Used Parts

How Does Your Business Measure Up?

Today is National Tape Measure Day! No kidding, we looked it up. It seems it is celebrated every 14th day of July. Who knew? But, that got us to thinking about business and how we measure our success and our relationships with our members and friends of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association. Tape Measure Image

So, how do you measure success? Sure, we can look at sales (the easiest way to gauge how we are doing) we can measure expansion of our business and it's business model. We can measure customer satisfaction. We can measure our willingness to give back to our community. We can measure our ability to attract and retain employees. We can measure so very much and many of us do.

But what happens if we find out we're "coming up short" in our measurement of success in any of the areas above? What do we do about it? Might we chalk it up to mistakes, miscues, or is it mismanagement? 

Those are tough questions to ask ourselves and ask about our relationship with customers, vendors and employees. How do we measure up and what might we do if we find an area where we can improve?

One of the things your NTPDA attempts to do on a regular basis is take the measurement of what we're doing to enhance the value of membership. Where is it that we can improve in our communication our training our involvement with our members?

We'd love to know what you think. Take a moment and let us know. You can comment here on this blog or drop us an email or give us a call or check us out on Facebook. We're here and we'd love to know how you measure success and if we are measuring up to your expectations.

Thanks for reading!


A Car? A Tractor? Both?

We're always on the lookout for interesting stores about tractors, tractor parts and the people who use them. This story caught our eye 11938 MM UDLX Tractorthis month and it's out of Kansas and has to do with this 1938 Minneapolis Moline UDLX also known as a "Comfortractor". It is one of only 150 built but it never really caught on. Why? More than likely the price. Remember this was in the depths of the Great Depression and the UDLX listed for $2,155 new.

The vehicle was, no doubt, a marketing effort but there are reports that they were used for mail delivery and snow removal. Pretty classy way to ride and a road gear that could get you to 40MPH! 

We were wondering if any of our members in Kansas might know of the restorer Curtis Rink and his very rare "Confortractor". The article, which you can read here, says the value of this very cool design is now about $200,000.

Not too shabby...

Thanks for reading and if you've got a neat story like this make sure you share it with us! (Photo: Mike Berry - The Wichita Eagle)

 


"Where Can I Get Parts?"

Recently Rachel Gingell wrote a blog piece for Farms.com and she said this truly was a key question before a person buys a used tractor. "Before you buy a used older model/antique tractor, ask yourself this single most important question: where can I get parts?" You can read that article here.

Woman QuestionsShe went on to say there are many different kinds of parts and many different outlets and she did mention salvage yards, "If something big like an axle breaks, a salvage yard is often the best place to get a replacement for an older-model tractor."

We wish she would have done a search for "Used Tractor Parts" or "Used Ag Parts" because the NTPDA website would have popped up and she (and any buyer of a used or older model tractor) would have learned more about our members and our association and the availability of parts.

Our National Tractor Parts Dealer Association (NTPDA) not only can find "something big" but we can also get aftermarket parts, rebuilt parts...you know...tractor parts.

In addition because of the wide range of member dealers and associate members we can put machinery owners in touch with the part they are looking for not only online but also in person. The members of NTPDA have talented and knowledgeable counter and phone staff that have been in the business for decades and can often answer the question before the caller gets the full question asked.

So, yes, Rachel is right, a buyer better have a place where he or she can be assured that the part is available. And that's why we exist. That buyer should come into contact with NTPDA. We've got you covered!


All My Bags Are Packed...

We know, it's going to be like an ear-worm when you sing just that line from "Leavin' on a Jet Plane". The National Tractor Parts Dealer Association 33rd  Jet
Annual Conference and Trade Show is just days away. Here are a couple of updates for you:

Shuttle Service - If you need a ride from the airport to the hotel we are using the Super Shuttle App head there for more information.

Wednesday 18 January - If you are displaying you can set up in the trade show area between 2pm and 5pm. Then it's on to our Early Arrival Party that will be held at Charlie Wants a Burger on the Riverwalk. This is always a great time and we'll even have live entertainment during our event.

Thursday 19 January - If you are not yet finished setting up your display in the trade show area you've got time between 7am and 3pm. We'll kick things off with breakfast (remember your breakfast ticket) at 8am and then it's off to learn some valuable information from D.J. Harrington who is going to give us a "Check Up From the Neck Up" really critical things that can help your business grow and prosper. Then Mel Kleiman will hold our San Antonio Speakersfeet to the fire with his program, "Hire Tough - Manage Easy". The entire program is based on how to better recruit and retain employees...you asked for it!  Spouses who have come to San Antonio get to head out for "Art & Dine". Yes! Then we'll focus on digital marketing with Crystal Washington. What is it and how does it work and how can you track effectiveness. Crystal is with us between 2pm and 3pm. We'll kick up our heels a bit at the "Welcome to San Antonio Party" and celebrate the opening of our Trade Show. The action gets underway at 5pm and rolls through the evening!

