At some point, if you are in the cooling system service and parts supply, you will be affected by poor coolant quality. Your customer and their level of coolant education will determine if you are faced with warranty issues arising from poor quality coolant. It is evident that some areas and demographics are more susceptible to cheaper inferior coolants, but this problem is widespread and affects your business, your customer, radiator suppliers, and manufacturers.
Over the last year, our company started breaking down our safety practices--some of which we were on top of, and others that had fallen behind the curve and desperately needed to be revisited.
The association has wrapped up a busy Spring with the International Tour in March and the conclusion of the 2023 Spring Conference in Rochester, New York, a few weeks ago. A huge thanks to the Schelkun family for their hard work and hospitality on the first day of the conference which was hosted at their facility, Empire Radiator. Arranging an event of any kind requires a lot of preparation and these preparations wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and expertise of NARSA/IDEA’s host company, staff and board.
There is no doubt that hiring in 2023 is a struggle for most businesses; every conversation seems to have the phrases: “No one wants to work anymore,” and “You can’t find good help.” I’m here to set the record straight by highlighting what companies within our industry are doing to get quality people in their building.
Sometimes at NARSA outings, we walk away with all the answers and solutions to issues we’ve fought for years; other times, we walk away excited about catching up with old friends we’ve made through the industry. But every time you return home from a NARSA event, you are filled with a renewed sense of passion and energy to take your business to the next level.
In many ways I may have already touched upon the subject of this editorial, but I am not sure I have identified the “E” word before. This editorial is about the “E” word, ENTHUSIASM. You may be wondering how enthusiasm affects you, or how it is even relevant to you and business? It is simple but worth writing about because it may be overlooked in your business life.
In the early 80s, copper and brass automotive radiators were still dominating the majority of work in radiator shops. This trend started to shift by the mid to late 80s as plastic and aluminum radiators became original equipment for the majority of the automotive market. Also diverting business from the radiator shops was inexpensive complete radiators from overseas which were being sold by every type of auto parts outlet. Within 10 years, the automotive radiator aftermarket had been transformed from being predominantly a radiator shop function to the radiator shops having a small piece of the new automotive complete radiator sales market.
Starting off a new calendar year gives us a chance to do some cleaning up, and for many businesses such as ours, it gives us a chance to reflect on what things went right and those which could stand improvement. With 2023 underway, we started to see a changing of the guard with supply chains slowly starting to recover, shipping and freight cost starting to come back to reality, as well as some semblance of a COVID-free work environment.
This year, we had a renewed excitement in the beginning of the year by being able to plan and facilitate in-person events. This year has renewed the enthusiasm of members, the Board of Directors, and the home office. We have had three hugely successful meetings this year. We started off at Don Hart’s Radiator in Waller, Texas for our 2022 Spring Conference. Then we had a hugely successful International Tour in the United Kingdom where we visited G&M Radiator and Advanced Radiators. Finally, we had a great AAPEX convention the first week of November.
At the heart of this association, we each stand to gain one idea, one connection, and one opportunity for our businesses, and feeling the vibe about the room further reinforced what the board of directors has been pushing so strongly over the last 4 years.