NTPDA People

Memories & Join Us in Mobile, Alabama!

Mobile Card WelcomeSo often when we visit with members of NTPDA they tell us one of the main reasons they continue to come to our Annual Meeting and Trade Show is to re-connect with long time friends, do some business and learn how to run a more successful business.

All great reasons!

So, let's take a look at some images from the past and some images from our upcoming Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Mobile, Alabama. It's going to be great and, if you want to register right now...here is that link!

 

Nice huh?  Hope to see you in Mobile!


NTPDA President Featured on The Business News Hour

While we were at our Summer Board Meeting in Minneapolis our NTPDA president, Scott Schelling was featured on Insight on Business the Scott Schelling IOB July 2018 News Hour where he talked about the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association, the business of buying and selling tractor/agricultural parts, technology and the efforts the NTPDA goes to as we boost the value of membership. You can listen in by clicking on the player that was provided to us by the Business News Hour:

We had a great meeting and our plans for the Annual Meeting and Trade Show are being worked on every day. We look forward to seeing you in Alabama early next year. Watch this space, our Facebook Page and Twitter for more details.

Thank you for coming by! 

 


Natural Disasters, Oil Spills and Community Effort

Over the past month a number of our NTPDA members have had to deal with weather related disasters. In Iowa there has been a rash of flooding and then in Rock Valley there was a major oil spill.  Rock Valley is the home base of our President Scott Schelling. We sent an email to Rock Valley Flood 2018 Scott to check up on him. We thought his answer mirrored so many of our members and their communities that we're sharing it with you:

"Sorry for the delay in responding.  I have been out for over a week for various reasons including sandbagging and flood relief.  We are getting back to normal, the river is back in its banks but we still seem to get rain every couple days so it doesn’t go down much.  We set an all time record back in 2014 when the river got to 22.7 feet over floodstage.  This year we topped out at 21.5.  We were more prepared this time and we knew where and what to do so things went a little smoother, but ultimately we still got our butts kicked by the river.  We were able to avoid the major property damage with the work we did and most people just had to empty their basements Rock Valley Flood 2018 Twoand pump water.(they still are pumping water)  We took some steps after 2014 to prevent that same event in the future, we built a permanent berm on the north end of town to keep the river out and bought a couple huge pumps to pump out our storm sewers.  When the river is in flood stage it is higher than our storm sewers and cant run away so we have to pump it out.  And that takes a HUGE pump to keep up when you keep getting rain and everyone is pumping water out of their basements.  We also made some changes to make the river flow away better so it don’t dam up as high.  All the steps we took helped, but we still can do more.  I’m sure we will have more ideas to help for future events. 

 

The oil spill was just 6-7 miles upriver from us and I understand it was the worst oil spill in the US in the last 5 years.  The last number I Rock Valley Oil Spill heard was 230K gallons spilled, and as of last Thurs, only about 100k of that was recovered.  We could see oil in the river and of course it puddled up along the banks in the quiet water.  You could smell oil all thru town on Thursday and Friday.  We had to shut down the city wells to try to keep oil from getting into them.  The DNR has been out and testing dirt in places as the river recedes to see how bad the contamination was.  They have cleared the soccer fields and ball fields to be played on, they say the contamination was minimal in those areas.  The cleanup crew that BNSF brought in was excellent, they went right to work with cleanup and repair and last Thurs the trains were running again down those tracks.  We will see how long before they are finished with oil cleanup, but they don’t stand around, those people are here to work. 

 

The silver lining of it all is the way the communities come together to fight back against the water and how they come out to help others that are in need.  We again had several thousand volunteers from the surrounding towns come to us and help, and they still are coming to help people they don’t even know with cleanup.  This is the reason I love to live here, we don’t just throw up our hands and cry about it and quit, we show up any time of day, and help out people we might not know, and we stand shoulder to shoulder in chest deep water throwing sandbags all night, and we pick each other up when things seem like they are hopeless.  It is a beautiful thing to witness, and it keeps you going even after no sleep, or when your muscles don’t want to go anymore.  I love my town!!"

Scott Schelling - Rock Valley Tractor Parts


Working For...Value!

One of the working committees of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association is our Membership Committee. We meet on a regular basis with one goal, "What can we do to create real value for our members...existing or otherwise." Our president Scott Schelling from Rock Valley Tractor Parts chairs the Benefits Image meeting and when we get to Member Benefits with Stephen Haas from DLS Worldwide things get really interesting.

While we can't yet share all of the new member benefits, because the Board has to ratify them at their next meeting, they are, in a word AMAZING! Should a member take advantage of any of these existing or soon to be announced benefits your benefits will pay for your membership. That's right. Use the benefits and your annual membership to NTPDA is...well, covered.

One of the things we can share is that over the next several months members of this committee will be touching base with former and current members who operate near the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Our Summer Event (formerly known as The Summer Board Meeting and for a very short time Summer Smash) will be inviting business owners/managers to come and hang out with us in Minnesota. Get to know the members and leadership team and become more active.