Friday 20 January - We'll so some networking over coffee (much needed) starting at 8am and then our trade show doors open at 9am to give you a full day of "Meet & Greet" with our supply members. We'll break at 11am for our Annual Meeting and election of Board Members and then have lunch in the trade show area. The trade show winds up and we'll have our Display Meeting at 3:30pm. We hope our Board Members will attend. Next you'll get to take some time off and get ready for our cocktails, dinner and entertainment by the Jackie Myers Band!

It's all about education, meeting friends, doing business and having a great time.

Wheels up!  See you in San Antonio!


A Perfect Storm for Used Parts?

A "perfect storm" may be brewing in farming communities that could have a direct impact on the used agricultural parts industry. In a report published by the Perfect Storm Road USDA this month we learn that, once again, farmland values in the "Farm Belt" have slipped. Lenders have seen another 2% drop in the value of an acre of farm ground. The reason is low commodity prices which, in Iowa alone, will cost farmers $2 billion in income this crop year. The other issue is the rise in oil prices. In just the past week we've seen a barrel of crude go from near $40 to knocking on the door of $50. We are all aware that agriculture uses an abundance of petroleum products from fertilizer to fuel.

All of this, if we pay attention, may signal an opportunity for the used, rebuilt, re-manufactured parts business.

When farmers see the economic reality of lower prices and higher inputs they begin to re-think their spending patterns. If, for example, they can save several thousand dollars on repairs this fall it's money in their pocket.

This has a direct impact on members of NTPDA if we start telling our story. Farmers have long been independent do-it-yourself experts. And when they realize the economics of doing business with you...you are more likely to increase your business.

But, they have to know about you and how you can help so here are three things you might consider over the next several weeks.

  • Share the Story - If you are using social media you should start telling your story about being an independent business who can assist the agricultural community through this economic downturn;
  • Your Website - If you have, and you should have, a call to action on your website you should use that space to highlight the savings and benefits of doing business with you and how you can provide high quality service at lower prices. If you have a business blog (and you should) consider pointing that call to action to the story about how you can help;
  • Media Connections - We all have local newspapers or radio stations. You should consider writing a quick piece about the economics of the farm economy and then pitch that to the media outlets. They are always looking for solid stories that impact their listeners or readers.

You have an excellent story to tell and people are seeking answers.  Go get 'em!


Paying Attention to your SEO?


SEO ImageThe world, it seems, buys from the computer. If not making the direct purchase from the computer we, at least, go to the Internet to find where we can buy an item. The Total Retail Survey of 2016 looks at the buying habits of consumers and in the United States and Canada 40% and 38% respectively make decision purchases based on product and supplier reviews.

But, first they have to find you.

We just completed a quick study using five different computers that have had zero interaction with agricultural parts. In other words the words "Ag", "Tractor" and "Parts" were never used in any product search. We know because we picked people without any connection with agriculture. In each test we asked our subjects to do a search for "Ag Tractor Parts" just to see who and what popped up.

The good news is that several National Tractor Parts Dealer Association regular members showed up on the first page of the search. There were also paid advertising on the first page and that varied from computer to computer. 

The bad news is that many of our members did not make the first, second or even the third page of the search. What can you do to improve your ranking and "findability"?

  • Paid Google Ad Words - You can pay for keywords and that investment will drive your search results but, frankly, it's a gamble;
  • Review Your Home Page - If the wording on your home page has not changed in some time the "search bots" look at that and think, "Nothing new here, let's move on!" It's critical that you alter, at least every month the wording on your home page and your "About Us" page. It will help get you found;
  • Social Media Interaction - If all you are doing is Facebook it is not enough. It helps but remember, you are limited to your "Likes". To reach out further you'll have to invest in other platforms. You could start to Instagram parts tractors, combines and people you work with. You could do SHORT YouTube videos of a delivery or a parts tractor or a burned combine it all matters and making sure you have keywords in your description helps;
  • Do a Blog - What better way is there for people to learn about your "back-story"? Tell about your founding, your experience, your customers...it all adds up.
  • Don't Just Broadcast - If you do Social Media don't just broadcast your message but interact with others. Ask questions, do a poll, have some fun. People don't always want to be "sold" they just want to be human and interact.

Hope this helps move your SEO and your website ranking.

 


Members Share Their Story

While NTPDA was in Kansas City for our Annual Meeting and Trade Show several of our members wereNTPDA16 KC WEB
interviewed for the radio broadcast of Insight on Business the News Hour. Each was asked to explain what their business was about and what was their biggest business concern moving forward. 

