SBCA Strategic Plan
The building industry will use high quality building components provided by SBCA member companies
SBCA members will gain the knowledge and power to run successful, growing, profitable companies offering a compelling competitive advantage in the marketplace for their customers and professional growth for employees
Using our strategic plan as our foundation, the SBCA Board and committees are working with SBCA staff to narrow our short-term priorities and establish tasks that need to be implemented to begin achieving these four longer-term strategic goals through member-driven Strike Force teams. At the first SBCA Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM) of 2020 in Miami, Florida, we began the process of parsing out the tasks necessary to meet those four strategic goals. We divided those in attendance into five “Strike Forces,” charged with identifying and articulating those initiatives and tasks, including completion dates:
In late 2019, SBCA’s Executive Committee launched a strategic planning process that began with a survey of component manufacturers (CMs) that garnered a significant response. Twenty-three percent of SBCA members and eight percent of non-members responded to the survey designed to gather specifics about CMs’ pain points and the role SBCA can play to support its members in alleviating those challenges.
SBCA’s Executive Committee members, along with the chairs and co-chairs of SBCA’s standing committees then met in early January 2020 to pour through those survey responses and ultimately agree on a revised, and much simplified, vision and mission for SBCA. We were also able to articulate the four main strategic goals SBCA should have over the next five years. (If you’d like to see a final copy of the strategic plan, please download it here.)
Strike Force 1:
SBCA will create a digital quality control output format capable of operating SBCA's Digital QC.
Strike Force 2:
SBCA will provide templates, tools and other resources designed to improve member company strategic leadership and decision-making surrounding lumber, technology and equipment.
Strike Force 3:
SBCA will create a CM Leadership Summit to support face-to-face discussion of best practices and peer community development.
Strike Force 4:
SBCA will implement a multi-mode education delivery strategy to allow for face-to-face, online and digital education and training.
Strike Force 5:
SBCA will support industry and, when possible, member company efforts to educate and create positive perceptions among students and others interested in our industry.
For more information on the Strike Force initiatives or to get involved contact staff. Then stay on top of the latest on these efforts through SBC Magazine.
UPDATES ON STRIKE FORCE GROUPS
(update on 7/23 at 3:02 p.m. CT)
Strike Force 1, with the aid of SBCA staff, recently completed a TPSX file format to streamline truss design software outputs for use with SBCA’s Digital QC. TPSX standardizes QC data outputs in a single format, giving software programmers a definitive target to aim for when developing output options for their various platforms. Having a standard file establishes a consistent input for SBCA’s Digital QC programmers to rely upon as they continue to build the program, add features and drive in-plant QC into the 21st century for component manufacturers.
TPSX utilizes a tiered file format incorporated into a compressed “.zip” folder. This allows for a streamlined approach to file output of specific information while also allowing for future expansion should the format needs of Digital QC for trusses broaden or other opportunities present themselves for wall panel QC, field framing QA, and so forth. TPSX contains basic component and layout information of individual trusses and specific quality control and quality assurance information while remaining scalable should other information be necessary in years to come.
SBCA sent a TPSX white paper along with sample files and examples to TPI’s Digital QC Programming Committee and created a central location for TPSX information.
(update on 4/30 at 2:07 p.m. CT)
After regrouping from a spirited Strike Force 1 meeting in Miami, Strike Force 1 is pivoting its focus to prioritizing the creation of an in plant QC specification that is essentially an “electronic version” of current truss design software outputs for plate placement diagrams and truss manufacturing into a standardized input for SBCA’s ongoing Digital QC development. Software development evolves quickly, so the intent is to have the electronic interface reduce the need for TPI members to create special programs for SBCA’s digital QC, or potentially require SBCA to support five different formats which costs everyone time and money.
SBCA has made a commitment to improving in-plant quality control processes for truss manufacturing, given that there have been opinion debates about truss quality with truss manufacturer customers. This debate has surrounded plate embedment and truss joint quality primarily which has led SBCA to review how best to gather objective data while also streamlining the in-plant QC data acquisition process. Pressed for solutions, SBCA embarked on creating a digital in-plant QC program that assures data accuracy and provides an ability to generate in-plant quality control charts and data based feedback to help management in their continuous manufacturing improvement and training efforts.
