Vancouver, British Columbia — The Canadian collision repair industry is hot off the heels of yet another successful Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF), full of networking, new products and presentations from the aftermarket’s biggest names live from Vancouver, including frequent Collision Repair columnist, Stefano Liessi.
Liessi, a featured CCIF speaker this time around and a fan of the forum generally, delivered a talk on electric vehicles and how technicians must get ahead of the rapid changes that continue to consume the industry.
“This is a new world of learning for our technicians, who will need to start early in their careers,” he told Collision Repair following the event.
“The most significant hurdle here is understanding that the EV is more than just a typical model switch-up. This is an additional career beyond what we already do daily. There is no room for compromise and shortcuts with these electrified Duracell buggies.”
Touching on similar ideas, Enterprise Holdings’ v-p of replacement and leisure, Mary Mahoney, hosted a talk where she delved into the opportunities afforded by the potential of connected vehicles, specifically how lost or stolen vehicles can be tracked and returned to their owners.
Simon Wong, a risk advisory expert from global accounting firm Ernst and Young, presented on the dangers of ransomware and how hackers seize vulnerabilities in businesses of all sizes.
Liessi shared his thoughts on Wong’s presentation: “I found this fascinating how there is a whole industry around ransomware and the hierarchy of the business model behind it. An indeed well-oiled machine that requires more than a McAffee update. The chronological order of ransomware setup and how they worm their way into your business is beyond anyone’s proper understanding. My takeaway from this was that it is not the size or the nature of the business; it all hinges on whether you leave a door ajar.”
Finally, Keith Mew, an automotive refinishing instructor at Vancouver Community College, addressed the audience on what the automotive aftermarket can do to make itself competitive in today’s dwindling skilled trades hiring market.
“A great from-the-heart presentation on getting the industry to understand that it’s more than the classroom that needs to make some changes if you want to draw in and keep new staff,” said Liessi.
“Mentorship, wages, and education are some of the carrots that lead to the retention of staff. Training from within, acknowledging that your techs need to attend class to bring home new and updated information to make themselves better at their jobs and better for your business.”
Liessi gave the following final thought on CCIF Vancouver 2022:
“Overall, I see CCIF Vancouver as a success for all that attended, a well-run show that would not be up to par without their sponsors; kudos to them. As with every human, a few days and some good food is the number one leading cause of information leakage, a statistic I pleasantly just made up from ordinary observation. Take some time to review the presentations posted on the CCIF website in the near future to trigger that memory of yours and capitalize on some of the key points you found beneficial to you and your business.”
CCIF Vancouver 2022 ran from Oct. 6 to 7 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel.