A Training Transformation


A Training Transformation

To save you time and money, SBCA’s Wood Truss
QC Program staff are going from on-site to on-call.

“For me, having QC training online is a huge pro due to costs, time and repeatability. Those are huge issues for us. It was the only practical way to go,” said Patrick Coulter, Director of Component Design at Builders FirstSource.

Coulter is talking about the new remote training option for SBCA’s Wood Truss QC Program. There are various reasons to choose remote training—and, of course, some component manufacturers (CMs) prefer in-person training. Each style has its benefits. For Coulter, the deciding factor is that Builders FirstSource is rolling out the QC program to 54 sites across the country. Remote training was the best option, especially because 33 of the operations have been SBCA QC certified in the past.

One of the driving forces behind the remote training program is to lessen the cost, in dollars and time, to both SBCA and CMs. Coulter says in addition to that, in-person training simply couldn’t happen fast enough at all 54 sites. “It’s a big demand on resources. You’re talking 54 days at least, so that’s several months to try to get that training accomplished inside already pressed schedules.”

Remote training features short videos on different portions of the software and its various uses. Once that portion is completed, SBCA trainers host a live Q&A session with CMs. The video chat allows SBCA trainers to follow CMs and their teams through the plant, analyze processes and address topics like correct equipment calibration, table adjustments, report printouts, trouble-shooting and efficiency.

As with in-person training, remote training encourages designers and shop personnel to communicate—an exchange that is often mutually beneficial. SBCA QC tends to highlight communication issues and brings out key pain points in the design and production process that both the engineering and production departments deal with. The result of working through the issues raised in the QC assessment is typically greater efficiency.

The videos are roughly 10-20 minutes and cover topics like updating settings on SBCA’s QC software, using the software program’s homepage, filling out inspection forms and using the joint QC detail to inspect joints.

Coulter says once the program’s pieces fall into place he will roll it out to all Builders FirstSource sites. Directors at each site will then be in charge of administering the training and contacting SBCA for live chats. Some of those sites have employees who have been through SBCA’s in-person QC training, which makes for an easier transition to using remote training.

Coulter says another added benefit of using remote training is the ability to train new employees on an ongoing basis at a lower cost. “With turnover, we always need to train. We need to keep the ball rolling, and having online training to do that is very important to our operational efficiency,” he said.

About the Author: A graduate of UW-Madison with a degree in Journalism, Matt Tanger has five years of experience in residential home construction. As a technical writer and member of the SBC Magazine team since 2014, he works closely with members of NFC and SBCA.