From May 3-5, at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, the Fix Automotive Network hosted its 2018 Conference.
This represented the very first time that all three brands within the network, Fix Auto, Speedy Auto Service and NOVUS Glass were represented not only at a national but also a global level.
The two-day event was packed with engaging and rich content, which ran the gamut from strategic vision and corporate overview at a national and global level, to effectively utilizing tools and strategies to help individual franchisees grow their business.
There were keynote addresses, panel discussions and an onsite trade show, as well as plenty of networking opportunities, plus an Awards Gala that recognized those individuals within the network for their outstanding achievements. Special keynote speakers in the form of entrepreneur and motivational speaker Patrick Leroux, plus Wealthy Barber author and Dragon’s Den star David Chilton were also a big draw.
Over 338 attendees registered for the event with over 200 of those being Fix Automotive Network strategic partners that came from everywhere, including Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Western Canada and overseas.
The importance of unity
The key theme of the conference was “One Family, One Vision,” and Fix Automotive Network President & CEO Steve Leal emphasized the need to be united as a family and that by being united it allows you to stay together, both when times are good and also turbulent. “We’re doing things that haven’t been done before,” said Leal. “When you’re doing that it will be challenging and will take time,” he said—noting that unity and success often go hand-in- hand. “Families aren’t perfect and don’t have to be perfect, but they need to be united.”
Leal also said that it was important for each brand within the network to be focused on the same strategy. “The way we did business five years ago is not the same as it is today. Consumers expect mobile, they expect speed, convenience and accessibility. They hold brands to their promises and they trust online, third-party reviews.”
Leal talked about the importance and benefits of the franchise system—how it empowers those on the frontline and creates pride of ownership which in turn delivers operational excellence.
He also discussed tools the network has built to support its strategic partners and also how the company has evolved from three ownership groups to a single entity, one that now has business operating in nine countries with further expansion on the horizon.
“Our goal is to be a complete aftermarket solution,” said Leal, who noted that through FAN’s partnership with Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, the ability to create a global footprint has already resulted in the single largest aftermarket service provider worldwide.