The focus on this electronic output process will allow SBCA CM Members active within Strike Force 1 to work with SBCA Staff to identify key data points to include in its Digital QC software to modernize CM’s daily QC inspections, provide a more robust statistical relevance and continuous management feedback. The discussions within Strike Force 1 led to the idea that we can streamline the development of the QC File format using the current .TPS file format concepts, which are used throughout the component industry. A new .TPSX format will be utilized to allow for efficient and standard communication between truss design software and Digital QC software. This streamlined approach will enable SBCA staff to write code without the use of any electronic translator or file interpreter software.
Equipment User Forum (6/25/20 Update)
The SF 2 subgroup on technology and equipment is moving forward on the creation of an equipment user online discussion forum specific to the component manufacturing industry. This online collaboration resource is meant to connect CMs from across the country using similar equipment, so they can share best practices, maintenance tips, source parts and troubleshoot common problems.
Staff is currently reviewing potential user forum interface options and the subgroup will be considering those options in the coming weeks. The subgroup focused on the waiver and consent forms and user agreement language will be meeting next week to consider all the potential options and create a recommendation.
Lumber Market Newsletter (6/25/20 Update)
The SF 2 subgroup on raw materials has shifted its thinking on creating an electronic lumber market newsletter. Instead, the group has decided it would be more effective to create regular podcast featuring lumber industry experts who would provide commentary on what they are seeing in the market and provide their perspectives on what they think may happen in the short-term. As an initial step, staff is working with lumber traders with American International Forest Products, who have offered to participate in the initial podcasts. Over the next few weeks a series of test podcasts are being recorded and the current plan is to publish the first regular podcast in July.
A lumber use survey was also sent out to component manufacturers and we received good participation! Thank you to all who submitted answers. If you did not have a chance, it’s not too late to participate: What Lumber Species and Grade Do You Use Most?
Equipment User Forum (6/10/20 Update)
The SF 2 subgroup on technology and equipment is focusing on the creation of an equipment user online discussion forum specific to the component manufacturing industry. This online collaboration resource is meant to connect CMs from across the country using similar equipment, so they can share best practices, maintenance tips, source parts and troubleshoot common problems.
This SF 2 subgroup divided into thirds to focus on three distinct issues: defining the requirements users must meet in order to participate, drafting forum rules and enforcement mechanisms, and determining the best user interface.
These three subgroups have developed, reviewed and approved a robust list of recommendations in each of these three areas. These subgroups are now working with staff to begin drafting:
- Waiver and consent forms,
- A forum user agreement,
- A draft set of forum user policies and rules,
- A policy outlining the authority of moderators, and
- Enforcement mechanisms for rule infractions.
Staff has also begun evaluating and narrowing down the various user interface options out there that will enable users to interact and post content in a way that provides the greatest value to our unique users.
Lumber Market Newsletter (6/10/20 Update)
The SF 2 subgroup on raw materials is focusing on the creation of an electronic lumber market newsletter. An initial step in the newsletter’s creation is determining which lumber species and grades to track as indicators of lumber market activity. The SF 2 subgroup is reviewing an online survey that staff will sending out next week to all CMs that will help identify the 5-6 lumber “buckets” the newsletter will track initially. The next step will be finalizing the data collection process and pulling together an initial draft of the newsletter.
Strike Force 2 Update (4/22/20 Update)
On Wednesday, April 22, a Strike Force 2 subgroup met to discuss developing an Equipment User Forum. This online collaboration resources is meant to connect CMs from across the country using similar equipment, so they can share best practices, maintenance tips, source parts and troubleshoot common problems. Those in attendance agreed that the benefits of a user forum far outweigh the potential challenges of any mass online discussion. To that end, the group agreed that strict accountability guidelines must be required to protect various brands mentioned on the forum and to prevent unintended consequences of comments made online. This subgroup divided even further into thirds to focus on three distinct issues: determining the best user interface, drafting forum rules and enforcement mechanisms, and defining the requirements users must meet in order to participate. These three small groups will meet in the coming weeks, draft recommendations and report back to the strike force subgroup.
(updated on June 11)
On Tuesday, June 2, Strike Force 3 and 4 met via teleconference to discuss combining the two strike force groups because of anticipated overlap of objectives. The groups agreed that there was indeed some overlap and to continue as a single strike force group. Leaders from both groups explained the progress they had made so far in prior meetings (see below). Together it was concluded that the first topics to address should be safety and lean and to explore those areas for opportunities to grow current curriculum and develop any additional content.
Individuals in the Strike Force 3/4 Group joined subgroups for safety and lean to participate in the next steps for reviewing and developing content on those topics. A few members chose to decline the subgroups and will participate in later topics that are more closely aligned to their interests.
