NTPDA People

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.

 

 

 


Scholarships - Giving Back

Each year the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association (NTPDA) awards college scholarships to a group of deserving young people. Each Diploma Scholarship recipient was vetted by our Scholarship Committee made up of Carol Russell (Abilene Machine), Brian Kitch (Bates Corporation), Linda Benton (Southeast Tractor Parts, Inc.) and Paul Dyke (All States Ag Parts). Allow us to introduce you to our Scholarship Award Winners for the 2017-2018 Academic Year:

Andrea Blankespoor - Andrea is pursuing a degree in nursing at St. Luke's College and was sponsored by member corporation A & I Products;

Connor Brinton - Connor is seeking a degree in business at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was sponsored by member corporation Hoober, Inc.;

Alexis Fabian - Alexis is at the University of Northern Iowa seeking a degree in education and was sponsored by Worthington Ag Parts;

Angela Good - Angela is working toward a degree in business administration and management at Millersville Univerity and was sponsored by Hoober, Inc.;

Matthew Kennedy - Matthew is at Indiana Purdue - Fort Wayne studying civil engineering and was sponsored by TTP-Diesel Power & Machine;

Dorea Lauer - Dorea is at Fox Valley Technical College working toward an Associates Degree and was sponsored by All States Ag Parts;

Lexee Lemler - Lexee is working toward a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Manchester University and was sponsored by Bates Corporation;

Jamin Manus - Jamin is at Hawkeye Community College where he is working toward a degree in agriculture. Jamin was sponsored by A & I Products.

Once again, thank you to our Board the Selection Committee and congratulations to our scholarship winners!

 

 


So, How Did We Do?

By all accounts you had a great time and you learned so very much. We call that adding value to your San Antonio Grouping for Blog Use membership. But don't just take our word for it. Here is what some of our members had to say about #NTPDA17 in San Antonio:

Terri Stevens - Tractor Barn

"I have to tell you it was fantastic. Of course I love seeing everybody but what was so good for me and our company was some of the new displays in the trade show. Because we are a Mahindra dealer it was great to meet a new parts supplier. That made the trip worthwhile for me. The training was also excellent. Mel and his ideas about hiring the right employee first was something I really needed to hear. And, because I need help, Crystal and her training on social media was excellent. You know, I really wish we could have had even more training and education because that's what we really need."

Mike Winter - Worthington Tractor Parts

"We took hard goods for the trade show and it was excellent. Our goal in going to the NTPDA Annual Meeting & Trade Show is doing business and I can tell you we did a pot full of business. If only I had been feeling better it would have been off the charts. But, spending a day or two down with a lousy cold and maybe the flu took me out. Next year!"

Phyllis Cox - NTPDA

"Time, I wish we had more time. DJ was so very entertaining, Mel kept everyone involved and Crystal had lots of information about social media especially LinkedIn. One hour just wasn't enough for her to cover, in detail, all the things our members wanted to hear.  Of course the social events were great but I too, like Mike, came down with a nasty cold. Drat!"

Linda Benton - Southeast Tractor Parts

She gave us a one word response when we asked. "#1 Fellowship!" We'll take it!

Dan Waters - Waters Tractor 

"Great time at the NTPDA with a great group of people. And of course a special thank you to Atlantic!"

Jeff Griggs - All States Ag Parts

"I think the training was outstanding and the piece on hiring was so valuable to us that we started to implement some of those items as soon as we returned. The entire event was well worth our time and effort."

So, how did we do?  As always we're interested. You can hook up with NTPDA on Facebook here and our Twitter Stream is @NTPDA!

Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing more from you! 

 


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!


Be Here Before You Know It

The days go by quickly and so too does your opportunity to same some money on your NTPDA Annual Conference and Trade Show registration. November 30th is the first cut off...but if you get in yet today you'll save $75 per person! Here is a link to the registration forms!

So a quick rundown of the agenda for our San Antonio experience is in order: You will be staying in the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel by Wyndham. It is very, very nice and we've arranged for special pricing for our event. Go ahead...have a peek at our accommodations. 

Charlie-wants-a-burger


Wednesday January 18, 2017
- Our vendors have setup time at the Fiesta Pavilion. Then we'll hold an early arrival party at Charlie Wants a Burger (we know...it's a little different but, hey...so are we!) we'll have music with Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils and more.  Loads of fun for our early birds this is something you will NOT want to miss!

