May 1, 2017
Monthly News, Updates & Commentary
What can we learn as we build for the future?

A note from Jon FloraPresident & CEO

In recent weeks, I’ve been sticking my nose into a handful of retail stores known to be struggling.  Partly looking for a good deal but mostly out of morbid curiosity, I ventured into Sears and Radio Shack.  I also spent some time in an owner-operated model train store.

Sears was the Amazon of the last century.  It used to sell high quality everything .  I once had an aluminum boat with the Sears name on it.  I still have my grandfather’s Craftsman screwdrivers he bought 50 years ago at the long-gone downtown Tacoma store.  They're beat up but still functioning with a lifetime warranty.
 
I recently stopped by a Sears in Redmond, WA.  The parking lot was empty. My daughter and I walked in the store and there wasn’t a customer in sight.  Moreover, there was nothing we really wanted to buy.   There was a feeling of fatigue and sadness.  

Last week, I needed a computer cable and ran up to a Radio Shack in West Seattle.  Once the mother lode of all things electronic, the Shack lost its footing long ago and became irrelevant in today’s world.  Now, they are bankrupt for the second time in a year.  Apparently, we now all go to the internet for those little fuses, alligator clips and odds-n-ends.  It’s not as much fun as rummaging around the store, but the stuff is delivered overnight for less money which seems to be make us all happy.

Both stores had a common denominator:  unhappy employees in a dismal setting.  And a notable lack of gratitude for the customer standing there.  

On the flip side, I was in a model train store in Phoenix a few weeks back.  I’m a train nut with fond memories of my brother, my Dad and me running our Lionel train around the Christmas tree with whistle blowing, smoke belching – and my Mom sniffing at the pungent smell of the warm petroleum product emanating from Union Pacific steam engine.  Playing with trains is a fading hobby catering to mostly aging, retired baby boomers.  Kids today like their X-Box, not their electric train.   

The jovial white-haired gentleman behind the counter was holding court with a couple of 60-something customers and one little boy lecturing enthusiastically about all things that go clickity-clack, whoo-whoo, and generally make a lot of noise.  If it hadn’t been for an airplane I had to catch, I could have spent the afternoon in that place. 

The storyteller wasn’t just talking about post-World War II electric trains, though.  He was talking about new electronic controls, on-board sound chips, and other marketplace innovation intended to make a century-old hobby interesting – and relevant – to the next generation.  Controlling a locomotive from an iPhone may not be enough to save the hobby but the little kid trying it in the store thought it was pretty cool to make so much mayhem from his touchscreen.  The look of excitement on his face was no different than mine many years ago.

These three experiences have made me think and lose sleep.  How do we keep our 118 year old association relevant today and for tomorrow?  Experimentation and innovation are key but as companies like Sears and Radio Shack have shown, it’s easier said than done. 

We have changed a number of things in recent years at NACM. We need to keep that momentum going with more fresh and creative approaches.  We must be open to suggestions from our members about products and services you need and want.  We have to be willing to try and be accepting of new concepts – even if we think they’re crazy, hair-brained ideas.  Sometimes those are the best kind.  If we try and fail, we will learn from the experience and that’s okay.  If we try and succeed, you’ll be hearing in celebration the whistle of my 1959 Lionel Milwaukee Road diesel engine.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll start an NACM Train Club. 

You have an important role in this exploration.  Drop us a note at feedback@nacmbcs.org . Tell us:  What’s working and what’s NOT with our century-plus-old organization?  We appreciate your perspective and are truly grateful for your involvement. 

If you’d like to discuss this, in person, please take note of our upcoming Annual Meeting, This Thursday, May 4th.  You’ll gain a better grasp of the age-old principle of networking with your industry colleagues at this event.  You may also want to attend National Credit Congress, coming this June in Grapevine, Texas. 

Thanks for your support and involvement.   Have a great May!
Industry Trade Groups
New incentive program to help grow your Industry Group 
NACM believes that Industry Groups are among the best professional tools available to our members and customers.  IN 2017, we are striving for both increased participation and high quality for the program.

