By Mike Davey
Mono, Ontario -- October 24, 2016 -- Fix Auto Ontario’s first annual Regional Meeting took place at Hockley Valley Resort in Mono, Ontario on October 21, 2016. The event, presented for the first time in a new two-day format, kicked off with a cocktail reception and supplier expo, during which Carl Brabander, Fix Auto’s Vice President of Marketing, interviewed each of the 20 supplier partners in attendance on a live video feed, concentrating on the products offered by each vendor, keeping attending franchise partners informed and entertained throughout the evening.
The meeting really got underway the next morning with an introduction by Daryll O’Keefe, General Manager of Fix Auto Ontario. During his opening address, O’Keefe thanked the attending vendors and the 147 Fix Auto franchise partners in attendance.
“This first edition of the annual Fix Auto Ontario Regional meeting is something to be excited about. We are thrilled to offer our Ontario members the chance to gather, exchange and network over the course of this event. For Fix Auto, it’s a chance to share local, national and global updates from the network and the industry,” says O’Keefe. “These events add a lot of value to our organization, and we are pleased to have had another great turnout this year.”
O’Keefe then introduced Jean Charles Dupuis, Chief Operating Officer for Fix Auto Canada. Dupuis introduced himself to attendees and discussed the relatively recent acquisition of the Prime CarCare Group by Fix Auto, now integrated into the new holding company known as Fix Automotive Network, and how this will allow the network to expand its offering into mechanical service and auto glass.
O’Keefe returned to the stage to introduce Fix Auto World President and CEO Steve Leal, pointing to how Leal is driving positive change throughout the organization and consistently setting new targets. Leal elaborated on Fix Auto’s global development, with a new network building in Australia and other countries, adding to operations already in existence in Canada, the US, the UK, France and Turkey.
Leal himself discussed how to embrace change within the organization and at the shop level, noting that the secret of change is driving forward. In addition to discussing the new services Fix Auto will offer through the integration of brands Novus Glass, Speedy Auto Service and Minute Muffler & Brake, Leal also took some time to point to how the business is changing for the OEMs. He noted that OEMs are increasingly concentrating on customer service throughout the process, including during repair, and how many of the larger companies are coming to view themselves not as car companies, but as mobility providers.
Also under discussion at the meeting was Fix Auto’s support of the new Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP), administered by AIA Canada. AIA Senior Industry Programs Director Andrew Shepherd was onsite and delivered a comprehensive vision of the program and how it will benefit Canadian repair networks like Fix Auto.
The day went on with a series of smaller breakout sessions geared towards marketing, sales and operations respectively. Andy Neufeld, Director of Operations for Fix Auto Ontario and Tony DeSantis, Vice President of Sales for Fix Auto Canada each took to the stage to discuss some of the recent updates and developments in operations and insurance sales. The topics discussed, from innovative operational tools to data regarding Fix Auto’s relationships with insurers, promise help franchise partners get all the information and resources to help drive their businesses forward.
Fix Auto’s Marketing breakout session outlined the branding initiatives currently underway throughout the network and the standards locations will have to meet in some of the customer-facing areas of the shop. Brabander also discussed Fix Auto’s new relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada, as well as some of the exciting new technology Fix Auto has presented in the last year on the consumer facing side, including the company’s new mobile estimate app, available through their website and participating shop pages.
The meeting concluded later in the afternoon, following a closing word from O’Keefe who thanked all partners in attendance for their support, hard work and dedication to Fix Auto.
For more information on Fix Auto, please visit fixauto.com.