Your Association, Your Voice
Your Association, Your Voice
I’m increasingly surprised by how fast time goes. As I approach the end of my term as SBCA President, I find myself wishing I could have found time to do more over the past year. As I transition into the past president role, I want to highlight a few issues I think SBCA is well positioned to continue making progress on.
First, we must work together to protect our industry from two things: the burden of over regulation and the constant pressure to do things that devalue the products and services we supply to the market. We are always asked to do more for less, and we’re frustrated when our competition bends to that pressure. If I’m honest, I have to admit we are all guilty of it from time to time to satisfy a key customer. However, my fellow SBCA members' experiences and the recommendations of our association serve as a brake pedal. Listening to my peers talk about their own marketplace issues helps me understand what I should and shouldn’t do. We’re all free to do what we want, but from each other we understand the consequences of providing, without compensation, value over and above our products and services.
Second, the component manufacturing business is definitely heading in the right direction, and it is a perfect time to work to perpetuate that growth long into the future. To that end, SBCA has some great tools for component manufacturers to use. The Component Marketing Toolbox, for example, is fantastic for helping to bring in new customers. It can be used in a variety of ways, from training sales staff to exposing customers to the value of components. I look forward to working further with the Toolbox and helping SBCA add to the marketing materials it offers through this subscription.
Third, at a recent SBCA meeting we discussed what customers want from us in terms of quality: correct spans, constant heel heights, camber, crown, and designs that prevent humps and sags in a roof. We all want to be proud of the product we put out in the field, and ensuring a high quality product starts with a practical quality control standard. The challenge before us is taking the ANSI/TPI 1-2014 Chapter 3 QC inspection standard, originally created by truss plate manufacturer engineers to ensure design assumptions were met, and making it easier for component manufacturers to implement and third-party inspectors to carry out.
It doesn’t make sense that we currently have people who don’t fundamentally understand our business come in to tell us whether we are good at component manufacturing and meeting our own in-plant quality processes and standards. Making QC more user-friendly is definitely something I look forward to working on because it will help us get more of our quality products into the marketplace.
Finally, I can’t say enough about how great the new approach we’ve taken at SBCA meetings is for encouraging member engagement. Taking plant tours really spurs discussion, and the narrow focus on key topics like safety, risk management, and workforce and leadership development has given me so many ideas to implement in my own company. If you haven’t attended an SBCA meeting in a while, come and see what you’re missing. It will help you understand what is going on in the industry and in the association. Better yet, come along and bring a friend or two. The executive committee is putting a lot of effort into finding upcoming leaders. We are better as an organization the more fresh ideas we have. The industry is changing quickly, and we must be ready to lead the change. So get engaged! Voice your thoughts and opinions! This is your association, and it should be your voice that drives it.
It has been an honor to serve this industry and association. Having grown up in it, I’ve had the opportunity to build a business and offer a good livelihood to many others. My hope is that I was able, this past year, to return to the industry a little of what I got from it. I want to thank all of the SBCA staff for their help and guidance. Working with the executive committee and the entire board of directors has been humbling and rewarding beyond words—those component manufacturers and suppliers are so hard-working and passionate about this industry.
I also want to thank my family, and all of those who filled in at American Truss to allow me to be away as needed. Without their help and dedication, I could not have done it. I look forward continuing to work in the industry and with SBCA going forward, and I hope that anyone with a passion, thought, idea or opinion joins in to help all of us continue to grow.