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How do you Define Value?

noun \’val-(,)yü\
: the amount of money that something is worth : the price or cost of something
: something that can be bought for a low or fair price
: usefulness or importance

Over 500 people participated in this year’s TCA Annual Convention held in Houston, TX. I attended the event along with five AH Harris Account Managers, our feet on the street from Bangor, ME to Charlotte, NC.  In addition to registration and travel expenses, we also had both indoor and outdoor displays and hosted the luncheon speaker.  The total out of pocket cost was over $10,000. That might seem like a lot, but the experience and insight we got from the conference made it well worth the money.

During our 3 days in Houston we met numerous key decision makers for several large concrete construction firms.  We put names with the faces of existing contractors as well as contractors we hope to do business with in the future.  We learned tips and tricks for increasing tilt-up productivity that allow us to bring value to our contractor partners and help us meet our goal of being more than just a supplier.
The outdoor demo was a chance to see, feel and touch the products.  Not to mention taste some of the best BBQ.

I learned a great deal about Obamacare and how it will impact the construction industry as well as some specific deadlines that my company needs to meet.

Personally I was inspired by Stephen Klineberg from Rice University who spoke about the change in diversity in Houston but whose message was much broader and universal “that with which we are familiar, we are comfortable; that with which we are unfamiliar we are uncomfortable.” The critical need for us to be open to change and the importance of deepening our understanding of what it means to be inclusive. Each of us has a different story; there are chapters that resonate with and overlap others’ stories, like a multi-layered, highly-textured novel.  I took this message back to my entire company.

This year TCA hosted the first ever International Attendee Reception.  Seventeen countries were represented.  I found it enlightening to learn about the challenges professionals working in other countries were facing and overcoming in the tilt-up industry.   Despite the limitations I was amazed at the enthusiasm of these individuals to embrace tilt-up and bring this construction methodology to their countries.

The time spent with customers and each other strengthened our spirit.  And I can’t begin to put a value on the energy that infused our team.  Or the respect and gratitude we had for all the men, women and companies who gave of themselves, personally, emotionally and financially, to make the Veterans Memorial in Sugar Land, TX a reality.  It was truly an awe inspiring monument.

So did AH Harris get a return on our investment?  Absolutely!
Value is more than what you pay for an item or an event.  Value is what you are able to extract.  For AH Harris the value of attending this year’s TCA Convention was priceless.

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.