SBCA staff from the new combined group met on Wednesday, June 10, to discuss the best way for the subgroups to review safety and lean content. SBCA staff determined that the next step is to gather current content and set it up in a way that would make it easy for the safety and lean subgroups to review the content and provide feedback.
Strike Force 3 Update
(update from April/May meetings)
The Strike Force 3 group designed and conducted a survey to determine CM pain points related to operations and employees. The survey was sent out in SBC Industry News and in a direct email. The survey concluded that safety, lean, leadership, and management are top CM pain points.
After conducting the survey, the group took the operations topics from the survey and categorized them in a spreadsheet based on low/high impact and slow/quick development. The diagram that came from that exercise helped to determine and identify areas to work on and the time it would take. The group completed the same exercise with the employee-related topics.
At this time the group realized there was overlap in curriculum development with Strike Force 4 and determined it would be best to meet as a combined group.
(update from April/May meetings)
Strike Force 4 met via teleconference on Thursday, April 16 to review the current SBCA In-Plant Basic Training Resources and get feedback from the group members. SBCA staff provided a demo of the new learning management system (LMS) and attendees shared that they liked the new layout and felt it was more user-friendly than the current system. It was determined that SBCA staff should provide more specific requests for any images or video footage needed for updating current programs.
On Thursday, May 21, Strike Force 4 met via teleconference to discuss curriculum development and the strike force objectives. The group reviewed the results from the Strike Force 3 survey and it was determined that there was overlap with the Strike Force 3 group and it would be best to meet as a larger group to figure out how to move forward.
(update on July 2 meeting)
On Thursday, July 2, Strike Force 5 met via teleconference for an update on its three primary initiatives:
- Survey to Production Line Employees: Twelve companies have participated so far, with 213 responses so far. The group discussed some initial observations; some were surprising and some were not. The group will use SBC Industry News and direct email to members in July to introduce the survey and garner increased participation. The more responses received only increases the value of the data. Access to the full report on the survey results will only be available to SBCA members.
- WFD Educational Toolkit: The group continues to flesh out content in specific areas, with recent progress made in the areas of “recruiting strategies” and “applications and assessment.” Staff has collected samples of social media posts and website best practices from members to use as examples for building a positive online presence and use those platforms as WFD tools. A page on quantitative assessments was built and will be expanded on to provide a variety of members’ experiences with a diverse set of tools. Near-term work will focus on building pages in specific topic areas, driven in part by production line employee survey results. Once good preliminary content has been built in each of the four main topic areas, work will begin on overhauling the WFD section of sbcindustry.com.
- Social Media Campaign: Staff gave an update on SBCA’s new social media campaign on the essential nature of our industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Be Essential” was launched on July 1 and will continue weekly using photos and videos posted on its social media channels. The first video in the campaign can be viewed here. These posts will link back to the Career Opportunities page on SBCA’s Best Way to Frame website. The group encourages members to share these posts widely on your social media channels and also post jobs openings by logging in here. If you would be interested in submitting photos or video for this campaign, please contact Ashley.
The group will touch base next on July 31. Watch SBC Industry News for further updates on the efforts of this Strike Force as they work to help members further their workforce development efforts.
Strike Force 5 Update
(update on May 6 meeting)
On Wednesday, May 6, Strike Force 5 had its second teleconference since the Miami OQM to continue its workforce development initiatives targeted toward creating positive perceptions of our industry in the marketplace, especially among students. The group is currently working on three primary initiatives:
- Survey to Production Line Employees: With the goal of helping CMs find and retain more quality production employees, SF5 is beta testing a short survey (provided in both English and Spanish) to measure how production employees come into the industry, what influences their decision to stay, and what they think CMs can do to attract and retain more line workers.
- WFD Educational Toolkit: The goal of this web-based toolkit is to revamp the current WFD section of SBCA’s website to create a more topical, user-friendly resource that pulls together best practices, case studies, and other tools in a number of areas for CMs to consider when it comes to finding and recruiting new employees. Due to the volume of information available, the group focused on “partnering with schools” to build a template page for the toolkit. The group also discussed best practices for educating members on how to tend to their online presence and digital recruiting. Additional topics are in the works and staff is working on reworking the structure of the website to accommodate these efforts.
- Social Media Campaign: The group discussed the need to capitalize on our industry being deemed part of the essential workforce in most places during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of creating messaging for a campaign for members to share on social media is to help change how our industry is perceived in the future versus other industries that were shut down at this time.