Debbie Day, Mitchell's new GM of Auto Physical Damage, will be travelling to meet the company's customers.

By Jeff Sanford

San Diego, California -- May 8, 2016 -- Mitchell International announced this week that Debbie Day has joined the company’s Auto Physical Damage (APD) business unit as General Manager.

Day comes to Mitchell after nineteen years in technology-related positions in both strategy and operations, including as CEO of a financial industry tech start-up. It's fair to say Day brings a West Coast, Silicon Valley-style, entrepreneurial start-up mentality to her new role.

“This the area I've spent the most time in. I definitely think of myself of myself as technology focused person ... as someone involved with start-ups,” says Day in a recent interview with Collision Repair magazine.

At other points in her career Day has worked in product management, implementation and software sales. She has experience in both the B-to-B space, but also B-to-C. Her combination of technology, operations and experience will be appreciated at Mitchell. The company celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

Mitchell, of course, evolved out of its early days as a publisher of paper manuals containing repair information. Today it has become a technology-based provider of 21st century digitally networked products designed to bring new levels of efficiency to the collision repair industry. Mitchell processes tens of millions of electronic transactions a month for more than 300 insurance companies and over 30,000 collision repair facilities across the Americas and Europe.

“I don't think anyone expected to see how it is the Internet has just changed everything. The way networks can connect people now, that's allowing the kind of collaboration that you would have never thought possible before,” says Day. “Today's technology is impressive. That you can upload a digital image of a damaged car now and cut days out of the cycle time is amazing.”

During the interview, Day discussed some of the long history of Mitchell. The impressive pedigree is one of the reasons she is excited to join the company.

“When I think about joining a company on its seventieth birthday I'm struck by that history. I am taken by the extraordinary expertise that has been developed here. People have been in this company a long time. It has a great technology heritage. It's constantly reinventing itself. This is one of the reasons I'm excited to join. Alex Sun has been driving these improvement across the supply chain. I'm just thrilled to be here,” says Day.

In the coming weeks she will hit the road in a bid to begin meeting Mitchell clients. She's got some serious travelling to do. The first region she'll visit is the eastern seaboard in the US. “I'm going to be hitting the ground running. I'm starting next week. I'm excited to get started and to visit. I'm starting off on the east coast here in the US where there are several large carriers. There is a lot of insurance written east of the Mississippi, but that's a long way from San Diego so we've got some travel coming up,” says Day.

Day says she'll focus on seeking out customer-driven improvements.

“I'd say the first thing I want to learn about where our customer think we can add value. I love working with customers. I want to get out there and listen and hear what customers have to say,” says Day.

Day will also travel to Canada where the company has a relatively large footprint in the industry. She notes that Mitchell is particularly interested in the Canadian market.

Some other companies Day has worked for in the past include executive positions at ACTIVE Network and CCC Information Services. In these roles Day is credited with driving “multimillion dollar revenue growth” and “leading successful product launches.” She'll be doing the same thing at Mitchell.

“It’s a very exciting time at Mitchell and full of immense possibilities. I couldn’t be more thrilled to join an industry-leading organization ... I spent my career developing tech solutions. I look forward to bringing that experience to Mitchell, which has such an impressive history,” she says.

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