A successful visit to NPE in Nashville

National Pavement Expo 2008 was great! One of the best ever. The show floor was larger, there were great new products to look at and wish for, and the NPCA booth was busy. We really needed a bigger booth and if we didn't have time to speak with you personally we apologize. We'll certainly try to remedy that next time.

A special thanks to JCL Equipmetn Co. for the great T-shirts that they sponsored for the giveaway in our booth, they really were a hot ticket. As a brand-new allied member, JCL jumped right in and made a substantial contribution to the fun we had at the show. So thanks, JCL!

It surprised us how many people were not familiar with the NPCA after eight years, but it seems many people just hadn't noticed. Hopefully this new column will help remedy that and we had a lot of people join immediately when they saw all the new benefits we have to offer. We hope to have even more, including more allied members, by the time that you read this.

We welcome those who joined at NPE and we want to remind you to take advantage of every benefit we have to offer.Our new educational seminars were well received, and we thank Cygnus Business Media and Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction for helping get this first step in our ongoing educational and training programs started. As we move into the future contractors with more educational credits and a higher customer satisfaction ranking will naturally attract more customers, because people really do want value and quality more than they want low price.

After the tremendous response that we received at the NPE we are looking forward to the greatest year ever. As more contractors come on board the bar is raised higher and higher benefiting the entire industry. We can also cover more and more areas of the country, allowing us to advertise more to property owners and managers across the country. NPCA still needs more members in specific areas and in concrete and decorative work (and we still have special discount rates for those). Membership is always a great deal, and as one of our directors commented, while one of his competitors was signing up, "it is great to have him as a fellow member!" That may sound strange, but he knew the other company does good work, so now customers in their area would have more quality contractors to choose from and be less likely to choose an inferior contractor.

And that's really what the NPCA is all about. All the benefits and savings (on our new health insurance, car rentals, and big discounts on Ford and Dodge, for example) are great to have, and we love it when members tell us they are now able to offer health benefits because of the savings or they've saved thousands on a truck. But the main benefit always has been "raising the bar" for the industry so that customers can always be assured of getting top quality contractors and professional grade work.

For more about NPCA and its benefits visit www.PavementPro.com