Griggs: Everyone Took Something Valuable Home
Nearly 100 component manufacturers (CMs) and suppliers from all over the country met in Fort Worth, Texas, last week to discuss emerging industry trends and develop relationships outside of their local markets.
SBCA’s Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM) kicked off with a Leadership Development seminar sponsored by the Emerging Leaders Committee. Carlin Mueller, vice president of operations for Trussway Industries, LLC took attendees on a deep dive into the challenges of leading from the middle of an organization – where most spend the majority of their careers – and how leadership skills can be honed to influence people up, across and down a company’s structure. Following Carlin’s presentation, Jason Ward, vice president of human resources for California TrusFrame explored the topic of communication as it applies to leadership.
“Change management is always a big challenge, but one thing that came out of this [seminar] is that the more you involve your employees in that communication and make them feel a part of what that change is going to be, you are going to get a better buy-in, and in the end, it’s going to implement more successfully,” says SBCA president Greg Griggs when pointing to the value of the two presentations.
The three-hour workshop wrapped up with an Executive Leaders panel discussion. Many thanks to Jack Dermer (American Truss), Greg Griggs (Builders FirstSource), Mike Ruede (A-1 Roof Trusses), Jeff Smith (Trussway), and Scott Ward (Southern Components) for their participation and insights. Given the positive feedback on the leadership seminar, the Emerging Leaders Committee plans to provide more professional development opportunities to OQM attendees in the future. “We hope the people in attendance picked up at least one thing out of the seminar that they can take back with them and implement in their routine,” says Griggs.
Following a tour of the M&M Manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Jess Lohse led an Industry Strategic Vision Roundtable that reviewed the various outside influences on the component industry today, along with ways CMs can participate in changing market conditions. Innovation in the communication of components’ value proposition is opening many builders’ minds to the concept of framing with “component systems,” or the integrated use of roof trusses, wall panels, and floor trusses to increase builders’ velocity, reduce cycle times, build with less material and fewer employees, and significantly reduce job-site waste. The group discussed social media’s role in influencing builders’ interest toward further adoption of structural building components.
“We have always felt CMs have a premium product, it’s an engineered product, and in some cases we are held to a different standard than conventional framing,” says Griggs. “Until conventional framing gets the same, stringent, requirements as truss manufacturers and what they supply, it’s going to be an ongoing challenge.”
The team-building event at this OQM was held at Fort Worth’s famous Billy Bob’s Texas near the historic Stockyards. Participants were broken into teams and asked to compete in four different competitions: Texas horseshoes, quick draw, calf roping, and cowboy tie. “Everybody enjoyed each individual activity, though some fared better than others in certain activities, but overall it brought those relationships closer together and made people feel more comfortable around each other,” Griggs says. “I think everyone had a great time, and got a big kick out of it.”
During the Truss Industry Business Council (TIBC), the Truss Plate Institute (TPI) reported that the cross-platform initiative is making progress toward making it easier for truss manufacturing equipment and software to interface effectively. The first stage of this initiative is assembling an online repository of software file types and data provided by the design software and the file types the equipment need to function. This should provide all CMs a central place to reference when evaluating equipment. TPI is also looking at top-chord bearing trusses, multi-ply girders, and truss web bracing. Some initial proposals are being pulled together for the TBIC technical committee to review. Finally, ANSI/TPI 1 review process will begin in August.
Finally, SBCA’s efforts to create a digital quality control (QC) inspection process is making good progress. SBCA staff are working with a group of alpha test plants and plan to expand its use to a group of beta testers in the third quarter of 2019. OQM attendees discussed how the digital QC approach will allow CMs to gather more meaningful data while making inspections easier to conduct.
To hear a brief summary of the value provided to CMs who attended the OQM, please listen to Greg’s comments below: