Used Parts

The Grand Re-Boot - Shipping Issues with Steven Haas

Another in our series of Guest Blogs from our NTPDA Members. This has to do with shipping changes and critical information for our membership and our Steve Haas Image friends from Steven Haas of DLS Worldwide. Also if you would like to hear the audio of the news story that aired this week just click  the audio link below: 

IOB 29 March 2020 Steve Haas Transportation

As of this writing, over twenty states have made "shelter in place" warnings...

The good news is that auto, truck and tractor parts (new, used and remanufactured) have been deemed essential commodities so freight will keep flowing as usual.

These items have been deemed critical commodities because we can assist aid and assist in the uninterrupted supply of the essential replacement parts that keep ambulances, fire trucks and law enforcement vehicles moving not to mention the fact that the parts we supply are also needed to keep trucks and ag equipment running to maintain crucial supply chains that provide food, home deliveries and medical supplies.

The bad news is that more states will inevitably follow, and we expect the remainder of states to put similar orders in place within the first few weeks of April.

During the last several days, I have reached out to a number of Associations within these industry segments in an attempt to get a "pulse" of the situation and assess their respective supply chains. Pretty much all are reporting "business as usual" and that most of their members are still getting things done but sometimes in unusual ways.

One way to look at things is that this is a "Grand Reboot" for both people and businesses and that we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to re-invent ourselves and our business models.

And - we've been here before...when the internet went mainstream in 1995 it forced a somewhat painful and costly re-invention of both business and society, and we all ended up much better off with some incredibly useful technologies in place. Not far after, social media came into play, online commerce began to go gangbusters and now we have the underpinnings in place to both thrive and survive in a challenging new world.

The following are a few simple recommendations that will help you keep your supply chain intact and eliminate complexities and costs:

Deploy a Multi-carrier Platform

For starters, if you’re not already using a multi-carrier rate shop platform you need to get one in place. The DLS platform (available through DLS and/or your association) provides thousands of quality carrier options for all major modes including truckload, partial truckload and less-than truckload (LTL) service. If a carrier suspends service on a national, regional or micro-regional level our customers have more than enough options already in place.

Keep Advised of Carrier Updates

You should also do your best to tune into carrier updates on a daily basis if possible.

The team at DLS Worldwide is doing our best to keep your association professionals advised of carrier embargos, restrictions and/or closures on a daily basis and are encouraging them to pass that information immediately on to you.

Call Ahead to Confirm Pick-ups and Deliveries

Communication is key!

We will do our best to keep you advised of the various carrier changes, restrictions and closures by state. If you need to schedule a pickup or delivery in one of those states we suggest you contact your pickup or delivery location to confirm they are operating and if they have any special needs or protocols for the carriers.

As of now, only a small percentage of our customers within the recycling and remanufacturing sectors have been closed (temporarily) but this one proactive measure can save you a considerable amount of time, money and aggravation.

Stay In Touch With Your Suppliers and Customers

Use those proactive calls to check in with your suppliers and customers to ASK them about their personal health and the health of their businesses. We are all in this TOGETHER so if you take the time to ask those concerned questions and perhaps share some innovative best practices it will help you strengthen and deepen relationships and build goodwill for the future.

Determine What you Can Control and Cannot Control

And finally - remind yourself that there are things that you can control and things that you cannot control. No one was able to predict the gravity of this pandemic but you can do your part to lessen its impact by following governmental recommendations and through the rapid re-invention of your business.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like some suggestions about the rapid reinvention of your own supply chain or business. You can reach me at 612-296-1806 or online at steven.haas@rrd.com and I would be more than happy to share my thoughts and ideas.

You can choose to view this as a tragedy or an opportunity – I for one, choose the latter.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Steven P. Haas handles Association Partnerships for DLS Worldwide a 3rd party logistics company based in Chicago Illinois. If you would like to streamline your supply chain and fortify your carrier options he can set you up with a multi-carrier rate shop platform through your association partnership or in free-standing form. If you would like him to perform a courtesy rate review and/or supply chain evaluation you may reach him at the contact information above.


YOU Did It!

Congratulations NTPDA Members...YOU DID IT!  We have turned a big corner in our efforts to build back this organization. The official numbers shared with NTPDA20 Image Ten the Board last Saturday said it all.  This year in Maricopa we had more companies, more vendors/displayers and more attendees than we've seen in two years. That is a credit to each of you who have worked to make this happen. You have encouraged others to join you. You have brought along new people to experience our Annual Conference and Trade Show. And you have come away from this event with more knowledge, business opportunities and friendships than before.

That friends is outstanding.

NTPDA20 Image ThreeOver the next several months we'll be sharing videos, images and audio recordings from #NTPDA20 in Arizona. Don't be surprised if you see yourself and many of your fellow NTPDA Members.

This is not a time to rest but a time to take action and prepare for our Summer Meeting and make plans to attend our 2021 Annual Conference and Trade Show which will be held in Nashville.

In the meantime know that we are working every day to build our association membership rolls and to bring even more value to your membership dues.

Thank you...again and let's, together, DO THIS! 

 


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! 

 


New Member Benefit - Omaha Streaks!

Everybody already knows that the best steaks in the nation come from Omaha, Nebraska. What? You don't? Well, let us introduce you to Omaha Steaks a new Omaha Steaksbenefit for our members. See, we told you we bring value to your membership!

All you need to do is be a member of NTPDA and follow this link to Omaha Streaks and BAM! You've got mouth-watering goodness delivered to your home or to your business. Think employee appreciation? 

The goal of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association is to offer you real value through education, involvement, public policy and...yes, your tummy! 

Thank you for being an NTPDA member now remember to season correctly!

This is your National Tractor Parts Dealer Association making a difference every day for our members and their customers!  Thank you for coming by! 

 


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.