On January 24, 2022, NARSA/IDEA’s Board of Directors met for an annual planning session. A group of very dedicated business people spent 8 hours discussing and planning the future of our association. The Board uses some of the tools from Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to achieve a vision for the association’s future. Board members identify areas for improvement, but most importantly, they define who we are and what we can offer our members. It is not a secret our industry is shrinking and has gone through an evolution like many other businesses. There are more transportation heat exchangers made per year than ever before, but the channels of distribution and sales have dramatically changed.
NARSA/IDEA is one of many trade associations with the challenge of growing membership and bringing value to its members. As a board, we identified the association’s strengths and how best we can leverage those strengths for future success. NARSA/IDEA is still the only trade association that represents engine heat transfer for transportation and stationary engines along with the diesel particulate filter systems industries. Our members are service/repair facilities, distributors and manufacturers. The board still believes in creating the one idea, the one opportunity, and the one connection which will allow your business to be more profitable. It was agreed by all that NARSA-IDEA’s mission is to help make your business more money. It is pretty simple that the Board of Directors believes there should be return on your investment (ROI) in membership. If our members invest in the association there should be an ROI– plain and simple. The staff and Board of Directors of NARSA/IDEA is dedicated to helping you make this a reality.
Back in January, we also held an informal get-together at The Network Bar in Dallas. The Network Bar is a very nice venue for small meetings and our friends at Industrial Radiator Service made arrangements for members who were in town for Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW.) I want to personally thank Chad Spence and his crew for making the arrangements at The Network Bar and then later that evening giving Sandy and me a tour of his facility. Chad’s business is located just a few blocks down the street from The Network Bar, which gave us the opportunity to patronize a business in his neighborhood. We would like to thank everyone in attendance that night! The companies represented were from Northern Radiator, Dolphin Radiator Manufacturing, Clean Diesel Specialists, Skyline Emissions, Kirby’s Radiator, Don Hart’s Radiator, Roppel Industries, and Industrial Radiator Service. Once again thanks to Chad, his family, and team for arranging a great evening of networking!
We are looking forward to our upcoming NARSA/IDEA 2022 Spring Conference in Texas May 5-6. On May 5, we will be hosted at Don Hart’s Radiator in Waller, Texas, which is about 35 minutes by car from our host hotel, the Houston CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village. This year’s conference will be in the spring as opposed to the fall, so the association is not competing against AAPEX.
The program at Don Hart’s Radiator will be more about niche services that are offered in order to grow and expand your business, and Don Hart’s Radiator Service is a perfect example of this. I am not sure who said, “The riches are in the Niches,” but it is a profound statement that has allowed many radiator service companies to continue to grow their businesses. The return on investment this association brings to its members through ideas, opportunities and connections is the immense value of membership. When I think about the DPF Cleaning Industry and how one member introduced the radiator service industry to DPFs, I can only think that this was one idea, one opportunity, and the one connection that was presented to our members which allowed many to be able to expand their business and produce more profits. At the end of the day, NARSA/IDEA exists to help you increase profits.
The NARSA/IDEA staff is still working diligently to finalize the arrangements for our 2022 Spring Conference. I can only assure you this event will be worth your time to attend. As we finalize the two day schedule I hope you will watch for future communications that will appear on our website http://narsa-idea.org and email blasts. Please come join us in Texas May 5-6, 2022 to find out how you can make more money.
Back to In-Person Events
It looks like this year we will be able to have a full schedule of meetings. Over the last few years, pre-pandemic, NARSA/IDEA was hosting three meetings: the HD Conference, the NARSA International Tour (NIT) and AAPEX. The timing is different this year, but the association is planning for these events.
NARSA International Tour (NIT)
For this year’s NIT, we are traveling to the United Kingdom September 7-9, 2022. Currently we have received confirmation from three companies who have agreed to host us for a visit at their facilities. Advanced Radiators LTD, located in Washington, Tyne and Wear, is a premiere radiator service and radiator distributor in Britain. From Automotive radiator distribution to Heavy Industrial heat exchanger service, this company has evolved into one of the largest facilities of its kind in UK. We want to thank the Riches, Philip and Mark, for extending an invitation to NARSA/IDEA members. You can learn more about their company by visiting http://adrad.co.uk.
Another stop will be at Serck, who is a longtime member and supporter of NARSA/IDEA. Serck is involved in many different facets of the cooling system business from manufacturing/ distribution of auto and truck radiators, cooling system development and fabrication for racing applications, and industrial heat exchanger services. Serck Heat Exchange, located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, will host us for a tour of their industrial heat exchanger service facility. To see more about Serck Services, go to http://serckheatexchange.co.uk.
There will also be a stop at G & M Radiator, another longtime NARSA member based in Glasgow, Scotland. Last year NARSA/IDEA President Bobby Duran and I interviewed Jeff Thorpe, Managing Director of G & M Radiator, on our podcast Solder & Soot. If you haven’t listened to the podcast, you’ll want to check it out to learn all about G & M’s history and endeavors. You can also go to http://gm-radiator.com to learn more.
The dates for the NIT are September 7-9, 2022. We are still working out the details as this trip will be different from previous International Tours. The main difference between this tour and previous tours is it will be one day longer and will include bus transportation and hotels. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
We are also making plans for AAPEX 2022. The last in-person event for our association was AAPEX of 2019! Some might say 28 plus months is a long time to go without seeing your industry friends, and I would agree. Even though other organizations have had in-person events, the attendance to those events has been a fraction of the usual turnout. The overall attitude of business travelers for the past two years has been one of caution thus equating to fewer travelers.
Even though AAPEX in 2021 had a smaller attendance, it was the start to the difficult task of returning to in-person events which were part of the mainstream business landscape two years ago. This was my wife’s and my first business trip since the pandemic had started and it was great to see familiar faces and old friends in person. This year AAPEX 2022 will be more successful as travel restrictions are lifted, and the world is learning how to live with COVID-19. NARSA/IDEA is planning the C.A.R. (Customer Appreciation Reception) and other unique events during the exhibition in Las Vegas this fall. The dates for AAPEX 2022 are November 1-2. Registration and hotel information has already been made available so go to https://www.aapexshow.com to get the latest information.
This year is going to be a great year for NARSA/IDEA as we are able to come together and resume in-person events. I have had the opportunity to travel recently, and it is refreshing to see the airports, highways, hotels, and restaurants busy. As much as businessmen talk about processes and procedures for operating their businesses, we are still left with life’s unpredictable events. We try to plan, train and educate our teams to offer consistent products and services, but there are things out of our control. The pandemic has taught us to be grateful for what we have, plan for the unexpected, and make the best use of the time we are given.
I know I speak for the NARSA/IDEA staff and Board of Directors when I say, we can’t wait to see you all this year! Mark your calendars now and plan to attend the Spring Conference, the NIT, and AAPEX 2022
NARSA/IDEA Executive Director
This editorial was originally published in the March/April issue of The Cooling Journal