The Fix Network Canada team of Ontario came together for the annual Regional Meeting and Supplier Tradeshow on Thursday, September 18 at Kingbridge Conference Centre & Institute, King City, Ont.
After a delicious buffet breakfast at the venue, the Fix Network Ontario team, including franchise strategic partners from Fix Auto, Speedy Auto Service and NOVUS Glass, members of the corporate team and supplier partners, gathered for an hour-long general session.
All attendees were welcomed by Daryll O’Keefe, Regional Vice President, Ontario and Manitoba at Fix Automotive Network Canada. O’Keefe also announced the names of the newest franchise strategic partners and those that have added additional locations to their existing Fix Network businesses this year. He extended a hearty welcome to all the new locations on behalf of the Network. “To all of you that are growing and to all of you that are new, thank you for your vision and thank you for your support as we continue to drive based on the ‘Power of One’,” said O’Keefe. “It is amazing what individuals can do when you start to see what the outcome is. So, well done!”
A new tradition was started last year to acknowledge and honour the milestones achieved by the Network’s strategic partners.
This year, the following locations from Ontario were presented with the Fix Network Milestone Award:
- Completion of 10 Years—Fix Auto St Thomas, Fix Auto Leamington, Fix Auto Mississauga East, Fix Auto Peterborough, Fix Auto Norfolk County, Fix Auto London North West, Fix Auto Pickering Central, Fix Auto Oakville Central and Fix Auto Kitchener
- Completion of 15 years—Fix Auto Whitby, Fix Auto Etobicoke, Fix Auto Oshawa-Courtice, Fix Auto Cambridge and Fix Auto Hamilton Mountain
- Completion of 35 years—Speedy Auto Service Whitby
- Completion of 40 years—Speedy Auto Service North Bay and Speedy Auto Service Ottawa Central
- Completion of 45 years—Speedy Auto Service Guelph
- Completion of 50 years—Speedy Auto Service Nepean, Speedy Auto Service Ottawa West and Speedy Auto Service Waterloo
- Completion of 55 years—Speedy Auto Service Oshawa Central
The President’s Address
Steve Leal, President of Fix Network World, was not present in person to address the Ontario team due to professional commitments. However, he wished to share his message with all the attendees of the conference. Therefore, Leal pre-recorded a video message that was played for everyone during the general session.
Leal provided global updates, as well as the latest developments that have taken place in all segments within the network.
Commenting on global developments, Leal said, “Fix Auto and NOVUS have launched in Spain in early 2019. We are currently setting up in Mexico for an upcoming launch this fall. We are also exploring opportunities in the Czech Republic, UAE, Tunisia and India, just to name a few. We are continuing to develop partnerships in the OE side as well which will serve to strengthen our position as a global leader in the market.”
He further added, “On the supplier side, 2019 has been a very good year for us with two new global strategic partnerships. The first with German manufacturer SATA and most recently with the Italian bodyshop equipment supplier Spanesi. We are pleased to add these two highly influential brands to our partnership lineup.”
Discussing about the Fix Auto brand, Leal noted that with regard to OEM accreditation, the network is still promoting CCIAP as the preferred accreditation program. “As a network, we must align to stay on track with these changes. We are moving along as a network, but I do want to stress the importance of accreditation with respect to insurance referrals. Some insurance companies will only refer if you are accredited with CCIAP. I feel that there are going to be more insurance companies following that program, especially with the new government changes. It is our responsibility to evolve with the industry and we count on the support of everyone to stay ahead of these trends,” he explained.
Leal also stated that the Trans North America Glass Network (TAG) may be new to the Canadian market but it has been active in the U.S. for almost 20 years with a proven track record of successful claims management primarily for insurance companies. “Expanding TAG Network into Canada provides the ideal solution to fill the gap caused by the recent closure of our major competitor’s Canadian call centre. Our goal is to increase the value proposition of our insurance and our fleet partners by continuing to develop innovative and effective solutions,” he said.
NOVUS Glass has been rolling out a new mobile van initiative throughout Canada. Leal explained that these fully branded and equipped NOVUS vans will provide additional volume for Canadian market allowing the brand to extend its footprint and reach even more customers. He further added, “We are soon to launch an all-new ad campaign which shows the evolution of our brand. The campaign emphasizes our proprietary crack and chip repair technology. We look forward to releasing the creative soon and no doubt this campaign will help us grow the brand awareness across Canada and the world.”
Leal next spoke about the developments under the Speedy Auto Service brand. “We are making great progress with the accommodation of SPEEDY ZONE at some of our locations. Also, in partnership with Hunter Engineering Company, we developed a financing package program to help our partners to secure the best possible rates on equipment. This will make it easier to implement SPEEDY ZONE in your shop.”
According to Leal, the network has also made investments this year to grow its team to support the market for the mechanical segment. This added support will aid the brand in improving the go-to market strategy and drive more business through the doors of the franchise strategic partners.
“Finally, the Speedy SMS system is being deployed across locations in Ontario. We look forward to having all our franchises set up by early next year,” he added.
The Fix Network had announced some time back that the Ontario Training Centre in Milton will be officially launched on October 1. The addition of the network’s own training space will give it the opportunity and the platform to drive improved performance and results, noted Leal.
“It is a very exciting time for all of us here at Fix Network. We are moving ahead with the initiatives and projects to help us grow and better support our network,” Leal said in conclusion.
As part of his address, the network’s 2019 Corporate Video was played for attendees that highlighted ‘The Power of One’.
A Special Guest and Agenda for the Day
Robert Ellis from MySafeWork came down to the event to speak about the critical issue of safety in the workplace. Since the death of his son due to a workplace accident, Ellis has taken up the task of spreading awareness regarding the importance of workplace safety. He noted that students, the future workforce, were interested in talking about safety. He has been an inspirational speaker for 19 years now and finds that students possess an incredible thirst for knowledge
“I want students who are in high schools, colleges and universities, to learn about you because right now you might not be on their top list. Young students have all kinds of options to go everywhere, anywhere they want,” he said to the attendees. Ellis concluded by stating that most millennials wish to work for companies that have great families.
After the emotional speech by Ellis, attendees were informed about the agenda for the day. Three breakout sessions were planned for each segment—Fix Auto, Speedy Auto Service and NOVUS Glass—separately. Discussions during these sessions focussed on operations, sales, marketing and training strategies and updates for each brand.
The Supplier Tradeshow took place during a two-hour lunch break between the morning and afternoon sessions. It was a wonderful opportunity for the franchise strategic partners for networking and looking at new products and services useful for their businesses. Suppliers had also donated several items that attendees could place bids on through a silent auction.
Besides the corporate head office staff of Fix Network Canada, a grand total of 179 delegates attended the Regional Meeting, including franchisee representatives from Fix Auto, NOVUS Glass and Speedy Auto Service, as well as supplier partners. A jam-packed agenda, interspersed with networking, light conversations and a delicious lunch buffet spread made the annual regional meeting a grand success indeed.