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August 2016

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!


How About a Checkup From the Neck Up?

Doctor FunnyEveryday our NTPDA Members go to work making life better for their customers and employees. That, at least, should be the goal because when we are "other focused" we all get what we want.

So, how can your association make your life/business better?  That is constantly the focus of our Board of Directors and staff and we think, based on your response to some recent polls, we may be on target.

Next year we'll gather in San Antonio to offer your business a "checkup from the neck up". We'll help you take a hard look at current business practices and ask you what you think has worked and what might need work. We'll spend time on marketing, social media, sales, employee recruitment and retention. We'll listen to what you've done and offer some tips on how you might change some tweak some things to boost your level of happiness.

Sure, we'll have fun and have the opportunity to enjoy the company of our family and friends but we also want to deliver value for your membership and we, honestly, want to help your business get better.

We're looking forward to doing that business checkup in San Antonio and be watching for registration information soon!


Dog Days of Summer

Puppy IceWe've all heard the expression "Dog Days of Summer" but did you know that phrase comes from ancient times and not from Georgia? It seems that the hot, sultry weather around the Mediterranean Sea coincided with the rise of the star formation Orion's dog and the "dog star" Sirius. And, so it was that the hot days were recorded as the "Dog Days of Summer" in writings by the Greeks (Hesiod, Aratus, and Homer in The Iliad) and the later Romans.

Here is a piece from The Iliad:

Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.

See what you learn when you're a member of the NTPDA?

Happy (and thank goodness for air conditioning!) Dog Days of Summer!