Should CMs Control Their Own Destiny?

Originally published by the following source: SBCA Executive Committee — September 5, 2017


Editor’s Note: The following statement is from SBCA president Jack Dermer, speaking on behalf of the SBCA Executive Committee, to the entire structural building components industry.

The Executive Committee of the Structural Building Component Association (SBCA) has recently discussed with members of the Truss Plate Institute (TPI) the concept that TPI realign as a council within SBCA and cease to operate as a separate organization. Let me briefly explain why.

I have been on SBCA’s Executive Committee for more than three years, and in that time this team has held weekly meetings to continually review how SBCA can best serve component manufacturer members like me.

During those weekly meetings, we have often observed how SBCA and TPI share very common and redundant missions. Both organizations strive to increase CM market share through sound engineering, quality manufacturing processes and marketplace education. We have also observed that it is the CMs who currently fully fund both of these associations. In our opinion, this doesn’t make sense.

We believe it is now time for CMs to take the lead and responsibility for all issues related to component manufacturing that affect our core business. For many decades, plate/software suppliers have felt the need to provide leadership with regard to truss engineering issues, and in the early years of our industry, they were better equipped to do so. However, today CMs are much more sophisticated, as is the industry as a whole. SBCA and its member companies are more entrepreneurial and much better equipped to drive innovation in the component industry. Given this, we believe there are greater synergies that will serve CMs better when truss engineering is structured like it would be in a normal business – truss plate and lumber engineering supporting CM sales growth. When CM businesses grow, all suppliers grow with them and the only group that truly understands CM issues and needs are CMs.

The SBCA Executive Committee has spoken separately with the leadership of each of the five TPI members and laid out the reasons why we believe a council of plate suppliers within SBCA is a more synergistic approach to better serving our industry and all CM members of SBCA. We believe it would be in the best interest of CMs for plate suppliers to support this realignment.

In the coming week, SBCA will be mailing a letter from the SBCA Executive Committee to all CMs providing detail on the specific reasons that led us to take this action. We did not arrive at this decision lightly, and we plan to move forward swiftly because it is in the best interests of CMs to control our own destiny.

As always, if you have questions please call any one of us. We look forward to working with our fellow CMs and the TPI member companies to get this done.


Jack Dermer, President, American Truss, 281-782-9960     

On behalf of the SBCA Executive Committee Team

James C. Finkenhoefer, President Elect/Treasurer, True House dba Truss Systems, 770-402-9823

Greg Griggs, Secretary, Builders FirstSource, 770-659-6045          

Jess Lohse, Immediate Past President, Rocky Mountain Truss, 406-945-1491

Joseph D. Hikel, Executive Committee Member & Past President, Shelter Systems Limited, 410-984-6902    

Michael Ruede, Executive Committee Member & Past President, A-1 Roof Trusses, 772-801-9162

Steve Stroder, Executive Committee Member & Past President, California TrusFrame, 951-287-9499    

Scott Ward, Executive Committee Member & Past President, Southern Components, 318-470-8391

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