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I Love It When a Plan Comes Together!

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

SBCA strategic planning process yields great results

There is a real opportunity for our industry to expand and enhance its role in the sup-ply chain. This is due to all the attention being paid to the systemic labor shortage in the construction industry and how offsite industrial framing, like the roof trusses, wall panels and floor trusses our industry produces, can effectively solve that pain point.

Knowing this, sixteen component manufacturers (SBCA’s Executive Committee and the chairs and co-chairs of SBCA’s standing committees) came together in January to create a draft strategic plan for the association. This plan clearly states the targeted ways in which SBCA can come alongside its members to help them take full advantage of the market opportunities in front of them.

At A-1 Roof Trusses, we recently went through a strategic planning process of our own. Our CEO had stated the goal we should accomplish as a company. Through our process, we identified the 183 tasks it would take to reach our goal, and we assigned tasks to vari-ous departments, based on skill sets and areas of expertise. I knew going in that creating a strategic plan for SBCA would be very different. There would not necessarily be just one specific goal and we would have to think more broadly about strategies and categories of activities instead of individual tasks.

I didn’t know how we were going to get it done, but I have to admit I was pleasantly sur-prised by how it was done. It all started with exceptional participation by our membership (and also non-member CMs), and the excellent feedback they provided through the survey we sent out. Twenty-three percent (105) of our members and eight percent (52) of our non-members sent back responses, giving us an incredibly strong foundation of sentiment from which to work. If you filled out and returned a survey, I want to sincerely thank you; it made a big difference!

For example, to get a clearer vision of how CMs would like SBCA to assist them with potential marketing goals, the following question was asked in the survey: “Please identify which brand you want your customers to identify and know well.” As you can see in the pie chart, the majority of respondents indicated they wanted their business’s brand to be the center of the uni-verse in their markets. At A-1 Roof Trusses, we feel the same way!

Over the course of two days, we poured through all of the survey responses like these. We thought through priorities on our own, then talked about them in small groups, and finally collected thoughts into broad categories in a large group setting. We did this multiple times,but every time I was encouraged at how similar all of our answers were. In the end, seizing upon the big themes of what our industry’s biggest pain points are and how the association can help individual CMs solve them, became easy to articulate.

At the end of the exercise, we were able to agree on a revised, and much simplified, vision and mission for SBCA (see top of illustration). We were also able to articulate the four main strategic goals SBCA should have over the next five years. We want SBCA to help CMs increase a member’s influence with both their suppliers and the customers in their supply chain. We want to focus educational efforts on: 1) helping company leaders learn and apply business principles and management best practices, and 2) supporting company managers as they learn and apply techniques that will improve employee satisfaction, retention, and develop a larger pool of new employees.

Finally, we want SBCA to help all the key stakeholders in the construction industry fully understand the knowledge, exper-tise, and benefits CMs and their products offer in solving their pain points. In those market development activities, we want to help CMs establish their brands locally and have all mem-bers thrive through those efforts.

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. If you’d like to see a final copy of the strategic plan, please check it out here: sbcindustry.com/strategic-plan. If you have ideas you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them.

 

Mike Ruede, SBCA President

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