In two short months CRW Parts Inc will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, but if you consider it a continuation of R W Norris and Sons (as many of our suppliers do) we have been around since 1850. While many would consider this pretty impressive it is not unusual in our industry. Pioneer Rim and Wheel and Midwest Wheel both recently celebrated their 100th birthdays while Six Robblees will be 100 years old in 2013.
What do these companies all have in common besides good people, a little luck, and a strong commitment to our industry? CVSN!
In the frenetic fast paced world we live in today, many business owners (big and small) think belonging to a buying/marketing group is all they need to steer them on the road to success. They believe belonging to an association is an expense they cannot afford, either monetarily, or from a time commitment standpoint.
I would argue belonging to an association, more specifically, CVSN, is an investment a heavy duty parts distributor cannot afford to miss.
CVSN is an association formed in 2006 through a merger of Council of Fleet Specialists (CFS) and National Wheel and Rim Association (NWRA). This merger formed the largest association of independent truck parts and service distributors in the transportation industry. Countries represented within the membership are the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
But what, you ask, can CVSN offer that cannot be covered in a buying group?
First and foremost is the chance to meet, talk with, and share ideas with the best and brightest in our industry. If all I did was attend VIPAR I would not get to see, and pick the brains of, Dave Scheer (Inland Truck Parts), Andy Robblee ( Six Robblees), Mike Callison and John Minor (Midwest Wheel), and Marc Karon (Total Truck Parts) just to name a few. I would also miss out on seeing and talking with the vendors who are not a part of my marketing group. All of these people and companies are committed to making our industry better by sharing their knowledge and expertise with those willing to listen. No matter how much our industry changes it’s still about the relationships we build with our customers, suppliers, and fellow distributors.
Because CVSN is an association formed for the betterment of our industry, EDUCATION plays a vital role in our meetings. Topics covered over the last few years are; Technology, Legislative Issues, Sales & Marketing, Purchasing, Labor Issues, Finance, Economy, Leadership/Management, and Health Care just to name a few. I have heard Richard Spitzke, CEO of Fort Garry Industries, say on numerous occasions that the information gleaned from these association meetings have been vital to the success of his business. Coming from Richard that is a pretty strong affirmation of the value these meetings provide its members.
CVSN, through its relationship with AAIA, is becoming a more active advocate, regarding the legislative issues facing our companies today. Issues such as Card Check, Obama Care, CSA, Right to Repair, and the rescinding of LIFO all need our attention and voice on Capitol Hill. If we do not fight our own battles no one else will.
The stature that CVSN is gaining in the industry is also very evident in the fact that CVSN is a one-third owner of the best all-industry event held each January, the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week. If you have not attended this event yet, you are missing one of the best events in our industry for the independent distributor. I encourage you to attend this January 23-26 at the Mirage in Vegas.
Over the years I have met many wonderful people in the heavy duty market place and they all seem to have one thing in common. They are willing to give of themselves, without pay, to improve the industry we operate in. CVSN may be a luxury to some, but it is a luxury CRW can’t afford to live without!