President's Message: Capturing Hearts and Minds
You can help strengthen the industry with a simple phone call
Just like the old adage in real estate, the three principles of associations are membership, membership, membership. I firmly believe SBCA has captured 50 percent of the hearts and minds of the component manufacturing industry in the country, and now is the time to attract the other half.
SBCA is about relationship building. That’s why BCMC is so important to the growth and success of the industry. The Open Quarterly Meetings (OQMs) also provide a more regular opportunity to connect with peers and problem solve together. SBCA is about risk management. BCSI and jobsite packages are absolutely the best tool available to component manufacturers to aoivd or reduce jobsite issues and protect them from an unfounded claim when something does go wrong. SBCA is also about best practices. Our library of technical documents and online training courses helps ensure that all CMs have what they need to run a world-class operation.
This is the message we are bringing to all the CMs out there who are not currently enjoying the benefits of membership, and we’re delivering it in a systematic way. I mentioned in a previous post that the SBCA Membership Committee has divided the country into five regions. We have captains for each region and we’ve implemented better technology to locate, contact, and track non-member companies. I’ve made several calls to CMs across the country using this new system, and I think it's pretty effective.
I recently called County Truss in Maine, and the conversation we had is an excellent illustration of how this type of outreach is a good thing. It was a cold call, so initially there was some skepticism about my motivations for calling. But it didn’t take long for us to identify common ground, and eventually we got to talking about jobsite packages. He had heard we offer electronic packages and wanted to know more about how other CMs are using them. I put him in contact with people who could answer every question he had. I also encouraged him to come to the OQM in Boston later this summer, since it is in his region.
It wasn’t a difficult phone call. We are in the same business, so it didn’t take long to connect. His daily struggles are the same as mine. The only difference is that I’ve found a network of people who are committed to helping me grow my business, and I want the same thing for every CM in the country. The relationships he can build at BCMC and OQMs may change the course of his business forever. That’s why I’m so passionate about getting more companies involved in the association.
I also called All-Span Truss in Delaware, which specializes in cold-formed steel (CFS) trusses and had been members of SBCA years ago. Again, it was a great conversation. Most of it was focused on why they aren’t members currently and all the challenges they are currently facing. Essentially, it was a laundry list of all the reasons why they needed to join SBCA again! The end of the call gave me an opportunity to show the value of SBCA: I put him in contact with another SBCA member who manufacturers CFS trusses in a different part of the country so they can compare notes.
Listen, I get it. Things are crazy busy right now and picking up the phone to make a cold call to a non-member CM can seem daunting at first. There may be some CMs out there who will not be interested in being part of something bigger than themselves. That’s okay. However, there are other CMs like the ones at County Truss and All-Span Truss that are looking for help but don’t immediately think to turn to a trade association that represents their interests.
We need to go out and find those guys. As fellow CMs, we need to call them, connect with them, and bring them into the organization. SBCA grows stronger, and better equipped to improve the industry, with every CM heart and voice we capture. If you agree, help us make some calls! Reach out to SBCA staff (email@example.com) and we’ll connect you to your regional captain who will help make it easy.
About the Author: Gene Frogale, SBCA President