Business Logistics

Rick Parrino will tell you that one of the most important business decisions a component manufacturer (CM) can make is to foster new and beneficial relationships with building and fire officials, builders, elected officials, and all other trades. Doing so gives CMs a new lens through which to view the manufacturing and installation of the trusses, wall panels, and engineered products they sell.

“Internships are a perfect way for us to get to know an individual and for the individual to see what a career in the component manufacturing industry would be like. If both sides come to the conclusion that it’s a good fit, it’s a win-win situation and an opportunity for both parties to be successful,” says Mike Petrina, plant manager at Wisconsin Building Supply. “The internship exposes them to a lot of different projects and you can figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are in designing and determine where their passion lies.”

This article will briefly explore how these calls can impact a CM’s bottom line and a few ways in which CMs can proactively work with tradespeople to avoid such issues. Truss repairs can very easily turn a profitable job into a money losing project. The cost incurred with this type of repair goes beyond the price of the materials. Costs for determining the issue for repair, designing the repair, and implementing a repair solution shouldn’t get lost in your accounting books. 

With respect to your business, what do you dwell on before you go to sleep? What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning? If I were to hazard a guess, I would say the most common answer in our industry right now is related to labor challenges and greater production. Given all we have been learning at the SBCA meetings over the past year, I would argue we also need to be constantly focused on our exposure to risk.

On the surface, your company is selling its people and their expertise in using highly specialized software and equipment to design and manufacture a series of structural components. Additionally, you’re selling your ability to assemble those components as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible and deliver them to the jobsite exactly when the customer needs them.

As an active member of SBCA, the greatest value I receive is through the relationships I’ve formed at Open Quarterly Meetings (OQMs) over the last few years. Sure, SBCA does a lot of great things with the magazine and the services and products they offer, but the ability to pick up the phone and call a fellow component manufacturer (CM) from somewhere outside of my shipping area is the most powerful tool SBCA has put in my toolbox.  

Students at the New Jersey Institute of Technology received a gift recently from the Mid-Atlantic Structural Building Components Association, a chapter of SBCA. Their instructor, Frank Golon Ph.D., P.E., reached out to Keith Myers (Woodhaven Lumber) requesting BCSI handbooks as part of his class curriculum.

I first started pursuing a college engineering degree, but had to leave due to some family emergencies. In 1982, I started selling lumber and trusses for 84 Lumber and then with a local lumberyard a year later in my home area of Portage, Indiana. When construction tanked in the early 1980’s, I moved my family to Florida near my wife’s family. I decided to use more of my background from college and found a job in 1985 estimating floor and roof trusses for WD Lumber & Truss in the Tampa Bay area.