NTPDA People

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.

 

 

 


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...