The dates for our event are July 11 - 14. It's not to early to pencil the date in. We promise not only a good time but also information and ideas that will help move you and your business forward.  As always, should you have thoughts, ideas or suggestions make it a point to connect with us! Shoot us an email NTPDA@NTPDA.COM or follow us on Twitter @NTPDA or here is our Facebook Page.

Bam!  Oh...one other thing for our friends up north.  We hear you got...snow...again. Could somebody please turn the calendar to April?

 


It's Like Family...

Being part of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association is more, much more, than simply doing business. Sure, we trade with each other, sometimes Doug and Phyllisprotecting our turf but more often than not we honestly care for each other.  Over the years we've become more like family than an association. New members that join us can tell that right away. There is an honest respect and love for each other.

That's why the passing of our Immediate Past President Doug Swanson is so tough to take. Doug, from Abilene Machine has been with NTPDA for decades. He has served, faithfully, on the Board of Directors and recently took the job of Board President. We knew, when we were in Corpus Christi last month, that Doug was putting up a fight against the cancer that he would often say, "Just sucks". His fellow Board Members and attendees were all hopeful that he would pull through and get back at it.

That was not to be and sadly our friend passed away as the new month began. And, it hurts.

Today we remember his family, friends, co-workers at Abilene Machine and all who were touched by him, his story, his business and his laughter.

We don't know if it's like this with other associations but we know what it's like here.

UPDATE:

A Celebration of Life will be Friday, February 9, 2018, from 4-8 p.m., at Ryan Mortuary, 137 N. Eighth St., Salina, KS

In lieu of flowers a card, message, blessing can be sent to Doug's daughter - Taylor Swanson,  1015 N. 9th, Salina, KS 67401

Please keep Doug's family, friends and everyone at Abilene Machine in your thoughts and prayers.

Here is a link to the obituary.

Thank you for being with NTPDA...

The photo (with Doug and Phyllis) is from our time together at a recent Annual Meeting and Trade Show.  We will always remember.


Oh, The Memories - NTPDA18 with Elizabeth Fawcett

Just after our time together in Corpus Christi we reached out to those of who attended to give us some feedback on your time during the NTPDA Annual Meeting and Trade Show. Elizabeth Fawcett from Fawcett Tractor Supply offers these thoughts:

We had an amazing time visiting and building relationships. The weather was not ‘Texas’ weather but still much warmer than Canada. The Jeff and Elizabeth Jan 2018 hotel was wonderful aside from the construction happening on some people’s patios, but we are tough, rural folk and managed just fine.

The training from Richard and Crystal was amazing. I can’t begin to explain how crucial good training is and I feel as though it was delivered this year. We learned about some tough leadership issues that everyone who deals with people encounter. We also learned about some of the tricks about social media and a little bit of a good intro to those who are overwhelmed by the options.

The trade show was as good as I always remember it to be; we had some new faces that left some impressions (the Steiner Girls) and the tasty baklava from the gentlemen at Keba; these were just a couple of the great product conversations and good times shared.

As a new board member, and the youngest, I am excited for the upcoming term and very eager to learn from those around me – I feel like I’m among some folks that have a lot to teach (not an age reference, I promise) and I look forward to continuing our good times this summer at the Summer Conference in Minneapolis. I also found out that not everyone knew that the Summer Conference was open to everyone – it’s not just a board meeting! If it’s anything like the Annual Conference and Trade Show, it’s bound to be a great time! (Me with former president Jeff Griggs)

Meanwhile, back to Corpus Christi!

Now the banquet, that was something else! Phyllis outdid herself with the food choices and the music (again). There was a dance floor that got some good action with about a dozen of us dancing the banquet to a close. The auction was NTPDA18 Fog Boatamazing! We had to explain to some new-comers that yes, mailboxes go for $300 here and that’s ok because it’s all for a good cause. There was also the Chuck-challenge for Doug….Wow. Just Wow. If I had only one word to describe this crew of people it would be ‘family’. The support and love showed that night, and all through the convention was astounding. A night to remember for sure. It didn’t end there though (it rarely does); a few of us decided to stay an extra day in Texas for a deep-sea fishing adventure which turned into, well, an adventure!

We arrive to Port Aransas with fog as thick as pea soup and some less-than-equipped vessels. Some of the boats were still not fully repaired after Harvey made his way through so we didn’t have radar or GPS on the boats which made for a very challenging hide and seek game with the breakers to get back into the jetty (I just learned those words so excuse me if I misused them….). After 8-10 foot swells, a good bought of sea sickness, and very frazzled captains, we called it Lexingtonafter only 45 minutes on the water.

