CM Perspective: The Solution We All Need


CM Perspective: The Solution We All Need

I started in this industry a year ago as a sales representative for California TrusFrame (CTF). In that short amount of time I have realized there are three major issues that the construction industry is facing: lack of skilled labor, lack of time, and lack of money. Fortunately, components manufacturers (CMs) provide a solution to all three. 

Ashley Stroder is a sales representative for California TrusFrame LLC in Perris, California.

Ashley Stroder is a sales representative for California TrusFrame LLC in Perris, California. Since joining the industry last summer, she has jumped into SBCA life with both feet, serving on both the Emerging Leaders and BCMC committees.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, “the ‘Great Recession’ took place from late-2007 through mid-2009, and the economy steeply contracted. Nearly 8.7 million jobs were lost nationwide.” Many construction related businesses closed their doors and most, if not all, had to shed a significant portion of their workforce. By 2010, when it seemed the smoke had cleared and the economy was slowly climbing back, the unemployment rate finally dipped below ten percent. However, according to the Center for American Progress, construction unemployment actually jumped to 25 percent. 

I was entering high school in 2007 and college in 2010. I can tell you first hand that teachers, administrators, and counselors pushed students toward healthcare, education, and technology because they were the sectors least affected by the recession. Vocational classes like woodshop, design, and automotive carried fewer students. Many programs were simply canceled. That shift in education has resulted in the lack of skilled labor we have today. 

The skilled worker shortage compounds our lack of time. Not only are we still in the midst of a housing shortage with not enough time to catch up, we are dealing with primarily unskilled laborers who face a stiff learning curve and are more prone to mistakes. Mistakes that take time and money to fix. 

In the construction industry, time equals money. Structural building component systems are the solution to dramatically cut costs and cycle times with a third of the labor currently being used. Less labor means less money being spent on the jobsite. It also limits the opportunities for mistakes. When our customers move to wall panels and roof trusses on a 3,000 square foot home, they see build times drop from a 15-day framing schedule to four days, and when they add floor cassettes to the system, the build schedule drops down to no more than two or three days. 

While builders throughout the country have been using these methods to dramatically cut build times for years, they are just beginning to draw interest in California and other states that are late to the party. Progressive framers and builders are seeing that the lack of skilled labor, time, and money can all be solved by using structural building component systems. 

At CTF we believe so strongly in the framing solutions our components provide that we just completed re-tooling our truss facilities with some of the most state-of-the-art equipment available, while also building up our wall panel capacity in Northern and Central California. We are also building a new wall panel and Smart Components facility in Southern California. These moves are proving to be profoundly effective for us as more and more customers are seeking structural building components systems as the solution to their problems. 

Babe Ruth once said, “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” If your customers aren’t employing the benefits of manufactured wall panels, floor cassettes, and roof trusses to their fullest extent, everyone is missing an opportunity to save time and make more money. If you haven’t already, reach out to your customers to start this conversation. Taking a leap and trying something new is never easy or comfortable, but the way things used to be done in the construction industry is no longer efficient for the current environment. It is time we all invest in doing something different.