Bigger attendance, bigger scope highlighted this staple industry event for 2018.
The 2018 annual CCIF meeting in Toronto broke another attendance record with over 900 attendees registered for the event.
Content this year ran the gamut from a panel discussion on mergers and acquisitions to pre- and post-scanning, talent acquisition, as well as a look at the impact of new technology on collision repair.
Kicking things off was panel moderator Brad Mewes, Principal, Supplement. Panel members included Jeremy Thompson, Penfund, Michael Macaluso, President, CARSTAR North America, Steve Huntzingen, Durham Lane Capital Partners, and Steve Leal, President, Fix Automotive Network.
The panel discussed how capital investment for independent and multi-shops can create more opportunities in an industry that is highly fragmented. Many of the franchise models have seen significant growth in recent years.
“With ‘miles driven’ continuing to grow at a rate of 1-3 percent annually, the $40 billion collision industry offers great investment opportunities,” said Jeremy Thompson.
Steve Leal, of Fix Auto, explained how his company was able to grow by seeking out a long-term partner and retaining control of the company. “With severity increasing and dollars per repair going up, the industry will continue to be a $40 billion industry,” explained Leal. “However, there is tremendous pressures on pricing and balancing OEM expectations. We have to work with our insurance partners to maintain a balance.”
Pre- and Post-scanning
An accurate evaluation of the real repair costs starts by identifying faults not related to the collision, says Jen-Luc Sauriol, Business Development Manager, Alldata.
“After the primary pre-scan, you need to clear the codes and do a secondary scan to determine the fault codes related to the collision.” Sauriol took attendees through a live scan demonstration on a 2018 Toyota Echo and pointed out many examples and tips for diagnosing and correcting trouble codes.
“The post-scan will likely include additional codes that were triggered by the repair,” pointed out Sauriol. “Always follow OE recommendations and make sure all re-calibration is done on the new components to ensure proper operation. Quite often, multiple modules operate off one sensor so all sensors must be re-calibrated to ensure proper operation.”
Born and raised in Equador, Gabriel Merino moved to Canada at the age of 12.
After graduating from school, Marino got a job as a helper at Budds’ Collision in Oakville, Ont., and working with several mentors in the shop he soon moved up, and he is now the Head Automotive Refinisher at Budds’.
Merino likes to create value in people wherever he can, so he decided to launch Motivated Painters, a YouTube channel that offers how-to videos to share his expertise with other painters and improve the industry one painter at a time. Marino now has over 6,000 followers.
“We are in the people business so selecting the right people is key,” said Marie Artim, Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Enterprise Holdings. Artim explained how important each step of the hiring process is, from selecting, onboarding, training, and development. Artim also broke down the needs and expectations of the current workforce which is made up of Generation Z, Generation Y(Millennials), Generation X and Baby Boomers.
We are now in a world of ‘free agent mentality.’ It is now socially acceptable to change jobs frequently. Over 70 percent of the workforce are now willing to changes jobs,” said Artim.
“Millennials want to make a difference and give back, they thrive in a team environment and expect flexibility in when and where they work,” added Artim.
“As a company, what you sell is opportunity, culture, fun, friendly teamwork, and management that is open and transparent and shows support for peers.”
Artim pointed out how important the need for transparency is with company review websites like Glassdoor. “Glassdoor is the leading site for company reviews and Canada is its fastest-growing segment.”
Body Shop Solutions
“With the right management, now is the best possible time to be in the body shop business—with the right mindset,” said David Lueher, Founder, Elite Body Shop Solutions and co-author of the The Secrets of American’s Greatest Body Shops.
Lueher shared his six secrets of success and gave many examples of body shops that turned business around by challenging their beliefs and focusing on the customer experience. Many developed new leadership skills and developed a solid plan for succession. “It’s important to set up a comprehensive exit strategy that leaves your business to your kids set up for success,” said Lueher.
An increasing number of modern vehicles have advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and traction control. These systems can be affected by mechanical alignment adjustments. This has led many manufacturers to require electronic resets for these systems.
The next big thing is collision braking, according to Jason Bartanen, Industry Technical Relations, I-CAR. “This will result in slower speed collisions so more vehicles will be repairable,” said Bartanen.
With the growth in high-strength steels and use of aluminum, Bartanen says mixed-material vehicles will be the new normal so knowing how to repair them is critical. “We are seeing 1,500 MPa steel frame rails, and Mazda is now using 1,800 MPa steel. It’s just going to get stronger and stronger, and when it comes to repairs, there is no straightening allowed. It’s replace only,” explained Bartanen.