for opportunities, and we strongly believe in continuous growth and improvement but not to the detriment of our current customers’ satisfaction levels.
Right now, we intend to focus on the business we have and make sure we are getting it right for our customers,” he said.