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DO THE HOKEY POKEY

All of this narrows down to one question: are you in, or are you out? have you taken steps to adapt your facility, your operations, work culture, et cetera, to the year 2023?
Plan your future and turn it all around

By ALLISON ROGERS

Collision Repair magazine recently launched our own EV Repair Tour, with the help of Fix Network and a host of gracious industry sponsors. Thus far, the tour has brought industry- leading speakers to our events in Toronto, Saskatoon and Calgary, with another stop in Vancouver later this fall.

We knew that the industry was eager to learn about the circumstances that come along with a future that’s allegedly filled with electric vehicles—but the response to our event has been nothing short of incredible. Our Toronto event brought more than 100 industry stakeholders— including collision centre owners, insurance reps, franchisee and network partners and more—to the Fix Network headquarters and training centre in Milton, Ontario. I would wager a bet that every attendee in that room learned something that day, whether it was about the safety precautions and tooling required to repair EVs; breakdowns of battery technologies; adapting vocational colleges to electric learning…so much was covered! 

In Saskatoon, we were lucky enough to convince Kim Kos, the general manager of Kavia Auto Body, and Scott Kucharyshen of Saskatchewan Polytechnic, to present their perspectives on EVs. Kucharyshen is on a mission to have Sask Polytechnic teach its students the ins-andouts of Tesla repair (he is actually striving to become the first Tesla-certified vocational school in North America—stay tuned). Meanwhile, Kavia Auto Body is the only Tesla-certified facility in its market, and has been since 2019. As such, ten percent of the facility’s claims are on Tesla vehicles and—get this—they’ve never, ever written a Tesla off. In fact, the average claim sits at $30,000, according to Kos. So…yeah, planning for the future has come with some serious perks for Kavia.

The same ideas are seen with this issue’s cover, CARSTAR Ancaster, where Joe Saputo has taken an already successful business, started by his parents, Sam and Rosa Saputo, and transformed an already incredible shop into an uber-impressive collision repairing machine. Read the story—their team almost doubled revenue by adding technological advancements and an arsenal of OEM procedure access tools to their operations. The Saputo Capital Collision Group recently acquired their third store, CARSTAR Guelph, where they’re employing the same tech-savvy, modern-centric strategies. And they are absolutely killing the game.

For all collision centre decision-makers perusing this article, all of this narrows down to one question: are you in, or are you out? Have you taken steps to adapt your facility, your operations, work culture, et cetera, to the year 2023? If you adapt in the right ways, you have the potential to solve a lot of your problems—and these are challenges that nearly everyone in the sector seems to be facing.

When Joe Saputo and general manager Natasha Woods made a technological flip in the CARSTAR Ancaster shop, they saw growth across the board. Not only that, but Saputo maintains a strong belief that, with accessibility to proper tools and a strong leadership behind your team, a collision centre’s people problems and potential hiring troubles simply melt away. People want to work in modern facilities, he says—the days of tossing a hammer and dolly to your apprentice and saying ‘git ’er done’ are over. Adapt, overcome and reap the rewards. It’s now or never.

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