The final day of the International Truck Parts Association’s Spring Meeting in Chicago was spent in a riveting panel discussion on employee incentives, recognition, and retention. The participants were Jake Rea of Michigan Truck Parts, Sarah Anderson of Anderson Brothers in Oregon, Shawn Andringa from Vander Haag’s, and Jeff Rife of Rife Heavy Duty Truck Parts in Indiana. They were kind enough to share a lot of wisdom on the subject which gave The Ole Part Bird Dog and I a few ideas to take back home. The last speaker of the morning was an entrepreneur from Tulsa named Clay Clark. I was extremely impressed with this guy and the nuggets of true wisdom he shared. He runs 9 companies and home schools his 5 children (all under the age of 9) so I really listened when he talked about time management and emotional and attitudinal intelligence. Being that I am also a home school father of 4 children under the age of six and running 6 companies, obviously what he said resonated with me. Too many takeaways from this message to go into in this posting, but wonderful content from a truly uniquely gifted and hardworking individual.
Final stop of the trip was Midwest Truck Parts, where Scott Babich, fed us a great lunch of Chicago Pastrami sandwiches from Maddy’s and then led us on a tour that showed us the truth of how much inventory they stock. These guys are for real and they show it by putting their money where their mouth is by investing in the huge inventory amounts required to meet today’s quick delivery dates that we needy distributors demand. Their bearing kitting process was also something to be marveled at as a feat of modern industrial technology. If Scott’s and Midwest’s hospitality wasn’t enough already, to put the icing on the cake and since we were late for our flight, Scott personally drove us to the airport and gave us a tour of Chicago at the same time. (“Quick, check out the former largest bank in the US that was created right here by the gigantic cattle yards!”. History is everywhere in Chicago. I love it. Scott, thanks for the ride and the tour.)
As you can see it was a fun filled, informationally rich, exciting three days. As I said earlier, it was a time for men to gather together to discuss our competitions, our cooperation’s, battles and successes, and some of the most victorious lives and businesses of true American giants of the industry. To everyone at ITPA, the businesses we visited, all the people that were kind enough to impart some wisdom to me I am deeply grateful for all your contributions and I look forward to our next spring meeting. I am now officially addicted to ITPA.