Settle for Average; Become Extinct.

Posted April 3, 2022 By Fletcher Groves

“Does the world really need any more average homebuilding companies?”

It’s a question we have raised for a decade and a-half, since before the start of the Great Recession.

La Brea Tar Pits

Although the logical answer may be clear, it is hardly a rhetorical question.  What the question points to is a more important question:  What is the antidote to averageness?  How do you achieve sustainable competitive separation?

Sustainable.  Competitive.  Separation.  In more pointed words:  Permanent.  Dominant.  Advantage.

How do you achieve permanent dominant advantage?

Consider also the way we have depicted the question in a scenario we term “Life on the Serengeti”:  What happens to the average lion when there are no longer enough zebras, gazelles, and wildebeests?


Average is the road to extinction.

Consider the plight of RB Builders, the mythical homebuilding company portrayed in both editions of The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©, facing the world following the end of the halcyon period known as The Age of Homebuilder Entitlement®:

“In many ways, RB Builders was a product of that age, just another homebuilding company satisfied with occasionally adopting other builders’ “best practices”, content to be good, no-better-but-no-worse than the other builders with whom it competed, a building company with a middle-of-the-road approach to delivering the value its homebuyers demanded.  

“The previous 10 years had been good for RB Builders.  But, it was becoming a dangerous approach to business, because – as the saying goes – “the only thing in the middle of the road are yellow lines and dead armadillos”.  

“It was becoming a homebuilding no-man’s land. 

“Locked into an operating model – into organizational structures, management systems, processes, cultures, and employees – that could not deliver extraordinary levels of distinctive value, the company found itself dumped into a teeming mass of homebuilders that all looked the same, sounded the same, and priced the same.  Indistinguishable from other builders, and unable to create any type of competitive advantage, RB Builders was trapped and sinking – like a modern-day dinosaur – into the tar pits of average-ness.”

For more information and additional resources, to stay out of the tar pits, go to



Continuous Improvement: The Four Critical Dimensions

Posted March 27, 2022 By Fletcher Groves

(first published in February 2009 as “The Antidote to Averageness”, it was the second-ever post on Escape from Averageness®;  updated and published on Builder/Big Builder in May 2015 as “Four Live-or-Die Dimensions:  A Manifesto”;  updated and republished here as “Continuous Improvement: The Four Critical Dimensions”;  shared with attendees at the conclusion of every Pipeline Workshop™) 

Almost twenty years ago, when SAI began its work helping homebuilding companies understand and improve their business processes, I felt compelled to offer that work in the context of an overall improvement methodology.  So – I wrote a client narrative with the worst-ever title (1998 Supplement to SHOULD-BE Reports), in which I characterized the effort to achieve and sustain improvements in business performance as involving “a certain chemistry – a complexity and a comprehensiveness”, noting that “improving performance tends to be hard, involved work.”

I went on to explain that “it’s hard work because performance can’t be improved without doing things differently, and change is threatening;  it’s involved work because improving performance requires more than a simple, one-dimensional approach – it requires a continuous effort on more than one front.”

In retrospect, I think that improving business performance is hard, involved work, but it is not complex work.  Even as I was noting complexity, I was also saying that “business performance improvement really boils down to getting the job done – viewing the issue, sustaining the effort, and getting the results – in just three critical dimensions.”

Today, I would redescribe the effort required as, yes, involving a certain chemistry, but with that chemistry involving a focus and a comprehensiveness.  I would also suggest that the three critical dimensions that I identified are as true and relevant today as they were almost 25 years ago.

And, today, I would make it four critical dimensions.

Over the years, I have learned to reduce everything to its essence.  Today, I would suggest that the essence of improving operating performance and business outcomes in a homebuilding enterprise comes down to getting the job done in these four critical areas:  (1) developing a strategic and marketing discipline;  (2) having a clear perspective towards how value is created;  (3) creating a business context in which everything makes sense and generates the right sense of urgency;  and (4) developing a focus on managing operations and solving problems as a system.

DISCIPLINE:  A homebuilding company needs to build its operating model (its operating processes, management systems, organizational structure, and business culture), and then design its entire product and service offering, to deliver exceptional levels of the specific, distinctive value demanded by a narrow, demographically-specific, market-defined segment of home buyers.

