Collision repairers look to the future at IBIS 2014

By CRM Staff

Barcelona, Spain — May 23, 2014 — Change is ever-present and simple yet hard to master. It’s this message that CARSTAR Automotive Canada COO Michael Macaluso and his fellow delegates tried to convey at the IBIS 2014 global summit. 

“I have never seen so much change within the industry as we have in the last 12 months,” says IBIS Conference Director David Lingham. “You can now go anywhere in the world and see excellence.”

Lingham kicked off the summit, which focused on implementing best practices. Lori Blaker, owner of TTI Global, took the stage and talked to delegates about production processes and customer services commonly utilized in their shops. One of the biggest challenges, she says, is simply finding the right people.

“We are all competing for talent from a small pool,” says Blaker. “You need to be an attractive organization to work for.”

Baker says it’s imperative for businesses to present well to potential employees, meaning companies need to clearly identify their uniqueness and culture to attract the right people.

“Show potential new recruits what it is like to be part of your brand and ensure you live up to it,” Blaker says.

She says the industry as a whole needs to work to attract young people into the industry, adding that all potential employees need to be respected and understood, noting the importance of work-life balance to the new generation.

“We can make our industry exciting and sexy,” says Blaker. “We just need to be creative.”

 EMM Business Development Director Peter de Roo followed Blaker’s presentation with one of his own focusing on whether moving towards retail can work for the industry. He says the creation of new, efficient repair environments, mindsets and customer experiences are essential to remaking the public perception of collision repair shops.

“Can body shops move into retail? Yes, we do believe that,” De Roo says. “Open up your mind to new ideas and don’t box yourself in.”

Extending from Blaker’s presentation on how to attract young people into the industry, I-CAR’s Senior Director of Field Operations and Segment Development Jeff Peevy led a presentation on how increased training can pave the way to increased profits while also giving the new and old workers alike the opportunity to expand their skillsets.

“During a research program, those with learning culture increased annual revenue by eight percent,” Peevy says. “Is there a return on investment  for training? Yes, but it is not automatic.”

He says creating a learning-based company culture is the only way to develop a sustainable competitive advantage, and that comes down to the ways in which employees and employers approach potential culture shifts.

“Attitude really does matter, it overrides all other criteria,” Peevy says.

Sean Carey, President at SCG Management Consultants, also led a discussion on the connected car and the impacts of data on the claims process

“In the connected car world, access to data is what will make the difference,” Carey says. “We see claims in a linear fashion, one action follows another. It’s amazing how data can change people’s thinking and become the norm.”

Carey believes the future of insurance claims will be based on predictive analytics that will compose agreed pricing models. In this landscape Carey says performance metrics will play an increasing role in shop selection, with data determining the distribution of work.

“He who has the data rules,” he says. “Suppliers will need to find out where they fit in the data driven ecosystem. Change is inevitable, convenience will be the benefit to the customer.” 

On the beginning of the second day, Macaluso took the stage alongside Team Salzer’s Stephan Salzer to chat about business succession and the challenges surrounding passing family businesses from one generation to the next.

Macaluso says the concept of change is so simplistic yet challenging to implement, yet is something he says CARSTAR has implemented with its intrapreneur model to help reshape the business upon the premise of “humble but hungry.”

“Cascade the goals throughout the organization and with all stakeholders,” he says.

Salzer says his father was handed only the steering wheel of the business, while he was handed the entire operation. Being thrust into leadership is difficult yet manageable transition, yet Macaloso believes there’s a solution to that reality.

“As a new leader communication is critical,” Macaloso says. 

Chris Donkin, a senior client partner at Korn Ferry continued Macaloso and Salzer’s leadership discussion with his own that merges the transition of existing leadership and the cultivation of new young leaders for tomorrow.

“Leadership is the ability to clearly define and communicate strategy,” says Donkin. 

He says that despite the industry being in an unprecedented state of global change, cultiviating future leaders is the route towards prosperity going forward. Initiatives like the IBIS Young Leader movement will help identify emerging industry leaders who will expand the industry beyond what previously had been thought possible.

“Seventy percent of the people who got you where you are today will not be able to get you where you need to be for the future,” he says.

Additional IBIS speakers included Kevin Jones of Al Futtaim who talked about production processes and customer service, Olivier Wood of Innovation Group who discussed France’s accident repair market, Dr. Thomas Aubel of TUV Rheinland, Lesley Upham of Thatcham Research and Tomas Geiger of Audi AG.

IBIS 2014 took place from May 19 to May 21 in Barcelona, Spain, hosted at the Hotel Arts Barcelona.

For more on IBIS, please visit IBISworldwide.com.


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