From the Executive Director: There's a Lot to Be Excited About
As we turn the calendar to a new year, it is a great time to reflect on what SBCA accomplished in 2021 and to look forward to our plans for 2022. Overall, this past year can be characterized as a time of transition for SBCA. It was our first full year under our new management model that required us to re-establish much of the infrastructure required to operate SBCA.
It started with recruiting and forming a world class team of 12 individuals distributed across the country, working efficiently and diligently for the betterment of our association and industry. We directly employed industry veterans which allowed for a continuity of services, largely uninterrupted to members, while bringing in newcomers who offer fresh perspective and energy to our association management efforts.
We implemented a new, modern accounting system with fiscal controls, policies, and procedures that offer our membership more control, transparency, and oversight to association finances through SBCA’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Our staff also led a migration to a brand-new order fulfillment solution that is significantly more streamlined while maintaining our long-term printing and production relationships.
Additionally, our team relocated all of SBCA’s websites, educational programs, and digital offerings to independent, third-party platforms that allow us to utilize best-in-class software development maintained by professionals. We also transitioned Digital QC development to a professional software development team with industry specific expertise that provides a quick and definitive path to market for what aims to be the most powerful quality control tool our industry has ever seen.
Throughout all of this, we held three Open Quarterly Meetings (OQMs) at various venues around the country and produced a very successful BCMC, all under the hindrance of COVID and a variety of local and state restrictions to adapt to. This was a huge success for the industry and the association after canceling BCMC in 2020! It was great to watch component manufacturers, framers, suppliers, and exhibitors together again on the show floor and at the educational sessions.
SBCA certainly accomplished a lot in 2021, but this is only the beginning. With our infrastructure largely in place we can now shift our focus to new and exciting projects and endeavors. We should see the tablet-side code complete for Digital QC in early 2022, which will allow for a fully-functioning, robust end-product available to SBCA member companies, free of charge. SBCA has also commissioned a Financial Concepts training program, produced by industry veterans utilizing professional production techniques and staff. Along these lines, we are engaging in a review of all our educational programs to determine where investments need to be made.
Our Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) will be formed and active to handle the technical needs of our members and other constituents who reach out to us throughout the year. We are also planning additional outreach to specifiers and code officials with complementary BCSI booklets to those who request them. This will pave the way for additional market outreach and development as we leverage market share analysis from Home Innovations Research Labs, while partnering with John Burns Real Estate Consulting to provide members insight into regional and national housing trends.
In addition, SBCA’s Committees are as active as they have been in years, coalescing around member-driven goals and initiatives. They are meeting regularly at OQMs and online, establishing direction, strategies, and goals for staff to execute. Our Strike Forces are also active, driving change throughout our organization, ensuring we remain relevant to members and non-members alike. Our members and staff are working on topics related to Future Innovations, Enhanced CM Communities, and Best Practice Resources. This will transition nicely as SBCA takes steps to update its Strategic Plan towards the year’s end to help guide us into 2023 and beyond.
SBCA and the National Framers Council (NFC) are also on a path to work more cohesively, breaking down silos that previously kept them at arm’s reach from each other. I’m excited by the interactions between SBCA and NFC and the potential for collaboration as our two organizations work more closely throughout 2022. This is a logical step with the rise of Offsite Construction in recent years. Who better to maximize the benefits of this movement than the installers and producers of structural components?
Chapters have always been an important part of SBCA. Many chapters have remained engaged in recent years, but some became dormant, not holding regular meetings or events. However, we’ve seen that sentiment change with a number of those chapters in recent months. For example, the California Chapter recently met to elect new officers in a meeting that included a plant tour along with a number of speakers from a variety of suppliers. The Illinois chapter has also taken steps to reengage its members. SBCA staff is available to help chapters in whatever manner we can! We are meant to be a resource for chapters and not a drain on chapter resources. Please reach out for help in planning meetings, golf outings, baseball games, skeet shooting tournaments, or any other events that might connect members locally. SBCA is excited to help chapters flourish and believe they are a significant piece of SBCA’s overall success!
Throughout 2022, SBCA will be making a distinct effort to increase its membership. We want SBCA to be an association that represents ALL component manufacturers (CMs), with products and services that meet the needs of CMs of all shapes and sizes. We currently have 730 member companies (501 CMs, 149 Associates, 80 NFC Members) with a goal of 800 by BCMC, set by SBCA’s president Gene Frogale. If you haven’t already, read Gene’s message on page 9 to learn more about why we are passionate about adding members.
All of this has me and our staff excited for 2022 and all it will bring for SBCA. I encourage you to join us at an OQM in New Orleans (January 25-27), Williamsburg (May 16-18), Boston (July 25-28) or BCMC in Columbus (September 12-16); or better yet, join us for all four! As a reminder, OQMs are free for members and non-members to attend. We hope to see you in 2022!
Author: Jess Lohse, Executive Director