This value proposition – and the value discipline that supports it – cannot be broad, uncontained, and simply good-enough;  it needs to be narrow, limited, and exceptional.

In our experience, we don’t see most builders as having adequately thought through this dimension.

PERSPECTIVE:  A homebuilding company needs to organize its efforts around the manner in which it performs work, thereby finding better ways to provide the exceptional level of specific and distinctive value it was disciplined enough to create.

The most basic, most fundamental premise in business is this:  the reason a business enterprise exists is to make money;  the way a business enterprise makes money is by creating value for its customers and other stakeholders;  that value is only delivered through the work that the business enterprise performs;  and, that work has to be performed in some manner of workflow.

In homebuilding, workflow is a blend of process management and project management;  it is project portfolio management with embedded, supporting, and surrounding processes;  it requires a horizontal perspective aligned with that workflow and the value that flows from it, as opposed to a vertical perspective aligned with functions, departments, and areas.

From the dozens of business process improvement engagements we have performed, over decades, we can attest that homebuilders that have not mapped their processes have also not acquired the perspective required by this dimension.

CONTEXT:  A homebuilding company needs to become a company of business-people:  (1) it needs to become a savvy, motivated, mutually-accountable homebuilding team, comprised of savvy, motivated, and accountable teammates;  it must inform its teammates on the operational and financial numbers of the business, do it in a way that makes sense to them and instructs them;  (2) it must give them the authority – and the responsibility – to act on that business knowledge;  and, (3) it must give them a financial stake in the business outcome, resulting solely from targets achieved above a baseline based on a single business outcome, a stake in which the financial payout is self-funding, equitably-shared, frequently distributed, and progressively-weighted.

It must create an underlying business logic that builds a sense of urgency towards a specific economic result.

To this day, we still see little evidence among homebuilders of the context required by this dimension.

FOCUS:  A homebuilding company needs to infuse “systems-thinking” into everything it does – everything it manages, everything it strives to improve.  A focused process of continuous improvement is deeply-rooted in an understanding of how systems work, and how they are improved;  it is root cause analysis directed at identifying the core problem and identifying limitation and constraint to the business outcome being sought.

It draws conclusions about order and priority, based on dependencies and cause-and-effect relationships.  It improves the performance of the system, not the pieces or parts of that system – not any of the parts, not some of the parts, not all of the parts independent of one another.  It identifies and resolves the problems, identifies and manages the constraints, that determine the performance of the entire system.

It does not look at the fact of current reality, and conclude that what it sees is a set of equally-important-yet-independent, related-yet-isolated measures.  It does not attempt to improve everything, everywhere, all at once;  it does not treat the symptoms of problems;  it does not treat everything as the root cause of the problem.

A building company does not operate in an environment that provides unlimited capacity, resources, capital, or opportunities.  Its effort to improve business performance has to be prioritized and focused, consecutively ordered, targeted and measurable.  Some problems and opportunities will need to wait on the resolution and exploitation of problems and opportunities that are more important.

In the dozens of Current Reality Assessments® we have performed, we insist on this dimension being addressed.  Outside of these CRAs®, we too often see just the opposite of the focus required by this dimension.

Four critical dimensions.

. . . a Strategic Discipline.

. . . a Horizontal Perspective.

. . . a Business Context.

. . . a Systems Focus.

For more information, go to



Pipeline Workshops™: Improvements to the Game™

Posted March 19, 2022 By Fletcher Groves

“Pipeline games™ were a brilliant way to demonstrate and drive home the significance of cycle time improvements and improving trade partner efficiencies on ROA and Net Income.”  (Keith Porterfield, COO, Goodall Homes, Gallatin, TN)

“The Pipeline games™ were not only fun, they were super-effective in showing how unbalancing the production system, managing the constraint resource, and managing the right amount of WIP, creates predictable operational results and maximizes financial outcomes.  This workshop was really eye opening!”  (Charles Roberts, Providence Homes)

“Pipeline games™ are a very innovative way to demonstrate the critical nature and relationship between cycle time, inventory turn, margin, and return on assets.”  (Vishaal Gupta, President, Park Square Homes, Orlando, FL)

“[the] Pipeline Game™ truly connected the dots.  A remarkably creative tool.”  (David Nielsen, Cole West Homes)

Simulating production principles is a big part of the learning at every Pipeline workshop™.  We repeatedly hear from attending builders that the opportunity to simulate production in a progressive series of scenarios is what them to actually “see” production, to see the principles and disciplines of production in action.

