Detroit, Michigan -- July 26, 2015 -- The MSO Symposium was possibly the most highly anticipated event at NACE 2015. Focused on delivering content to executives, multi-store owners and those looking to join their ranks, the MSO Symposium delivered five different panel discussions, each focusing on a different key issue.
Prior to the panel discussions, Vincent Romans of The Romans presented MSO Update & State-of-the-Industry Address. Romans provided a breakdown of the number of collision repair facilities in the industry, dealership groups and MSOs. Romans’ in-depth look at the current state-of-the-industry provided attendees with information that he aggregates annually and shares in a printed report detailing trends in the collision repair industry.
The panel discussions kicked off with Claims Management Models, moderated by Russell Thrall. Panelists included Ron Doerr of Assured Performance Network, Mark Mandl of Ford Customer Service Division, Clint Marlow of Allstate Insurance Company, Michel Malik of Australia’s BodyShop News and Gerry Tyller of Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).
The panel focused on providing a global view of current and future claims management, including certified repair centres, OE certification, capitation and parts purchasing models.
The Insurer panel followed, moderated by Mike LeVasseur of Keenan Auto Body. Panelists were Chris Andreoli of Progressive, Clint Marlow of Allstate Insurance Company, Russ Hoffbauer of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Jeff McFadden of Service King Collision Repair Centers, Danny Henderson of American Family Mutual Insurance Company and Jim Keller of 1Collision Network. The panel discussed the future of direct repair programs, the challenges of the current environment, and how repairers and insurers and handling the influx of specialty materials and certification programs.
Another panel looked at the employee shortage and discussed how to develop talent and retention. The panel moderator was Darrell Amberson of Lamettry’s Collision. Panelists included Max Sorensen of Keenan Auto Body, Brandon Eckenrode of the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Jeff Peevy of AMI and Kevin Burnett of Gerber Collision & Glass.
Some of the initiatives under discussion included recent efforts focused high school guidance counselors, highlighting how different opportunities are available in collision repair, how building a training culture means less trouble finding qualified people, ABRA’s Collision Repair Opportunity Program that provides students with a nine-month educational internship, and the perils and pitfalls of promoting from within.
Vincent Romans returned to the stage as the moderator of the next panel: The ABCs of Financing, examining trends in consolidation and the financial shift. Panelists consisted of Courty Gates of Vesper Investment Company, David Roberts of FOCUS Investment Banking, Steven Becket of Peninsula Capital Partners and Ken Hanley of Caliber Collision Centers. All four panelists are experts in finance and MSO development. The goal of the panel was to help MSOs understand the financing alternatives available.
The final panel of the day focused on vital numbers, specifically Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction Index. The moderator was Mike LeVasseur of Keenan Auto Body. Panelists were Dean Fisher of CARSTAR US, David Kulkis of ABRA, John Webb of TenPoint Complete, Jason Bertellotti of Mitchell and Paul Gange of Fix Auto USA. Maintaining high scores in these areas as organizations grow can be difficult, especially with multiple locations. The panel focused on looking at what better performing facilities are doing to maintain and improve their scores.