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Be sure to visit often and keep up to date with the A-1 community. Our posts will feature news about our industry, our company, and, of course, our A-1 Family!
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.
As I enter into the role of SBCA president for the coming year, I am convinced that we need to change how we look at our businesses and our employees. This indus-try has been around for more than six decades; we obviously know what we’re doing. A lot of innovation has gone into the design and manufacture of our products over that time as well. Yet, we continue to approach our customers like it’s the 1970s. It’s frustrating that we still need to convince our customers that our products are the best way to frame a building!
“Creative problem solving is key, just like when designing trusses, the answer isn’t always so clear. You have to evaluate the situation and come up with a solution to accomplish the goal.” That was part of Jason Smith and Travis White’s instructions to their designers at A-1 Industries (link is external) in Fort Pierce, Florida. Jason, a design trainer, and Travis, the company’s design manager, are providing opportunities to help their team stay sharp, think on their feet, and be prepared to handle design-related situations as they arise.
A-1 Industries was not offering the highest paying jobs in the room of 27 other companies in the St. Lucie, Florida area, yet 12 of 16 high school seniors wanted to come work for them. Why? “They were impressed that we took the time to show them a career they actually liked, rather than being told they would be hired and can be replaced if it doesn’t work out,” says Bobby Henry, A-1’s Director of Manufacturing. “They walked away knowing that we would treat them like family, and understood how the company was going to help them grow.”
With some plastic bottles, old toys, and scraps of woods, designers at A-1 in Fort Pierce, Florida found unusual and intentionally difficult ways to display a truss through a process commonly known as a Rube Goldberg machine.
“YOU REALLY ONLY WANT TO HAVE ʻAʼ PLAYERS joining your team,” says John Herring, CEO of A-1 Industries, who shared the company’s successful recruiting and retention system at BCMC 2014. “I see a successful program as a two-part process: finding the right people is the first part, and keeping the right people is the second part.”
Using the latest state-of-the-art automation and our proprietary software, A-1 is in the top 5% of the country in single-site production for quality and efficiencies. Our facilities cover over eight Acres located on 140 Acres. We have room to grow, unlike anyone else in the industry. What sets us apart from all others is our people, software, and our facilities. Our mission is to use technology to change the way America builds homes.
WHY CHOOSE A-1?