And, because it is both a production simulator and a business game, the Pipeline game™ is what makes Pipeline workshops™ so intense, so interactive, and so competitive.

Pipeline games™ have always been a tremendous tool for teaching both production and business principles, but we are never content.  We have continuously improved them, introducing significant changes over the past five years that make the games even more effective.

One of the earlier changes was to shorten the game, so that we could run more production scenarios in the same amount of time, and make each operating decision more consequential.  Another change, designed to make the game more realistic, was to have it depict the completely outsourced nature of homebuilding production, just as it currently exists.

That later change begs a deeper dive.

In the initial version of the game, the resources that did the work reflected both capacity and the cost of that capacity;  the problem was, that arrangement more reflected a manufacturing operation than a homebuilding operation.  In order to realistically depict the historically outsourced nature of homebuilding production, that capacity has to be separated from the nature of its cost.

Why?  Because, the external resources that determine production capacity are a part of Cost of Sales (making them a direct, variable cost);  Cost of Sales is a measure of product cost, not capacity cost;  it is Operating Expense (the indirect, non-variable cost of its internal resources) that determines a homebuilding company’s capacity cost.

Using the resources to reflect both capacity and cost required us to essentially disregard Revenue and Cost of Sales, and treat Throughput  (i.e., Gross Income, normally a residual) as Revenue;  again, that’s fine for depicting a manufacturing operation, but it is not a good depiction of a homebuilding operation.  In the revised version of the Pipeline game™, we restored Revenue and Cost of Sales to the equation, thus making Throughput (i.e., Gross Income) a residual.  In effect, we now account for the margin side of Return on Assets, not just the velocity side.

Because they do the work (not simply manage it), the external resources in a Pipeline game™ now just define the production system’s capacity, with the cost of those resources reflected in Cost of Sales, and stipulated as a percentage of Revenue;  as it relates to Revenue, they are a direct, variable cost associated with the construction of a home.

The cost of the system’s capacity is its Operating Expense, which is now an imposed cost, reflecting the budgeted cost of the internal capacity required to manage work-in-process;  that makes Operating Expense an indirect, non-variable cost, as it relates to Revenue (and the completions and closings that produce that it).

This represents a significant stride in reconciling Revenue, Cost of Sales, Throughput, Gross Income, and Operating Expense to each other, making operating decisions easier to connect to financial outcomes.  The result is a production simulator and business game that is truly reflective of a homebuilding operation, with lessons that are now much easier for builders to understand.

This change continues to pay-off enormously.  But – we never stop;  the Pipeline game™ keeps getting better and better.

For example, at a recent Pipeline workshop™, we introduced a scenario that contrasts the homebuilding industry’s current, accepted growth and operations strategy (a completely outsourced building model) with a radically different growth and operations strategy (a completely integrated building model).  We did it to explore and compare the difference between a strategy based on a broad-shallow footprint and one based on a narrow-deep footprint.

Come.  Participate.  Learn.


The next Pipeline workshop™ will be held March 23-24, 2022, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  The cost is $945.00 per person.  Attendance is limited to 30 attendees.  For team pricing, inquire here (

Delivered by SAI Consulting.  Sponsored by Simpson Strong-Tie.

For more details:



It is the first quarter of 2022.  RB Builders is again aiming to extend its reputation as a builder that has attained sustainable competitive separation, by learning to thrive, operationally, on both the margin and the velocity side of Return on Assets.  RB Builders plans to do so by expanding into another new geographical market, via the late-2021 acquisition of its ninth pre-existing homebuilding operation.

This newly-acquired division is not – at all – in-line with RB Builders’ previous acquisitions, in terms of its target market segment.  It is also the second smallest acquisition RB Builders has made.  And – unlike its predecessors, it has historically generated operating results and business outcomes that are higher than what RB Builders considers acceptable.  As was the case with its predecessors, this new building operation does happen to have acceptable current land/lot positions.

But – what most sets this acquisition apart is that RBB-9, as it is referred to, approached RB Builders first.

