On May 26, more than 250 collision repair professionals and suppliers, gathered for CCIF Fredericton, presented with an opportunity to gain insight from key industry leaders as well as explore business and networking opportunities.
A key highlight of the event was the announcement of Patrice Marcil, Customer Experience Director, Axalta Coating Systems, as the next CCIF Chairman, succeeding Joe Carvalho.
CCIF Fredericton kicked off with a cocktail reception on May 25, followed by a full event schedule the following day.
During the conference, Annabelle Cormack from Cormack Recruitment discussed the challenges in recruiting top talent for businesses. Cormack said those organizations that take a proactive approach to recruitment tend to be much better positioned when it comes to dealing with personnel challenges. She also discussed the importance of creating a solid network and qualified process when it comes to selecting candidates most suitable for the job.
Patrice Marcil discussed development of the CCIF committee focused specifically on training. He noted that one of the key objectives of the committee is to develop stronger links between training centres and technical schools. “We don’t want to have to train technicians when they’re in school and then again once they enter the workforce,” he said.
Andrew Shepherd, Director of Industry Programs, AIA Canada and Executive Director, I-CAR Canada followed Marcil, and discussed the role of I-CAR courses in upgrading collision centres. “There is a growing gap in terms of technical skills at the shop level,” said Shepherd.
“Insurance companies are starting to put pressure on shops to become certified. Along with OEM requirements, we understand the importance for collision centres to benefit under the I-CAR program.”
Brandon Roy, from Axalta Coating Systems and an I-CAR trainer, painted a very interesting picture of new technologies and their impact on the collision repair industry. He discussed the proliferation of new substrates in vehicle construction along with the explosion in electronics and the challenges they present for collision shops.
Jean-Luc Sauriol from AllData, discussed pre and post-repair scanning. To emphasize the importance of this process, Sauriol performed a live demonstration on a vehicle in the conference room.
Also presenting was noted Canadian automotive journalist Jim Kenzie, who discussed the advances made by the automotive industry in recent years.