CMs Pack Value into Three-Day Event

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineAugust 13, 2019
by SBCA Staff


The SBCA Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM) in Savannah, Georgia, last week had the largest attendance on record (111)! During the three-day event, participants had the opportunity to network, share ideas, gather best practices on everything from manufacturing to leadership, and have some fun in a beautiful part of the country.  Below are a few of the highlights of the valuable conversations component manufacturers and suppliers had at this face-to-face meeting. If you are strapped for time, you can just listen to SBCA president Greg Griggs’ take on the meeting:

Leadership Seminar

SBCA’s Emerging Leaders Committee hosted a valuable leadership seminar to open the OQM. Mike Kozlowski from Apex kicked off the session with a look at how exercising intentional leadership strategies can be a game changer for creating stellar teams. One strategy he discussed was having a better awareness of how your employees’ personalities drive how they work and inform what they need to be successful, layered with a self-awareness of how one’s leadership style meshes with each employees’ needs. Guest speaker Dolly Penland from Business Results LLC then provided an overview of the Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment and how it can help leaders make “people-smart” hiring decisions that build successful teams. The session was well received and ignited a lively discussion about how this kind of information is indispensable for creating job descriptions targeted specifically to your team’s needs.

SBCA Initiatives

The next morning, the QC Committee met to get an update on the digital QC program development, where the digital assessment of a plated joint can now be done in seconds versus minutes. The group discussed how data collected from the digital software can be used to provide robust information to help CMs manage their operations. Attendees were shown the early stages of the management feedback system. The next step is developing a reporting structure that will provide insights that lead to specific actions for continuous improvement. This whole approach is in line with adage “if you cannot measure it you cannot management it.”  A subcommittee was formed to work with staff on these concepts. For more information, or if you would like to be part of this subcommittee, please contact Evan.

The Membership Committee continues to reach out to member and non-member component manufacturers with phone calls and letters, inviting CMs to open quarterly meetings, and BCMC. A new web form has also been created to make it easier for non-members to join the association and take part in the many benefits and savings that members receive. To join SBCA, simply fill out this form and a staff member will get in touch with you.

During the Marketing Committee meeting, SBCA’s mock-up of the new website ( was reviewed. The goal is to make the website more user-friendly, visually appealing, better organized and easier to search. The website will include a new geo-locating tool that will allow anyone to search for their nearby CM based on their address, city or zip code. Once launched, the new tool will provide an additional avenue for customers, officials, and others to find, learn about, and contact SBCA members. Watch for the new site to be rolled out at BCMC in October.

Finally, during the Management Committee meeting, insurance coverage for the component manufacturing operations was discussed at length, given the changes currently occurring in the insurance industry.  Given the challenges some CMs may have in obtaining coverage, it was decided to resurrect the SBCA Approved Insurance Broker Program to engage brokers with expertise and an understanding of industry-specific best practices, who can help members improve their insurability index. For more information please contact Suzi.

Cybersecurity Roundtable

On Wednesday afternoon, attendees gathered for a roundtable focused on recent industry cybersecurity issues. Two CMs shared experiences with server security breaches and the long- and short-term impact that these events have had on their companies. Their stories spawned an hour-long conversation that included numerous other component manufacturers and suppliers sharing similar narratives, making it clear that it’s not a matter of “if” you’ll experience an issue at your company, it’s a matter of “when.”

The SCBA IT Committee provided their expertise and shared examples of solutions they’ve implemented to avoid attacks through training. The first line of defense is an informed and alert staff that does not engage with emails that may look real but are designed to steal sensitive company network information.  Also discussed were best practices to ensure that in case of a disruption the company can be back online in the shortest time possible. In addition, the IT Committee developed and shared with the group a worksheet that can be used to determine where there are potential holes in a company’s security plan and how to take steps to remedy concerns. The final version of the IT Committee’s worksheet will be available for download soon as the lead resource in SBCA's Cybersecurity Topical Library.

Philanthropic Team Building

Finally, attendees participated in a Canstruction team building event where groups worked together to build a mini-golf hole using food cans and cardboard.  Individuals voted for the most creative hole and each group competed for lowest team score after playing through each hole of the course. Congratulations to the winning team (pictured from left to right): Wes Robbins, Dave Green, Dan Holland and Mike Kozlowski. Second Harvest Food Bank supplied the cans for the event and SBCA donated $3,000 to support the cause. Congratulations to the winning team!

Return on Investment

At the Board meeting, SBCA treasurer Mike Ruede provided details on how the association’s revenues and expenses were tracking well within this year’s budget at the mid-point of the year. Mike reiterated SBCA’s current emphasis on rebuilding the association’s reserves and BCMC revenue also looks very strong. Given all the projects and resources SBCA has on the go, this strong financial position indicates members are receiving a very good return on their membership investment.  Of course, a great ROI happens through attendance at BCMC and SBCA’s OQMs.  If you haven’t registered for BCMC yet, don’t miss the early bird discount and register before August 25:  Also, put next year’s OQM dates and locations in your calendar: February 26-28, 2020: Miami, FL; May 18-20, 2020: White Sulphur Springs, WV; August 4-6, 2020: Park City, UT; and, October 6-9, 2020: Knoxville, TN. We can’t wait to see you there!