What does that mean?  NACM is asking Industry Group members to set a goal of 100% participation on a monthly and annual basis.  The Groups only work if everyone is involved.

How will NACM achieve this goal?  NACM is incentivizing members to reach monthly goals with quarterly drawing/raffle prizes and an annual Grand Prize for every firm that reaches 100% participation for the entire year (or participates at 100% participation for each month their group has a meeting).

It's all pretty simple.  The more you participate in your group, the more opportunity you have to WIN!  

Best of all, your group gets stronger because of everyone's active involvement.

For more information, contact the Industry Groups office at 800-432-5700

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Industry Groups Calendar
SEATTLE AREA

Tuesday, August 9          Transportation

Thursday, May 11           Flooring

Monday, May 16             HVAC

Wednesday, May 17      Tacoma Construction Group

Thursday, May 18           Eastside Construction
                                             Wiring

Wednesday, May 24       Ad Media


ALASKA

Wednesday, May 17       Alaska Food & Suppliers


HAWAII

Tuesday, May 16             Hawaii Hospitality

Wednesday, May 17       Hawaii Food

Friday, May 19                 Hawaii Building


Education Programs
Annual Meeting & Seminar
Seattle Airport Hilton
May 4. 2017
This year's Annual Meeting & Seminar is just days away.   If you haven't yet registered but still want to, please let us know today.  We have a great turnout but may be able to find a seat for you.

Please call 206-728-6327 right away.

For more information on the program, click here.

See you Thursday.
NACM National Credit Congress
June 
Dallas, Texas
The  121st NACM National Credit Congress is set for  June 11-14 in Grapevine, Texas.  This is the biggest annual event in our profession with great speakers and special events.
 
Register now!  Just click here  for more information.

Kick-Off Member Party
You are also invited to an opening night kick-off party  just for our members and guests  from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 11th.  As always, it will be great start to Congress .  If you're planning to attend Congress, plan to join us on Sunday night for a fun time with friends and colleagues.
Products & Services
All Credit Reports are not created equal
In recent years, a lot of different report options have come on the market.  Many are attractive because of their low price tag. Buyer beware!  

An inexpensive report may save you money but, in most cases, will not have the information you need to make good business decisions.

Our experience over nearly three decades has shown Experian reports to have the best data and best price for most of our members.  There are, of course, exceptions and for those we have other great options to consider.  

Select the best credit reports for your needs by contacting our Account Executives today at:

800-432-5700
Grow with Hoovers
Looking to grow your business faster? D&B Hoovers is a sales acceleration solution that provides a faster path from prospect to profitable relationship by leveraging data and analytics. 

Target More Strategically
Enable Informed Conversations
Enhance Sales Productivity 

It's available now through NACM Business Credit Services.  Talk to your  Account Executive today to learn more about D&B Hoovers!

Call us 800-432-5700
Need help in Canada?
If you need Canadian credit reports, NACM Business Credit Services is the place to go. We offer Equifax Canadian  reports - the best report for our northern neighbors - and the best price. 

Grab your hockey skates, put on your toque, and buy your credit reports today!

For more information, contact your Account Executive or call us at 800-423-5710.

News & Information
Headlines from our region
See what's happening around the region.  Click on the city or state below to read more.

Seattle  - Maritime crucial to Washington

Seattle - Property taxes among highest in USA

Anchorage  - Biggest ever Jones Act Fine

Hawaii - Matson appoints new chairman

Hawaii  - Decrease in solar permits

Washington -  Unemployment drops 

National - Sears continues to struggle

Gas taxes in our region highest in the nation 
The following information, provided by GasBuddy.com, shows what we pay in combined Federal and State gas tax for a gallon of gas.  Two of our affiliate's traditional territories rank #2 and #3. This is particularly notable given the rapid increase in cost of living in Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area, and the on-going discussions about other local and State tax increases.
Current Fuel Prices for Seattle, Honolulu and Anchorage 
Seattle is now higher than Honolulu
Housing Trends
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