How GAF builds customer ties and gives IT staff business skills

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It's pretty standard these days for companies to place their technology on the front lines as they battle for position in the knowledge economy.

What's not so common is for a decidedly traditional business like GAF, which is North America's largest manufacturer of roofing materials, to use not just IT but also technology talent for competitive differentiation.

For more than a year, GAF technology professionals have joined CIO Adam Noble in two- and three-day collaborative brainstorming sessions with customers -- roofing distributors and contractors. The idea stems from Noble's own annual meetings with business leaders from GAF's largest customers to discuss strategic IT, industry trends, business goals and ideas for making it easier to do business with the $3 billion company.

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