When four associations merged to become one on July 1, 2022, NAEDA CEO Kim Rominger stated that the focus would remain on what dealer members need, issues and events that affect dealers, and industry trends. With advocacy and manufacturer relations top of mind, this spilled over into the 2022 North American Dealer Conference held November 15-17 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Focusing on the three pillars of NAEDA – advocate, elevate and educate, the conference featured a two-day agenda of learning and networking. The following is a brief recap of the speaker sessions and event highlights.
Government Affairs from D.C. to Ottawa
This opening panel discussion at the NADC was moderated by Brad Wall, former premier of Saskatchewan, and featured three panelists:
- Sam Keiffer, vice president, Public Policy – American Farm Bureau Federation,
- Alanna Koch – board chair of Global Institute for Food Security, chair of CN Ag Adv Council, board member of SeedMaster and Canadian Ag Hall of Fame, KoHert Agri Inc. and,
- Eric Wareham – senior vice president of government affairs for NAEDA.
Government affairs is a priority of NAEDA. The panelists provided their perspectives on the current government issues affecting the industry at the state, federal and provincial levels.
A View from Wall Street
Jerry Revich, senior financial officer, at Goldman Sachs, provided trends on the economic cycle, agricultural machinery industry, precision agriculture addressable market and agricultural machinery OEM strategies.
Food 5.0: How We Feed the Future
Robert Saik, CEO of AGvisorPro, is a veteran ag tech entrepreneur, author and speaker and is recognized as one of Canada’s Top 50 Most Influential Agriculture Leaders. Saik provided a pragmatic look at the five iterations of agriculture, culminating in examining how technology convergence is reshaping the farm and the consumer.
Workforce Development – Help! They’re Leaving and I Can’t Find More!
The equipment industry has struggled to figure out the best course to help its employee base grow professionally, which has resulted in a “leave to excel” situation for many employees looking to move up to the next level. Combined with declining numbers of senior and mid-level managers who continue to cycle through the industry and the difficulty of attracting new talent, it’s easy to see the industry needs corrective action.
Three presenters from NAEDA, Michael Piercy, vice president of dealer development, Larry Hertz, vice president – Canada, and Joe Dykes, vice president of industry relations, joined the discussion on attracting new talent as workforce development continues to be a top-of-mind conversation.
Proactively Defending Your Organization
The Internet has unleashed an explosion of malicious activity worldwide. Our adversaries are evolving and adapting to exploit our (low) compliance framework requirements. Most organizations are struggling to keep up with the blistering pace being set by advanced threat actors. We’ve learned that success has more to do with becoming hyper-efficient at the fundamentals than focusing exclusively on technology.
Speakers Ryan Layton, co-founder and CEO, and Jason Stokes, chief information security officer and vice president, of Secuvant, provided attendees with the data and information needed to focus their cybersecurity efforts to defend their organizations effectively and proactively.
Repair Done Right – Changing the Narrative on Right to Repair
The Right to Repair issue reared its ugly head in state legislative sessions for the sixth year in a row in 2022. Following an executive order by President Biden, Right to Repair also gained attention at the federal level and Congress now entertains several Right to Repair bills. Moderated by NAEDA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Eric Wareham, panelists Jason Francque – director, corporate affairs, John Deere, George Whitaker – state government relations, CNHI, and Tom Walter, manager, state governmental affairs, Caterpillar Inc., provided an overview of the status of legislation across North America and what the association is doing to proactively change the narrative about what our industry does to support customer repair with NAEDA’s Repair Done Right campaign.
Road Map to the 2022 Midterm Elections
In a lively, entertaining, and strictly nonpartisan presentation, David Wasserman, who reports on the U.S. House as senior editor for the Cook Political Report, took NADC attendees on a tour of the hottest elections and the ever-evolving D.C. landscape. Wasserman drew from his extensive research on voting patterns and interviews with both parties’ candidates and strategists to shed light on the top issues on voters’ minds to forecast midterm outcomes in November and beyond.
