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We Need Your Voice.

This is an essay by Mike Ruede as part of the ongoing “President’s Message” series in SBCA Magazine.

Member input is vital as we develop SBCA’s five-year strategic plan.

The Structural Building Components Association has been blessed with strong leadership over its history. Whether itʼs individuals like Greg Griggs, who recently completed his term as president and made the organization stronger than when he started, or our incredible staff team that has been with us for so many years, we have been able to thrive relying on experience and “gut checks.” This approach has allowed us to build a strong foundation on knowledge and best practices that we have used to create valuable tools for component manufacturers (CMs) and react decisively to issues that threaten market share of our products.

Yet, if there is one thing the most recent housing downturn taught us, it’s that it is
important to plan for the future. Every good business has long-term goals and establishes medium- and short-term strategies to ensure those goals can eventually be
reached. That is why the SBCA board is striving to develop a five-year strategic plan for
the organization. Articulating our collective goals as an association will not only bring
all of us closer together, it will strengthen the purpose and value of its daily activities.

When I became treasurer of SBCA, my primary goal was to establish a clear path to stockpiling two years of operating capital to ensure in these strong years we are preparing for future lean years. Creating a long-term plan is a logical next step. If you don’t set some goals and come up with a plan on how to get there while times are good, we
will never get to where we want to be.

So, where do we, as a collective industry, want to be? This is the first question we want to answer, and we need your input. My personal goal for us is that every building in the U.S. that can be framed using structural building components is built using our industry’s products, no exceptions. We need to build robust lines of communication with the building designer and specifier communities to hammer home how our products are not only the best way to frame, they are the only way to frame that makes sense in today’s construction environment.

I’m just one voice. We need to hear what you think and we need to incorporate everyone’s views in this process. It’s a big task, and that’s why we have hired a professional organization called Association Laboratory (AL) that specializes in helping associations develop strategic plans. Over the coming month, AL will be conducting both qualitative and quantitative member surveys to gather input from the broader membership, as well as from the current SBCA Board. If you receive one of these surveys, please invest a few minutes and fill it out as soon as you can.

Our plan is to have a face-to-face meeting in early January with members of the Executive Committee and the chairs and co-chairs of SBCA’s standing committees. We will evaluate the feedback we receive from the membership and hammer out a rough strategic plan. That draft will then be reviewed with staff in another face-to-face meeting in early February. After refinement, that plan will be presented to the full board at the Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM) in Miami, Florida, the last week of February.

Ultimately, we want to set a clear course for our association and give future leadership guidance on what we feel the direction of our industry should be going forward. This will help us to be more proactive, more collaborative, and more communicative with the broader marketplace. I hope you will join us in this process. The more voices we hear, the more effective the final plan will be at guiding us into a bright future.

 

Mike Ruede, SBCA President

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