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IT STARTS WITH YOU

First-ever Canadian Council of Collision Repairers meeting sets the foundation for collaborative industry change

By DARRYL SIMMONS

In early January, I had the privilege of attending the historic first in-person meeting of the Canadian Council of Collision Repairers (CCCR) at Pfaff Autoworks in Markham, Ontario. If you’ve yet to hear about it, trust me when I tell you that this gathering was a true testament to the dedication and passion of the hardworking shop owners, managers and collision staff across the nation. As a longtime member of the industry and advocate for their needs, I found this meeting—the first ever time the association has gathered—to be truly inspiring.

The meeting brought together over 50 shop owners and managers, along with several key representatives from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Discussions revolved around crucial industry topics and aimed to chart a roadmap for advancing the collision repair industry as a whole.

What made this meeting truly remarkable was the diversity of participants and their broad representation. Representing over 100 unique locations across Canada, the attendees embodied the spirit of collaboration and innovation that the CCCR stands for. As I looked around the room, I saw industry veterans who had dedicated their lives to their craft, alongside young entrepreneurs brimming with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. I witnessed the coming together of bannered shops, dealer groups, independent businesses; all with a shared commitment to driving positive change.

The genuine camaraderie and mutual respect among the attendees was a reminder that common challenges require collective solutions and that together, we can achieve remarkable things. You don’t have to take my word alone. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with several guests affirming that the association is, “definitely headed in the right direction.” Attendees expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions and exchange insights with industry peers. They highlighted the value of the diverse perspectives represented in the room and the collaborative atmosphere that fostered open dialogue. And this is just the beginning.

What became abundantly clear from this gathering can be summed up in three themes: common challenges, common goals and common solutions. We have the capacity. We have the drive. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what needs to be done and doing it. This meeting served as a catalyst; allaying and, hopefully, eliminating any outside fears of shops “running renegade,” destroying any semblance of the collision repair industry we know today.

Shops meeting and speaking will hopefully soon become the rule as opposed to the exception. This is a harbinger of a new world order.

 

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