We all decided that wasn’t going to be the end of our day so we headed for breakfast, then naps, then some went for walks and shopping and some went to the USS Lexington – a dry-docked aircraft carrier turned museum; quite an impressive thing! With the ever-skilled Phyllis working on reservations for our group, we finished off the day with 26 of us heading to Landry’s for a delicious meal and farewells. It was an amazing trip and I am so excited to spend time with these folks again in July and January 2019; lots of laughs and learning.

 

Cheers,

Elizabeth


Corpus Christi - NTPDA18 Photos

If you missed our gathering in Corpus Christi you missed an exciting and valuable event. Sure we learned new tactics about hiring and marketing and met new people. We also had a TON of FUN. One of the great things about NTPDA Membership is the personal connections we make through the years. Here is just a small sample of our time in Corpus Christi during NTPDA18!

NTPDA18 Photos for BLOGWe hope you'll join us next year! In the meantime follow us on Facebook and on Twitter it's @NTPDA. We hope you arrived safely and are ready to put what you learned in Corpus Christi to work in your business.

Thank you all for being members of our association!


New Year Wishes

All of us at the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association (NTPDA) would like to wish each of you the best of the New Year to come. This past year we've had some major successes and some heartbreaking losses. It truly is the way the world turns and none of us can know what the future might bring. While it is fitting and proper to celebrate with a Happy New Year we also want you to know we're thinking of each of you.

To the families who are missing family members we want you to know we understand and pray that you find strength in the memory of your loved ones.

New Year WishesTo the families who are struggling with health issues and with business insecurity we offer our sincere thoughts and prayers and we are always here for you.

To the families who have had some major successes this past year; the birth of a new member of the family, a marriage, that new business opening or expansion, that decision to finally retire and spend quality time with friends and family. We offer to you our hearty congratulations and continued best wishes.

This is one of the special things about the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association...while we are a business we are also friends and family working side by side to help and support each other. It's what we do.

For those of you who are traveling to Corpus Christi for our Annual Meeting and Trade Show...know that we are looking forward to seeing each of you and spending that quality time learning and socializing.

So, today, and every day, we wish you only the very best and may 2018 be bright, joyful and bring you health and happiness. 

Thank you for all you do!


Helping In Forgotten Communities - NTPDA

When we received word that Harvey had struck the Coastal Bend Area of Texas it hit a nerve with our Board and our Members. Recently Coastal Bend Map we held a meeting near that area and our Board had an opportunity to interact with residents there. (You can click on the map to see the area.)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey it seemed like these communities had been forgotten as all the attention focused on Harvey Images Sept 2017Houston. This takes nothing away from the destruction in our nation's 4th largest city it has been awful. However, we wanted to help in an area we knew and where there was minimal assistance and focus.

The Board of Directors for NTPDA authorized a donation to buy generators, fuel cans and other supplies. Phyllis and friends loaded up a truck and drove to the Coastal Bend to deliver them. Buying, loading and driving took hours and the donated supplies were GONE in minutes.

Thank you to our staff and to our Board for your assistance in this effort. We have heard from several people in the communities we visited and they all extend their gratitude to you and our general membership. 

Giving back is often the very best feeling...ever.


American Workers and Hostile Workplaces

Last week we saw a national news story that shocked us. In a recent study of over 3,000 U.S. workers by the Rand Corporation, Harvard Man Angry Medical School and the University of California, Los Angeles one fifth of these American workers say they face a hostile or threatening environment at work. This can include sexual harassment, bullying and co-worker abuse.

That is a shocking number.

Some additional findings:

  • Nearly 55 percent say they face "unpleasant and potentially hazardous" conditions;
  • Nearly three-fourths say they spend at least a fourth of their time on the job in "intense or repetitive physical" labor;
  • Only 38 percent say their jobs offer good prospects for advancement and the older they get the less optimistic they become.

Why do we share this with you? Because we often hear from members that it is difficult to find workers to fill jobs even while the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low.  Could it be that working conditions matter?

How are things at your shop? If you are having issues in hiring and retention? Perhaps it's time to do a self assessment. Some thoughts on that:

  • The "Stay Interview" - Why do some of your employees stay with you and other leave? There is much you can learn from an interview with some long-term employees;
  • Your Employment Brand - While every business has a brand not all business know what their employment brand is. What do current and past employees say about your company? (In this age of social media it's important to know.) What can you learn from them by asking and then making changes;
  • Job and Performance Reviews - Do you do them fairly and do you offer employees an opportunity for feedback?

To be fair, not everything about the American workplace is grim. Workers enjoy considerable autonomy with more than 80 percent saying they get to solve problems and try out their own ideas. Moreover, 58 percent say their bosses are supportive and 56 percent say they have good friends at work.

The goal is to take the time and find out what you can do...better... to retain your employees and hire well qualified staff. Everybody knows that turn-over is costly and when your "employment brand" isn't positive it impacts hiring, productivity and profits.

If you would like to read the study we referenced, click here.