Hiwassee Structural Products

Hiwassee Structural Products is a building component manufacturing plant that’s been serving the builders and remodelers of Tennessee for five decades. The company uses SAPPHIRE Suite to digitize plans and collaborate in real time — and in 3D — to eliminate errors.

  • Two retail locations, Athens and Knoxville.

  • Production Equipment: 100-foot floor truss table and a 140-foot roof truss table

  • Component Plant Employees: 30+

  • 57,000-square-foot warehouse

  • Provides components for 300 projects per year

Hiwassee Structural Products opened its doors in 2010 in downtown Chattanooga, TN. Today, a staff of 30 — including sales, design, and manufacturing — turns out thousands of components a year. Manager Doug Beaty, a 31-year veteran of the building industry, estimates that Hiwassee supplies the components for well over 300 starts annually.

"The main focus of our business is on roof trusses, and next in production volume is floor trusses, followed by wall panels. Our business is a mix of 50% commercial and 50% residential," Beaty says.

Plans on a Napkin

"We get plans in every conceivable form. Sometimes the roof or floor design is drawn on a napkin. Other times it comes in with a CAD file. Sometimes PDFs,” Beaty says.

"No matter what form the designs come to us — CAD, PDF, hand-drawn — I can confidently say that 100% of the plans need some kind of work, whether it’s engineering work or even basic design work, from scratch."

Finding Solutions with SAPPHIRE Suite

Hiwassee runs MiTek’s SAPPHIRE™ Suite, which includes a free 3D software tool called SAPPHIRE Viewer. SAPPHIRE Viewer is designed to allow builders, architects, and engineers to collaborate with component manufacturers on house designs using a shared model — before components are even produced.

"It’s really helpful for everyone, from our design teams all the way up to the guys on the jobsite. Viewer goes a long way to solving problems before they ever happen."

"For the younger builders we work with, they just eat this 3D visualization stuff up; they love it. They see the potential for problem solving and for using the Viewer’s virtual capabilities as a sales tool. We already know we’re never going back. MiTek’s SAPPHIRE™ Viewer is a core part of the future for us."

Download the Hiwassee Builder's Supply Success Story as a PDF.