Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wenger Roofing and Sheet Metal

Benjamin Richardson
BBA – Economics
Graduating: December 2010

Wenger Roofing & Sheet Metal is in the market of both commercial and residential roofs, flat roofs, sheet metal and siding. Wenger is a growing family business with a welcoming atmosphere. Unlike much of their competition, they are professional in all aspects of the business from start to finish. Each client is treated with respect regardless of their needs even when it is evident that Wenger will not be the lowest bid for a job, the importance of giving a potential client the courtesy they deserve shines through. This has paid off since Wenger has received clients based on the treatment they received in the past. They also repair their competitor’s roofs when things go wrong; even though Wenger did not have the winning bid originally, they benefit from the trust they have created and will maintain. The way Wenger treats its customers has led to success through the tough economic times we are currently facing. While competition struggles, Wenger is on schedule to increase the jobs they complete this year in comparison to last year. The increasing business has caused Jake Wenger, my supervisor and Vice President, to look for ways to decrease the time between bids and costs associated with bidding turnover. Jake, a UW-Oshkosh graduate, had been looking for a way to pay it forward as an alumnus. He made room in the business for an intern to create data mining resources for Wenger.

This is a project based internship, the breadth of which is creating a working database Wenger can use to structure around the core of their business’ prospective jobs, job in progress, completed jobs and the costs/revenue, forms/reports and tasks associated with each. Other assignments include creating excel spreadsheets for financial management, researching prospective software packages, helping to define various internal processes and researching potential new markets.

Up to this point I have created a few financial spreadsheets and finished the first phase of the database project with customized forms and reports specific to Wenger’s needs. It was an exciting moment when I received an email from Jake officially informing his staff about implementing my work into the company. I am currently researching a software package called GoldMine, if implemented this program would be used to organize and streamline contact between Wenger and its clients.

My internship with Wenger is a unique experience. I work alongside Jake as he calls the shots and explains his decisions. Jake has taken me to job sites and let me shadow him providing a great chance to watch and learn as he handles the everyday obstacles of business such as: employee issues, time constraints and handling the ups and downs of enterprise. All of this has given me a real world view of what I can expect to see in my post graduation employment. The learning experiences I’ve received from watching and listening to an entrepreneur run business is likely unmatched by many other interns.
In the next few weeks I will be working to finish up the second and third phases of the database and it is important this project be completed before my internship is over. The database must be fully functional to replace some of the paperwork currently used, to decrease costs and increase the amount of bids Wenger can output daily. I will also be creating templates for streamlining and automating the job bidding processes.

So far this internship has challenged me to learn on the go and use my knowledge to help garner Wenger’s future potential. It feels as though I have gained more than I have been able to give and I am thankful to both Jake and Wenger Roofing & Sheet Metal for that. I expect the second half of my internship to be demanding, but I am looking forward to the experiences and knowledge I will acquire.

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