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John Belzer

President, TCI Precision Metals Gardena, Calif.

"I can talk with fellow members about everything."

Can you define the value of your NTMA membership?Networking—and the ability to learn from others—is one of the biggest benefits of NTMA membership. I remember a situation, back in 2002, when I compared notes with a fellow business owner about employee health benefits. He pointed out that I was paying 100 percent of the premium for our employees and their dependents, yet no one else was really doing that anymore—and I really couldn’t afford to be doing it.

I think that conversation probably saved me $300,000 per year. Multiply that by however long it would have taken me to make that move on my own and it may actually add up to $1.2 million in savings.

Is that a common occurance?I could come up with a number of smaller situations over the years. I can talk with fellow members about everything, with the exception of pricing and wages—and even there, we have wage surveys each year that act as a vital reference.

Regularly, at a conference or just an informal gathering, I’ll ask a question, or hear something at an industry roundtable, and I’ll get an idea that adds to my bottom line. For me, what I’ll learn just in a roundtable, never mind the rest of the conference, will save me $5,000 to $10,000. It could be anything from a new piece of software to a new way to dispose of coolant.

When I compare the value of what I’ve gotten—in real, dollars-and-cents terms—with my annual dues, NTMA membership is a no-brainer.

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