By Jeff Sanford
Toronto, Ontario — October 21, 2015 — For the past ten months representatives from Mitchell International have travelled from one end of Canada to the other, visiting collision repair shops as part of the 2015 Canadian Road Show.
According to Mitchell, the trip is part “road trip, part trade show, and all adventure.” This year is no different. Over the course of 10 months Mitchell visited collision repair shops in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.
Considering the size of the country, that’s a lot of travel time. But according to Paul Rosenstein, VP of Product Management at Mitchell International, the investment in time and resources is worth it.
“The thing is, we are dedicated to having a strong presence in the Canadian market. It’s an important market for Mitchell and this is a way to demonstrate that importance. On the auto-physical-damage side, I’d say probably 15 to 20 percent of Mitchell’s business comes from Canada,” says Rosenstein. Considering Canada represents less than10 percent of the North American population, this is, proportionally, a large bit of business for the company. “We are the number one provider of these products in Canada. Canada is big for us,” says Rosenstein.
The Road Show is also a good way to stay in touch with the people working on the ground in the industry and can be used to introduce new products. But the real value is in hearing what’s going on at the front lines of the industry.
“We did have a lot of new products in the process of launching this. But that wasn’t the focus of the Road Show. We were there to listen to the people at the shops as a way of working on our future strategy. The focus is on listening, not selling,” says Rosenstein. “At Mitchell we always remember where we came from. We came from the dealerships and collision repair shops. We know that we need to service the people in the shop. If you’re not serving those people you’re not going to be in business.”
What team members heard on the ground was that this was a reasonably good year in terms of business. Anecdotally, this is the case. Rosenstein says this is an idea he picked up on during the tour.
Pulling something like this off takes more than a bit of planning. This doesn’t happen overnight. The investment in time and resources is large. Prior to visiting a city, the Mitchell Road Show team contacts selected collision repair facilities, and does a quick profile on the shop’s history to find out what products the shop is using and why. On the day of the onsite visit, team members are given a tour of the facility and then chat with personnel. The tours usually conclude with a meeting with the shop owner or manager to talk about any technical or help issues they might have. It’s a great way for the shops and the company to align their needs and interests.
“Mitchell is proud to be the premier provider of collision repair shop solutions for the Canadian industry … the Canadian Road Show is a demonstration of that,” says Rosenstein. “Our customers’ satisfaction is paramount. We’re really looking forward to 2016 where we can meet more of our customers and discuss ways in which we can successfully support and streamline their businesses.”
Mitchell Canadian Road Show Team members include Pauline Perenack and Kate Fleming from Mitchell’s marketing team, Mitchell Directors of Sales Brian Moss, Joe Sucher, and Michel Gagnon, and Local Representatives Dan Ross, Frank Vaski, Kurtis Keala, Tyler Jacklyn, Aaron King and John Bedard.
For more information on the 2015 Mitchell Road Show, please visit go.mitchell.com/2015CanadianRoadShow.