Editor's Message: Learn From Others

Editor's Message

Editor's Message: Learn From Others

There are many opportunities to gain insight from your peers

The opportunity to network and build relationships with peers has consistently ranked as the most valuable part of being a member of SBCA. BCMC is the most prominent event where this takes place within the component manufacturing industry. SBCA’s Open Quarterly Meetings (OQMs) and SBCA Chapter events are two other ways component manufacturers (CMs) and their supply chain can have meaningful, face-to-face conversations and learn best practices. 

If you want more perspective on the immense value of these in-person events, please listen to the podcast with Greg Griggs, SVP of manufacturing for Builders FirstSource, and Larry Dix, owner of Apex Truss. It’s worth hearing more about their personal experiences at SBCA events.

Because travel isn’t always possible either due to budget constraints or timing, SBC Magazine aims to bring the industry’s best practices to you in both print and digital formats. Our staff continually strives to reach out to CMs across the country to learn what they have done to successfully solve a challenge and share those lessons learned with the rest of the industry in the pages of this publication.

If you’re reading this article you likely know that already, but what you might not know is there are other ways we strive to get these best practices into the hands of CMs. The most prominent are SBCA’s family of websites: sbcindustry.com, bestwaytoframe.com, sbcmag.info, sbcri.info, and wtcatko.com. In a recent online survey, 20 percent of respondents indicated they access SBCA’s main website at least once a week and another 38 percent visit once a month. The content on sbcindustry.com is generated by CMs specifically for CMs.

In addition to the website, SBCA’s webinar series offers a powerful way for CMs to connect with other CMs and industry experts on timely topics facing our industry. Whether it’s an in-depth look at design loading considerations, legal advice on how to mitigate risk through customer contracts or insight into how to implement lean manufacturing principles, these frequent webinars offer something for every CM. In another recent online survey, 60 percent of respondents indicated they had attended at least one webinar in 2019, and 95 percent said that the topic addressed a specific pain point they were facing.

Our newest vehicle for sharing best practices and lessons learned is the SBCA podcast. Mentioned above, podcasts give CMs another opportunity to share their knowledge and perspectives gained from years of experience in this industry. An online survey focused on the podcast series found that over 50 percent of respondents had listened to multiple podcasts. Of those that listened, 92 percent said they valued being able to listen to these podcasts whenever they wanted, and 72 percent said one of the best things about the podcasts were they provided insight into relevant industry issues.

The bottom line is that no one needs to operate their component manufacturing business in a vacuum. There are big, medium, and small CMs across the country who are willing and eager to share what they have learned with other CMs like you. If you’re trying to figure out how to solve a problem and can’t easily come up with a satisfying solution, chances are there are multiple CMs who have a perspective that can lead you to the optimal solution for your company. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Come to an SBCA event and talk with other CMs. Barring that, regularly visit SBCA’s websites, watch the webinars from your desk, and listen to the podcasts on your drive into the office. You can also contact SBCA staff for assistance, or to help connect you with another CM. This is the value of your SBCA! 

Sean D. Shields, Managing Editor