I have attended many Trade Shows, User Conferences, Association Meetings, Conventions, and Auto Recycling gatherings since my entry into the industry in 1990. I’m not sure how much it has cost me in time and my company in dollars and cents. I will be the first person to tell you that they didn’t cost me a dime. They paid for themselves over, and over, and over! They should not be seen as an expense, but as an investment.
In fact, as a Representative of RAS (Rebuilders Automotive Supply), I get to see how much we spend in booth, travel, and related costs to send us to these meetings. For a typical Recycler Trade show with 30 vendors, assuming an average investment of $3,000/vendor), we are pushing the $100,000 mark when you include sponsorships. This $100,000* represents an investment in our industry. It represents a give away because your vendors are there to provide counsel, awareness, education and a differing viewpoint. While most people attend to capture that one nugget that might increase sales or profits, many attendees look for ways to avoid costly mistakes, learn about new processes to make their companies lean, and run their business better. If our Vendors are willing to make this investment, why aren’t Recyclers equally eager to come and monetize that information, advice, and counsel.
Attendance at State Trade Shows has dropped in the recent past. Our industry is receptive to new ideas. Share your vision of how we might improve these events to meet your ever-changing needs. I still believe in the power of meeting face to face to share information and ideas and build long lasting relationships. I may not have many friends on Facebook but I have close to 1,400 contacts in my phone and most are recyclers! If you need help, I will be there.
Speaking of a giveaway. . .one of the first Training Sessions I ever attended was in New York at an ARANY convention. The year was 1995. We stayed on for an extra day of training, held by Howard Nussbaum. While everyone was eager to return home after a long convention, the time we spent with Howard on Sunday provided a framework to run our company the “New School” way, as opposed to the “Old School” way. Howard did not disappoint. He discredited old ways of thinking and promoted thinking that was readily accepted outside of auto recycling.
Our industry has been carrying some old baggage, and in many cases still does. The phrase “we have always done it this way” sticks in my mind. There was a word, more of a concept, that Howard taught. It was called “Flow” and it became a mantra at my business. When bottlenecked, we asked the question “What’s blocking the flow”, giving us a tool to get to the root problem of why we couldn’t get stuff done or why we couldn’t get an order to a customer on time and in the condition expected. How many times did we move vehicles because we did not have “flow.” Why were credits taking so long to issue? Because we made it to hard to process credits quickly thereby restricting the flow. Over 25 years, I can guarantee that the word “flow” saved us hundreds of thousand of dollars by creating better processes, while creating efficiencies that made us millions of dollars. My sincere thanks to Howard for giving us a tool to build our business.
On a personal note, it pains me to think of all those recyclers this week that won’t be cashing in on the Takata Airbag Recall Bounty Program. The lost revenue can’t be used to pay bills, invest in people, facilities, processes, equipment or Trade Shows. Your vendors are giving away value at every trade show but it is up to the individual recycler to prioritize their business to allow them to attend their next State Association Trade Show or one of the national shows like ARA, URG, or OARA(Canada). My next stop is the Upper Midwest Recyclers Show in Wisconsin. I look forward to meeting recyclers from Wisconsin and surrounding states to help them maximize their Bounty Revenue.
Be a Lifesaver . . . #yankthatbag
Katie the “Recall Gal” and Paul the “Recall Guy” represent the RAS Recall Team. Their Mission is to rid the planet of defective Airbags.
Want to join the Mission? Call our Recall Team 877-829-1553 x 160