** Election Update: The November midterm elections brought change to Washington. Partisan control of the House and Senate remained razor thin after the vote and 84 freshman legislators (77 in the House, seven in the Senate) were sworn in. The Republicans now control the House, the Democrats have the Senate.
Merger & Acquisitions – Where is My Future?
It’s no secret consolidation has accelerated and had an effect on market share, dealer growth issues, and industry partner sophistication. It’s become a perfect storm, as industry dealer leaders are aging and looking to navigate their way out of the business while protecting the next generation. In today’s environment, dealers should clearly understand their options. Panelists Curt Kleoppel, president of Equipment Dealer Consulting LLC, and Lance Formwalt, attorney at Seigfreid Bingham, discussed how to access the various options.
Spotting Leading Indicators of a Market Turn
Markets are ever-changing, but recent market changes present unique challenges. The supply chain uncertainties linger in 2023 and have caused unusual shifts in used ag equipment pricing and availability. Dealers are asking: What early indicators might reveal a market change in used ag equipment? Are we destined to repeat the oversupply problems of 2014? How does the current average days-in-stock for used inventory compare to previous years? In this session, Prescott Shibles, executive vice president and general manager of asset intelligence at Randall Reilly, provided his thoughts on spotting leading indicators of a market turn and where he sees it going in the future.
Repricing in a Dynamic Market
Repricing used equipment has a significant effect on the bottom line of a dealership. In this presentation Andy Campbell, director of marketing & analytics, and Tyler Lowy, account executive at Iron Comps, shared multiple strategies and methods dealers across the country are using to reprice equipment so they can improve turns in a down market and capitalize on full revenue potential in an up market. To complement this, they shared the data and trends they see in the used equipment market to help get an early indication of the current market direction.
Organizational Integration – How Do the Pieces Fit Together?
One of the most challenging issues consolidating dealers face is bringing multiple modes of operation together. When organizations merge or are acquired, various personalities must come together to succeed. Moderated by Michael Piercy, vice president of dealer development at NAEDA, panelists Brett Barriage, former CEO of Premier Equipment and facilitator of NAEDA John Deere Performance Groups, and Shawn Skaggs, president of Parallel Ag, discussed how to bring the pieces together.
Keynote Speaker – Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor Recipient
Following an attack on his comrades in Ganjgal, Afghanistan, Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer showed the ultimate level of courage and determination by entering the “killing zone” and saving the lives of many Afghan and American troops. In this talk, Meyer drew from his military memoirs and lessons learned in his post-military experiences to lead a candid conversation on what it takes to survive, thrive, and tackle your biggest obstacles — whether in combat or in everyday life. As he revealed to attendees, the first step in moving forward is to learn from the past, but not let it define who you are or what you’re capable of in the present or the future.
Showing a rare willingness to be vulnerable, Meyer shared paradigm-shifting lessons on the pivotal role of hope in achieving your mission, understanding the difference between a problem and an inconvenience and the impact of each, acting out of love vs. acting out of hate, and helping people on the path to achieving something much bigger than yourself. Outlining the importance of purpose and actionable steps each person can take to discover their own, Meyer showed the way forward when it comes to putting life’s toughest battles into perspective, defining what matters most, and creating their legacies.
The conference concluded with an evening out on the Nash Vegas Strip, where conference attendees enjoyed Nashville’s hospitality with live music, dancing and networking. This was truly a night to remember.
WHAT ATTENDEES HAD TO SAY…
“Excellent week – only disappointed that I couldn’t attend all breakouts.”
“Very effective conference…”
“Sessions were very good. Topical and well presented.”
“Nice opportunity to meet more people and discuss social issues.”
“I am with understanding that our entire sales team will attend next year.”
“It was our first time to this event and we are already planning next year’s visit.”
As we plan for the next NADC conference in late January – early February of 2024, we encourage dealers and their management teams to attend the association conference. After all, it’s where successful dealers meet.
Article Written By Joanne Olson – NAEDA