To date, RB Builders has completed the newly-acquired division’s management technology conversion, and has started the conversion of its business and operating processes.  Despite the challenges, albeit different with this acquisition, RB Builders’ management team is confident they can continue their remarkable track record of unifying, developing, and improving the capabilities of existing teams at the builders it has acquired, and, in the process of doing so, transforming them into teams that reflect RB Builders own savvy, motivated, and mutually-accountable homebuilding team.

This road has become a familiar path for RB Builders.


HISTORY OF RB BUILDERS:  Fourteen years earlier, at the beginning of 2008, shortly after the halcyon period known as the Age of Homebuilder Entitlement® came to an end, RB Builders had begun its own transformation process, with the objective of extracting itself from what it self-described as “the tar-pits of averageness”.

It was a transformation process that had four key components:

(1) a team-based performance compensation plan directed at achieving targeted results above a baseline related to a single, critically-important business outcome, with payouts based on the achievement of a series of progressively-weighted milestones;

(2) a method of sharing numbers that produced full operational and financial transparency;

(3) a variable accounting/costing approach that connected operating performance to business outcomes, via actionable data;

(4) a focused process of continuous improvement, consisting of a prioritized series of consecutively-ordered initiatives, with short durations aimed at achieving defined, targeted, and measurable results.

Along the way, there had been a number of important initiatives, some dealing with workflow, others dealing with scheduling, some dealing with the value stream and trade partnering, others dealing with product buildability and value, some dealing with internal learning.

As a result of this program, RB Builders had made massive strides.

During the initial five-year period (2008-2012), figured on a same company basis, annual Revenue had grown from $50 million to more than $121 million, an increase of almost 250%.  During the same period, the number of closings had increased more than 225%, from 200 to 453 houses per year.  Despite pressure on margins, overall Gross Income Margin had increased slightly, from 22% to 24%;  as a result, RB Builders’ Gross Income had out-paced its Revenue, growing by more than 250%, from $11 million to almost $30 million.

During this same five-year period, Operating Expense had increased 30% (from $8.5 million to $11 million), far less than the same-period increase in Revenue;  as a result, RB Builder’s Net Income had risen from $2.5 million to $16.5 million, six-times what it had been before the company began its transformation;  Net Income Margin had almost tripled, from 5% to 14%.

In 2008, RB Builder’s cycle time had been 180 days;  four years later, by the end of 2012, cycle time had been reduced to 65 days.  In 2008, the average amount of work-in-process had been 100 homes under construction;  by the end of 2012, the company been able to reduce its average work-in-process to 80 homes under construction, despite doubling the number of homes being closed.

In 2008, RB Builders had sought an inventory turn of 2.5x, which was actually an improvement from 2007;  in 2012, by keeping its work-in-process at 80 homes and closing 453 homes, RB Builders had been able to more than double its inventory turn, from 2.5x to 5.7x.

In 2008, RB Builders had been able to turn the value of its financial assets three times;  in 2012, it turned the value of those assets almost five times.  Because it had managed to maintain margins while improving velocity, RB Builders saw its main barometer of economic return (Return on Invested Assets) increase almost six-fold during the five-year period, from 11% in 2008 to 64% in 2012.

By 2013, RB Builders had moved all of its raw land holdings and developed lot inventory off of its balance sheet and into subsidiaries, a move which would have further improved Asset Turn – and ROIA – had those two measures been restated to reflect only the remaining operating assets.

By any measure, it had been a remarkable transformation.

The first six divisions that RB Builders had acquired have all met their own multi-year initial plans for significantly increasing closings and Revenue;  the two most recent acquisitions remain solidly on-track towards meeting theirs.  These previously-acquired building companies have done so – or are doing so – without incurring any increases in Operating Expense, all the while maintaining lower levels of work-in-process and operating under reduced construction lines of credit.

As RB Builders’ management team described it, it was a case of relentlessly finding ways to “do more without more”.


NEWLY-ACQUIRED DIVISION:  Near the end of 2021, RB Builders acquired this, its ninth homebuilding operation, what it refers to as RBB-9.  As previously noted, RBB-9 is a clear departure from RB Builders’ M&A program, even more than the outlier 2017 acquisition, because of its dissimilar product offerings and price ranges.