San Antonio SpeakersThursday January 19, 2017 - After breakfast our presenter DJ Harrington will do a "Check Up from the Neck Up". It's a look at your sales and business model. Then, after a break Mel Kleiman will talk about when you hire the right people your management process is much easier. After lunch Crystal Washington will join us to talk about the digital transformation of sales/marketing and how that has impacted our industry. Our "Welcome to San Antonio" reception is that evening starting at 5pm. We'll also be giving our regular members the opportunity to experience our Trade Show.

Friday January 20, 2017 - The Trade Show Floor opens at 9am and we'll have some time to visit in the NTPDA Marketplace.  The annual meeting and election of officers takes place at 11am. Lunch will, again, be served on the Trade Show Floor so we'll have even more time to spend with our vendors. Our Trade Show closes at 4pm and then it's time to get ready for our dinner with entertainment by the Jackie Myers Band.

We're looking forward to seeing each of you in January. Don't forget, register today!!  Our event in San Antonio promises to be fun, educational and a great opportunity to re-connect with all of your NTPDA friends! 

 


It's Like Family

One of the reasons the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association continues to grow is because members feel like family. Sure we do business with each other Family-word-images-dw301_familyand yes, we are sometimes in competition but at the end of the day we really care about each other.

Maybe that's because NTPDA was started by small business people who knew and respected each other. And while today there may be some really large companies who are members of our group the vast majority of Regular Members are still represented by small business people. 

It's Thanksgiving Week in the U.S. and we would be remiss if we didn't wish all our American Members a Happy Thanksgiving. And, please know that if you are based in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and any number of nations where our members are located we are thankful for you and your people. 

May you all enjoy some quality family time and thank you for being a member of our larger family...

 


NTPDA News Notes

Congratulations and In the News: Diploma Scholarship

Every so often we catch some news about the tractor parts industry and our members. Last month the Abilene-RC from Kansas ran a story congratulating Blake Swenson the son of Kevin and Jill on his $1,000 National Tractor Parts Dealer Association college scholarship. Blake is headed to North Central Kansas Technical College for a certification in heavy equipment and his NTPDA sponsor was Abilene Machine.  Blake joins many others who were recently awarded scholarship dollars from your association.

If you've got a story about your NTPDA Member Business send it along to our staff writer Michael Libbie.

Sharing Equipment & Cutting Costs

Meanwhile lackluster commodity prices has farmers considering ways to reduce costs. This week Iowa Farmer Today carried a story about how some "Good Neighbors" have struck a deal to share equipment rather than buy new. When a combine is only used a few weeks a year these farmers figure they can improve their bottom line by sharing. Here is the story.

Driverless_tractorDriverless Tractors

It was all the rage during the Farm Progress Show as farmers and ranchers got a good look at the Case IH tractor that is missing a driver. The Autonomous Concept Vehicle, as Case IH calles it, comes equipped with cameras, radar and GPS, allowing a farmer to remotely monitor planting and harvesting via an app on a tablet computer. Here is the story from Bloomberg Technology. We assume that it will still take a human to change the oil.

Save the Date!

A reminder that we'll be in San Antonio for the 33rd Annual Conference and Trade Show from January 18 - 21, 2017. We'll soon have registration data available but, for now, put it down in ink so we make sure you're there. We've got an exciting and valuable line up for our members and ways to help your business grow.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 


Using All the Tools

We enjoy finding news about our NTPDA Members and when we were checking the Internet came across this great article from The Detroit News about our
Steiner Logoassociate member Steiner Tractor Parts.  If you want to go and read the article go ahead but promise to come back!

What we liked about this was how well the article focused on the lifestyle of repairing old tractors and how that hobby has grown into a huge business: "What started as a four-page flyer...has grown into a 616 page phone-book size catalog..."  This is also a great example of something called "Earned Media" or sharing a story with reporters and then following up to make sure it's carried.  Remember this is in The Detroit News, not a rural publication but valuable in helping them build their brand.

And that's not all. A visit to the Steiner Tractor Parts website told us their crew is using all the marketing tools they can to increase their "findability". From Pinterest (Yes...Pinterest!) to Facebook and YouTube our friends at Steiner understand that marketing to multiple segments of the community pays off.

We just thought you might find it interesting and helpful as you continue to build your online and in person business.

Hope you had a fantastic Independence Day Holiday!


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.