Component Connection Podcast

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This podcast focuses on everything from production and marketing best practices to risk management and leadership tips.

We are interviewing fellow component manufacturers and industry experts and teasing out valuable nuggets you can use to improve your company.

You can listen to the podcast at your desk, in your car, while eating lunch, even while you’re falling asleep at night.  Whenever you choose to listen, you can absorb this valuable information when it’s convenient for you!  It's Off-site. On-air.

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EP 25: Hardy Wentzel Shares How CLT Fits Into Today’s Wood Construction

Hardy Wentzel, CEO of Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation, explains what CLT is and how it's made. He also shares what prompted the original development of CLT and what is driving its current adoption in North America. In addition, Hardy explores how the 2021 model codes will expand CLT construction and potentially create more market opportunities for component manufacturers.

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EP 24: Mike Bugbee Discusses the Industry’s Evolution and Approach to Sales

Mike Bugbee, part owner of Oregon Truss in Salem, Oregon, shares his perspectives on the evolution of the component manufacturing industry through the lens of his long career at Simpson Strong-Tie. He explains how his relationships with early pioneers in component manufacturing helped influence today’s industry, and how his sales approach can help component manufacturers expand their markets today.

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EP 23: Gene Frogale and Jeff Taake Discuss COVID-19 Impacts on Operations

Gene Frogale is the president of Annandale Millwork & Allied Systems in Winchester, Virginia, and Jeff Taake is the vice president of manufacturing and commercial sales at Mead Lumber Co. with component operations throughout the upper Midwest. Listen as Gene and Jeff relate on how their organizations have reacted to COVID-19 and their outlooks for the immediate future in the component manufacturing industry post-COVID-19.

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EP 22: Mike Ruede and Scott Ward Share Business Changes Due to COVID-19

Mike Ruede and Scott Ward discuss the various challenges the COVID-19 Coronavirus has created for their businesses and what they are doing to overcome them. Mike is the COO of A-1 Roof Trusses in Fort Pierce, Florida, and Scott is an owner at Southern Components located in Shreveport, Louisiana. Listen as they share insights, best practices and their outlook beyond this pandemic.

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EP 21: Joe Hikel and Steve Stroder on COVID-19 Business Practices and Reactions

Joe Hikel and Steve Stroder discuss their reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic and how they're leading their businesses through the various challenges they've faced in recent weeks. Joe is the CEO and President of Shelter Systems Limited and Steve Stroder is the CEO and President of California TrusFrame. They provide insights into how the remainder of 2020 will look and how their companies will be impacted by what they are learning today.

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EP 20: Dave Mitchell and Zach Shepherd on Managing Company Growth

Dave Mitchell is the general manager and Zach Shepherd is the operations manager at Engineered Building Design (EBD) in Washington, Iowa. Dave and Zach discuss how they are evolving EBD to grow while still retaining a loyal customer base in a competitive market. They also share their insights into EBD's business model and internal culture, as well as what success will look like in five years.

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EP 19: Scott Arquilla Reflects on Running a Successful Business in Chicago

Scott Arquilla, former co-owner, vice president, and COO of Best Homes, Inc., shares how his family got started in the homebuilding industry and the unique challenges they faced operating in the Chicago market. Scott discusses why he got involved in SBCA and what prompted him to join the Board of Directors in 1997. While SBCA president in 2003, his truss plant burned to the ground. He reflects on what he would have done differently to both prepare for and recover from the disaster and offers advice to component manufacturers.

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EP 18: Jason Ward Shares Best Practices for Onboarding and Retaining Employees

Jason Ward, vice president of human resources for California TrusFrame LLC, shares best practices for hiring new employees, creating a positive workplace culture, and understanding applicable HR-related regulations. Jason has 19 years of HR experience, and in his current role leading CTF’s overall HR strategy he offers great insight into how to successfully onboard new employees and instill a sense of loyalty. He also provides tips for enhancing your hiring process and explores common pitfalls to avoid.

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EP 17: Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus Shares How to Be an Advocate for Your Company

Reggie Stoltzfus, owner and president of Dutchcraft Truss in Minerva, Ohio, shares his experience as a component manufacturer (CM)and member of the Ohio House of Representatives. Reggie discusses why he chose to serve in government and became an advocate for small businesses and CMs across his state, while highlighting the value building relationships with elected officials can bring to your business.

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EP 16: Dean DeHoog Discusses Business Culture and Management Best Practices

Dean DeHoog is the director of manufacturing for Standard Building Systems, a US LBM company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His extensive experience and unique journey informs his powerful perspective on the industry's strengths and current challenges. Dean shares his own approach to management and gives insight into the US LBM culture.

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EP 15: Framer Chris Tatge Discusses CM-Framer Partnerships & the Future of Framing

Chris Tatge, co-owner of Dynamic Construction in Stoughton, Wisconsin, shares his perspective on how component manufacturers (CMs) can benefit from partnering with their framers and provides insight into how the framing industry is evolving. As executive director of the National Framers Council (NFC), Chris also shares how the NFC has grown and the value it offers to framers both big and small.

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EP 14: SBCA President Mike Ruede Shares Thoughts on How to Better Promote Your Business

SBCA President Mike Ruede shares his thoughts on what component manufacturers could do to better promote their businesses and how SBCA’s strategic plan fits in. Mike is the executive vice president and chief operating officer at A-1 Roof Trusses in Fort Pierce, Florida and this is his second term as SBCA president (he previously served as president in 2002). Mike also shares his history in the industry and explains how he believes the industry needs to change in order to grow and prosper.

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EP 13: Gene Frogale Shares His Approach to Component Sales and Marketing

Gene Frogale and his brother Rob are co-presidents of Annandale Millwork & Allied Systems in Winchester, Virginia. Gene shares the history behind their family-owned business and how his comprehensive approach to sales and marketing has been influential in its success. As SBCA's current treasurer and membership committee chair, Gene also explains how the association has helped to grow the industry and impact his business.

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EP 12: Jason Hikel Explores the Advantages of Thinking Outside the Typical IT Box

Jason Hikel shares unconventional IT tips and ideas that have contributed to his company’s success. As the IT Director at Shelter Systems Limited in Westminster, Maryland, Jason continually looks for new ways to improve the component manufacturing process while keeping the reality of user buy-in front and center. Jason discusses how the equipment, technology, automation, and drive for “what’s next” keeps him excited about this industry.

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EP 11: Richard Brown & Jim Finkenhoefer Discuss Business Practices & Their Successful Partnership

Richard Brown and Jim Finkenhoefer met in 1986 at a Georgia Component Manufacturers Association meeting and later partnered in operating Truss Systems, a wood and cold-formed steel component manufacturing plant in Oxford, Georgia. In this podcast, these two entrepreneurs share how they successfully ran a truss plant together for almost 30 years on nothing more than a hand-shake agreement and remain friends today.

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EP 10: Barry Dixon Discusses Business Approaches to Integration & Automation

Barry is the owner and CEO of True House in Jacksonville, Florida, and is an early adopter of technology and automation in the component manufacturing industry. Barry shares why his business has integrated up and down the supply chain over the years to make it more successful. He also provides guidance on how to evaluate opportunities for integration to better serve your customers.

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EP 9: Angie & Ashley Stroder Share Their Perspectives About the Industry

Angie and her daughter, Ashley, share their experiences as women in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Both Angie and Ashley work at California TrusFrame (CTF), which is based in Murrieta, CA and has five locations throughout the state. Angie has 26 years of experience in the industry and currently serves as vice president of supply chain. Ashley has been a sales representative for CTF since 2017.

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EP 8: Matt Layman Discusses Lumber Market Trends with Kirk Grundahl

Matt Layman, president of Layman's Lumber Guide, discusses current lumber market trends with SBCA Executive Director, Kirk Grundahl. Matt has worked in lumber commodities for nearly four decades and uses his real-world experience to analyze and forecast the lumber market.

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EP 7: BJ Louws Discusses Lean Manufacturing & Innovation Opportunities with Sean Shields

BJ Louws, president of Louws Truss in Ferndale, Washington, discusses the family business and how structural components became part of their operations. He also digs into lean concepts and how they have proved a cost-effective way to be more competitive and innovative.

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EP 6: Kirk Grundahl and Evan Protexter Discuss the History and Benefits of Quality Control

Kirk Grundahl, SBCA executive director, and Evan Protexter, SBCA engineer, discuss the benefits of quality control (QC) in the component manufacturing industry and how it has evolved over the years. Kirk has been involved in QC for metal-plate connected wood trusses since the early 1980's in setting up an industry-specific Third-Party Inspection program. Evan has been heavily involved in the QC process over the past year and is focused on testing and research to advance QC practices within the industry.

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EP 5: Greg Griggs & Larry Dix Discuss Value of Face-to-Face Meetings

SBCA president Greg Griggs, Builders FirstSource, and SBCA board member Larry Dix, Apex Truss, discuss the value they receive from face-to-face meetings. Both Greg and Larry share similar thoughts on how important relationship building and networking has been for their companies and their careers.

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EP 4: Sean Shields and Jason Blenker Discuss Advantages of Expanding Business

Sean Shields interviews Jason Blenker on transitioning the general contracting family business into Blenker Companies which operates five independently run businesses. This podcast is part of a series looking at how component manufacturers across the country are innovating to take advantage of opportunities in today's market. Blenker Building Systems is located in Amherst, WI and delivers components throughout the Midwest from South Dakota to Michigan.

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EP 3: Sean Shields Talks With Current SBCA President Greg Griggs

Sean Shields and Greg Griggs explore the latest efforts of SBCA to help component manufacturers grow market share and take advantage of opportunities in today's market. Greg has been in the industry for 35 years and is the senior vice president of manufacturing for Builder's FirstSource. He is the current SBCA president and has been chair of the marketing committee the past four years.

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EP 2: Sean Shields Interviews Dean Rana, Owner and President of Truss Fab

Sean Shields interviews Dean Rana on growing his business and overcoming challenges facing his market and the industry. This podcast is part of a series looking at how component manufacturers across the country are innovating to take advantage of opportunities in today's market. Truss Fab is a single facility out of Glendale, AZ and the largest component manufacturer in Arizona with sales territory extending throughout Arizona, southern Nevada, and southern California.

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EP 1: Jess Lohse Interviews Past President Scott Ward

Scott Ward is the owner of Southern Components and a past president of SBCA. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee and chair of the QC Committee. Scott was inducted into the SBCA Hall of Fame in 2016 and won the SBC Industry Leadership Award in 2014. Scott also served on the Management Committee as chair.

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