For managerial accounting purposes only, RB Builders has converted RBB-9 to a Contribution Income Statement format based on a variable costing approach to cost allocation, the same action it takes with all of its acquisitions.

In its last year of independent operation, RBB-9 had closed 20 homes with an average sales price of $450,000, generating $9.0 million in Revenue;  with its $6.84 million in restated Cost of Sales now reflecting only its direct, variable costs, the division had generated $2.16 million in Gross Income, producing a robust 24% Gross Income Margin.

With its $1.35 million in restated Operating Expense now reflecting only its indirect, non-variable costs, the operation had generated $810,000 in Net Income, producing a 9% Net Income Margin.

Since it carried an average annual work-in-process of 18 homes under construction in 2021, RBB-9 had a calculated cycle time of 324 days (despite job schedules calling for 180 days);  and, because cycle time and inventory turn are reciprocal measures, the 20 closings achieved with an average work-in-process of 18 homes under construction meant that the division had barely turned its physical inventory once (1.1x) during 2021.

Adopting another one of RB Builders’ mandates, and moving all of its vacant land holdings and developed lot inventory off its balance sheet and into subsidiaries, RBB-9 now showed a restated average work-in-process of just over $4.4 million, based on an average per-unit LIP balance of $246,000, which consisted of a $150,000 average lot takedown draw and a $342,000 fully-funded LIP balance (100% of cost, including land;  76% of the $450,000 average sales price).

In 2021, an average work-in-process of $4.4 million and Revenue of $9.0 million gave RBB-9 an asset turnover ratio of just over 2.0x;  with a Net Income Margin of 9% and a restated asset turnover ratio of 2.0x, RBB-9 had generated a Return on Invested Assets (ROIA) of 18.0%, higher than the majority of RB Builders’ previous acquisitions, but an ROIA achieved solely as a result of its superior margins.


As this newly-acquired division’s management team, here are the questions the business case exercises raise for you:

Q;  How will you address a mandate that your newly-acquired division increase its annual closings, with significantly reduced work-in-process, a likewise significantly smaller line of credit, and the same amount of overhead?

Q:  How will you use Building Information Modeling (BIM) to improve both the margin and velocity sides of economic return?  What will your ROBIMI (Return on Building Information Modeling Investment) be?

Q:  What cost accounting practices will need to change in order for you to comprehend the type of operating decisions that must drive the targeted economic outcomes?

Q:  How will you create a savvy, motivated, mutually-accountable homebuilding team?  A team that understands the business of homebuilding as much as it understands the homebuilding business?  How will you give every teammate a significant financial stake in the outcome?

Q:  How will you answer RB Builders’ contention that unwelcome variation – evidenced solely by your 2020 calculated cycle time – is costing your division $1.6 million per year in lost Net Income, an outcome that will persist each and every year, until it is addressed.  A fact to keep in mind:  in 2020, your division had Net Income of only $800,000.  Is what they are asserting even possible?

Q:  How will you implement Epic Partnering™ (RB Builders’ program/process for creating relationships-arrangements of compelling mutually-shared interests) with your suppliers and subcontractors?  What are the attributes of the partnering relationship?  What are the components of the partnering program?  What does a transformational partnering process look like?  Is vertical integration an option to consider?

Q:  As you analyze it, are you willing to consider replacing, over time, your fully-outsourced building model (requiring a larger, shallower geographic footprint) with a fully-integrated building model (which allows a narrower, deeper footprint)?

Q:  How will you use Business Process Improvement (BPI) to remove non-value-adding work and make the remaining value-adding work flow faster, more evenly, more smoothly, with fewer mistakes and rework?  How will you build a shorter, straighter pipe?

Q:  How does using a different scheduling algorithm reduce your job schedules from 150 days to 121 days, while also assuring more reliable job completion dates?


You can always ask us to send you the business case.  You can complete it, grade it, and figure out how well – or how poorly – you did.  Were you able to answer the questions?  Were you able to solve the problems?

If you find as unacceptable – what we’ll call your “degree of attunement” – you should come to the upcoming Pipeline workshop™.

Come.  Participate.  Learn.


