As I was saying …

The barbell effect

In 2005, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress commissioned a study called "The Roofing Industry 2025," the idea of which was to imagine what the industry would look like 20 years hence.

One of the report's key findings was what the author called the "barbell effect," suggesting the emergence of an industry composed of very large companies (manufacturers, distributors and contractors) and very small companies—both operating successfully—with increased pressure on midsized companies to compete.

The recent acquisition of the European company Icopal by GAF, Parsippany, N.J., reminds us this prediction is coming true. GAF now is truly an international company with a handful of European brands and about 30 manufacturing facilities outside the U.S.