We think you'll have lots in common with their answers and our thanks to the Business News Hour for providing us this audio so we could share it with our members.

Those who sat for the interview included: 

  • Mike Prieb from Buhler, Kansas
  • John Dyke from Downing, Wisconsin
  • Brian Kitch from Bourbon, Indiana
  • Randy Anderson from Bluffton, Ohio
  • Kendell Jensen from Thief River Falls, Minnesota
  • Jim & Richard Cook from Clinton, Missouri
  • Mike Winter from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

IOB 22 Jan NTPDA Voices

Click above for the podcast interview!

Thanks for being members and for voicing your issues. You need to know we were listening and we are making plans to respond to your shared concerns. Together, perhaps, we can work on solutions.


How Can We Help?

Man ExclaimYou've no doubt heard it said, "People do business with people they know and trust!" and it's true. That's one of the reasons the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association exists.  We're here to help create a relationship between people; with the goal being business growth.

That effort, now decades old, has provided positive business to business relationships all across the globe. Folks in countries, states and provinces now, because of NTPDA, are friends, business partners and sometimes competitors.

When we link our common goal of increasing business to each other we all are better off. So, this year, let's make it a point to respond to membership in the NTPDA not as an expense but as an investment in doing business...better.

Soon we'll be gathering for the Summer Board Meeting, this year in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to plan for the coming months and our Annual Training and Trade Show in 2016.  Between now and then let us help you in making connections, learning more about the industry and building relationships with each other.

Sound like a plan?

If you have not yet joined us on Facebook do so today?  And you can also follow us on Twitter @NTPDA.  Easy huh? 


Rock Valley Tractor Parts

Rock Valley Tractor PartsNational Tractor Parts Dealer Association member spotlight this week showcases long time member Rock Valley Tractor Parts

Rock Valley Tractor Parts has been in business since 1938 and has a large, centrally located facility in Rock Valley, IA.  They sell Used, Rebuilt and New tractor parts to farmers, ranchers, restorers, dealers, and other salvage yards.  They are proud of the reputation they have built in the 70+ years of doing business by working with many reputable vendors to give their customers the best quality parts at the lowest possible price.

Their entire inventory of over 150,000 part numbers is on the computer and they are ready to ship.  That means there are over 5,000,000 parts cataloged and inspected so when customers call they can ship the part the same day it is ordered.  They don’t have to go pull it off the tractor and hope it is good, and that saves customers money and downtime.  For orders over $1,000 they will include a free RVTP T-shirt as well.

To learn more about Rock Valley Tractor Parts visit their website at http://www.rvtractorparts.com/.  


Kern County Tractor Parts

 

KCTP Gear Logo Small (3)Honest. Personal. Service.

If you are looking for a supplier for used agricultural parts, your search is over.  Kern County Tractor Parts was established in 1995 by Abilene Machine, Inc., to establish a West Coast location. Abilene Machine is headquartered in Kansas, and in addition to Kern County Tractor Parts, they also have an operation in Bishopville, South Carolina (Baker Abilene Machine) and are nearing completion of a new office and warehouse facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Kern County Tractor Parts is located in Central California at 29527 Pond Rd in McFarland. Their location is in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, approximately 40 miles north of Bakersfield. The primary crops grown there are permanent, such as almonds, pistachios and citrus trees − along with table and wine grapes. This allows them to purchase a lot of low profile and utility tractors. They also have many row crop and large 4-wheel drive tractors.

Their primary business started out as agricultural salvage, but that focus has changed in the past 10 years. Kern County Tractor Parts carries a full line of aftermarket and remanufactured parts for tractors, combines, cotton pickers and swathers. They also offer planter, drill and tillage parts, engine overhaul kits and engine performance modules. They distribute catalogs to both retail and dealer clientele.

Over the past five years, they have concentrated on developing high-wear parts for rubber track tractors. They have a full line of rear drive wheels, mid rollers and front idler wheels. All are redone in poly because the poly products last up to three times longer than rubber. Their in-stock inventory includes parts for John Deere® 8000 & 9000 series, Cat Challenger® & Case®/IH® Quad Tracs. In addition, they also sell new and recycled rubber tracks.

Although they don’t currently have an online store for ordering, they do have a knowledgeable sales staff to answer your phone call.  The “Inventory” link on their website at www.KernCountyTractor.com allows customers to search their recycled inventory of engines, crankshafts, cylinder heads, transmissions and housings, front wheel assist parts, blocks, 3-point parts, etc. They add to and expand their inventory list daily and are also in the process of adding an industrial parts inventory for front loaders, graders and backhoes.

Kern County Tractor Parts takes pride in their personal customer service and are taking steps to ensure that you, their valued customer, can count on them for many years to come.  

Kern pic