RB Builders: Lessons from the Pipeline© is the underlying business case study used at every Pipeline workshop™.  The next workshop is being held March 23-24, 2022, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  Attendance is limited to 30 attendees.  The cost is $945.00 per person.  For team pricing, inquire here (

Delivered by SAI Consulting.  Sponsored by Simpson Strong-Tie.

For more details:



At every Pipeline workshop™ we have ever done, one of the most important takeaways, one realized by virtually every homebuilding company executive in attendance, is simply this:  if they are going to have any hope of managing their production as a system, something has to be done with the notoriously fragmented value stream that defines their industry.

In their landmark 1996 book, Lean Thinking, Jim Womack and Dan Jones defined a value stream as “the set of all the specific actions required to bring a specific product through the three critical management tasks of any business.”

They went on to describe a set of processes, which they termed tasks:  a problem-solving task, an information management task, and a physical transformation task.

By definition, a value stream does not belong to an industry;  it is enterprise-specific;  each value stream belongs to its enterprise;  thus, every homebuilding company has its own value stream;  it owns that specific set of actions.

Nevertheless, it would be a challenge to cite any other industry, in which the sequence of tasks in the most common versions of that industry’s core-critical process (start-to-completion, i.e., the physical transformation task) is performed entirely by separate entities, as is the case with homebuilding.

Look at the value stream of almost every homebuilding enterprise, and you will find a combination of separate, independently-owned, non-proprietary, non-exclusive, unaffiliated businesses, each with their own goals, their own bank accounts, their own overhead;  a collection of enterprises frequently at-odds with each other.

We have a descriptive phrase for a completely outsourced building model like this:  “strip-mining the value stream”.

Technology – specifically, offsite manufacturing processes – will improve quality, reduce waste and variation, reduce cycle times, increase productivity.  By all means, consider its application.  But, by definition, manufacturing off-site doesn’t unify the value stream, unless you own or joint venture the facility.

In her final comments to the team at RB Builders, before she left them the first time (The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©, Second Edition), the intrepid, results-based consultant reviewed the components of RB Builders’ production management system – the RB-IPS – and had this to say:

“It is a production management system that specifies the means by which RB Builders fosters epic relationships of mutual interest with its building partners and supply partners.  The RB-IPS provides both the process and the program for progressively transforming subcontractors and suppliers into true partners, into trusted allies, joined by shared, mutual interests.”

Builders attending Pipeline workshops™ consistently emphasize the need for stronger trade-partnering, better coordination, more cohesiveness, a more unified approach to managing the trade side of production.

They acknowledge the obvious:  they do not have the internal resources necessary to perform “the set of all specific actions” required to bring houses through the start-to-completion process, and they are completely dependent – completely reliant – on skilled construction resources that are increasingly in short supply;  they understand that they can no longer dictate the terms.

Is vertical integration part of the answer?  We have been suggesting, for almost 20 years, that builders at least consider that possibility, that they find a way to shut-down the strip-mining operation.  That suggestion usually falls on deaf ears, or is dismissed as a radical, undoable notion.

Which is where opportunity always lies, in radical, undoable notions.

Going forward, vertical integration will certainly play a meaningful strategic role in the homebuilding industry;  how and how fast that role materializes remains to be seen.  The contrast between outsourced and integrated building models is already being portrayed in one of the Pipeline games™ at every Pipeline workshop™;  it is an area that we now cover in the RB Builders: Lessons from the Pipeline© business case;  in 2016, vertical integration was added as its own section in the second edition of The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©.

The outcome of the vertical integration question doesn’t change the underlying imperative.  Success in unifying the effort of even the existing value stream has profound ramifications, on both the margin and velocity components of Return on Assets;  and success in unifying the value stream has profound implications for creating competitive separation.

Whether, when, with or without vertical integration, addressing the issue will require Epic Partnering™.

Come.  Participate.  Learn.


Epic Partnering™ – the attributes of the relationships being fostered, the program, the process – is one of the additional Velocity Accelerators® (along with Business Information Modeling) addressed behind Business Process Improvement, Critical Chain Project Management, and Open-Book Management and Team-Based Performance Compensation at the next Pipeline workshop™, March 23-24, 2022, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Attendance is limited to only 30 attendees.  The cost is $945.00 per person.  For team pricing, inquire here (

Delivered by SAI Consulting.  Sponsored by Simpson Strong-Tie.

For more details: