Since its inception in 2001, IBIS – the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium – has become firmly established as the leading global conference and networking provider for collision industry leaders and influencers. IBIS has built up an enviable reputation as a source of high-level information and market analysis; a forum for high-level debate; a melting pot of innovative approaches to industry problems and, of course, incomparable networking opportunities. World class conference content and speakers are the driving force behind the success of IBIS conferences.
IBIS consistently delivers groundbreaking thought-leading presentations on a wide range of issues that consistently receive outstanding feedback from delegates. Whether it is a local Forum event, a larger Regional or the Global Summit itself, IBIS looks at the present and future opportunities and challenges to give all delegates a competitive edge.
IBIS advocates the need for the global collision repair industry to raise its safety, skills and standards in all sectors and markets. It supports positive change around the world and provides a framework to focus on these three pillars, which are at the core of the IBIS principles.
On the 11-13 June 2018, more than 350 leading collision repair industry influencers from across the globe gathered at The Hilton, Munich Park, Germany for the IBIS Global Summit 2018. IBIS CEO Jason Moseley opened the IBIS Global Summit 2018 by emphasising the theme of challenging perspectives and how innovation within tradition is vital in today’s collision repair business world.
Jason explained how IBIS has grown over the years, founded on the three key pillars of safety, skills and standards. He provided an insight into the growing portfolio of events IBIS has hosted around the world – something he promised will continue to develop over the coming months and years. Jason also highlighted and encouraged delegates to participate in social media activity centred around the event and pointed out the opportunity the newly introduced media hub offered.
TRUST BOOSTS BUSINESS
Kicking off IBIS Global Summit 2018, Paul Steele, sales director, DACH, from TrustPilot told delegates that consumers still trust ‘bricks and mortar’ manufacturer branded and independent dealerships over company’s websites and social media pages.
Paul presented Trustpilot’s findings from its recent survey exploring how consumers’ habits have changed towards purchasing cars.
According to the survey, 73% of consumers research online before purchasing a car, with 28.7% spending over a month researching. Furthermore, the results suggest that branded advertising is losing its effectiveness, where word of mouth and independent online reviews left by other consumers are finding to be the most influential media channels to those deciding to buy a car.
Paul stated the tremendous switch from the traditional purchasing of cars where customers would go to dealerships, to now, when only one in 10 do not buy online. He said, ‘There has been a £41bn revenue switch from the offline to the online in the UK alone.’
Paul highlighted the importance of trust and trust elements in brands to encourage an increase of sales and customer loyalty. With more than a third of customers considering buying a car online, it is vital for businesses to pay close attention to online trust elements. ‘These are simple but oftentimes overlooked. They keep customers engaged within your brand and build loyalty,’ said Paul.
Paul described trust elements as: web design, updated content, ‘browseability’, easy to find contact, company and location information, a humanized brand, accessible FAQ, T&Cs and data security, trust seals and the presence of social proof. Paul placed emphasis on the need for a website to have social proof, or reviews, with over 92% of consumers reading online reviews before purchasing. He said, ‘The most important trust element is having social proof, having a community of reviews is a big confidence booster for customers.’
With more customer trust comes more sales, which leads to a profit increase for companies. Paul encouraged collision repair businesses to drive more traffic at a lower cost to its brand through aids like Google Seller Ratings which can boost traffic from a paid search. By increasing click-through rates (CTR), brands can improve their quality score and decrease the price of cost-per-click. ‘Companies found 30% more business through the web with just having stars there,’ said Paul.
Equally, standing out in organic searches, displaying reviews on a company’s website with widgets, and adding credibility to marketing in every channel, will help build consumer’s trust to a brand and product.
Paul concluded that collision repair businesses can engage with consumers more effectively, while gaining trust will bring a stronger relationship with customers.
COLLISION REPAIR INDUSTRY EXPECTS SIGNIFICANT BUSINESS REDUCTION
Data experts ICDP has predicted an average 23% reduction in collision repairs across EU4 countries in 2030.
Using a simulation model to analyse the EU4 markets of France, Germany, Italy and the UK, ICDP suggests the drop will only be slightly compensated for by higher repair costs.
The research comes as part of ICDP’s first foray into specific collision repair market research which Steve Young, managing director of the research organisation, suggests is ‘key for a number of operators, but there are many complexities, some emerging threats and a lack of data.’ He pointed at how collision repair currently accounts for 23% of the total EU aftermarket, with a value of €45bn of which parts represents almost half.
Speaking at the IBIS Global Summit 2018, Steve told delegates, ‘Despite the size and importance of the overall market there are many differences and complexities – and, in partnership with IBIS, we are looking to bring some clarity and consistency to this.’
He continued, ‘The glass repair sector is also becoming increasingly interesting.’
Providing an insight into the research to date, Steve highlighted how the differing factors effecting the collision repair markets throughout the EU create ‘different’ trend lines. ‘It’s all over the place,’ said Steve, ‘We don’t have consistency with repair volume trend lines across the EU4 for a variety of reasons.’
Looking at the impact of ADAS, Steve suggested that in principle, ADAS systems should reduce the accident rate, but he pointed out, this will depend on penetration into the vehicle park as a whole. He highlighted how feedback has been mixed and one OEM interviewee response to the research programme stated: ‘We’ve not seen any change yet in accident & collision repair rates, though when we looked in detail we found that front end damage was being replaced by rear end.’ Another, respondent, a premium brand bodyshop, suggested it would see a 50% reduction in structural repairs in the next five years.
Along with ADAS, ICDP highlighted other ‘challenges’ such as vehicle construction, embedded technology, telematics and insurers’ strategies as being major influences on the market in the coming years.
‘In order to function a whole variety of sensors are positioned around the periphery of the vehicle and therefore when an collision repairs happen these will be impacted. This brings with it its own challenges around calibration,’ explained Steve.
Taking into account areas such as miles driven, vehicle park growth, ADAS adoption, amongst many others, by 2030 ICDP predicts a decrease of 30% in incidence rate, an average increase of 39% in total losses, a decrease in 22% of heavy collision repair, and an increase of eight per cent in the number of incidents managed by insurers across the EU4. ‘The general trend will be fewer collisions but the cost of repair will be greater,’ said Steve.
Overall, ICDP predicts an average across the EU4 markets of a 15% reduction in collisions; a 23% reduction in repairs; a reduction of 19% in parts value; and a 17% reduction in total market value.
Steve closed by saying, ‘It’s a worse level of reduction than when we looked at the service and maintenance sector 10 years ago and hopefully it acts as a wake up call for the industry. The collision repair industry is going to be a fascinating space in the coming years.’
COLLISION REPAIR CHALLENGE CREATING VALUE
Andrew Marsh, director of Auto Industry Insider, told IBIS Global Summit 2018 delegates to embrace the new automotive technology era because it will create much value.
In his session, ‘Profit from… automotive industry chaos’ Andrew provided a highly energised vision of the collision repair industry now and into the future and encouraged delegates to ‘embrace’ electronics, software, system networks, big data, new commercial partners, recruit or invest accordingly and, in his own words, ‘above all: enjoy.’
Andrew opened his session with an overview of the rapid advancement of vehicle construction including structural composition and electronic features including ADAS which he referred to as a vehicle’s ‘defence’ system.
‘This industry is specific,’ he told delegates as he explained how mainstream vehicles can be defined by eight pages of documentation providing ‘blocks’ of information. He pointed out that long lists of technology are becoming the norm but ‘state of the art is moving really quickly,’ said Andrew.
Looking at vehicle construction, Andrew highlighted how panel has become a commodity – however, he issued a warning that ‘those skills need to be kept alive’.
With this, he pointed to the ever-increasing complexity of collision repair highlighting a host of calibration points including the potential for lidar, radar and camera fitments both front and rear of a vehicle. ‘A vehicle could have all of these systems fitted or could have none of it fitted – we really don’t know until it lands in a collision repair centre,‘ said Andrew.
Discussing the variety of sensors, Andrew highlighted three groups: those from 2000 onwards which require static recalibration; those from 2008 onwards which need dynamic recalibration; and those from 2017 onwards which are self-calibrating. ‘Self calibration is where vehicle manufacturers need to go because when it becomes standard they need to be capable of covering it with a warranty,’ said Andrew.
Andrew referenced how the ‘tool room’ approach is becoming increasingly critical to repair/recalibration tasks – correct procedures, necessary space, time and correct tooling being the key aspects for collision repair in the future. ‘Until we get to self-calibration, the methods are skewed and scattered,’ said Andrew.
‘As a future trend we will see more sensors per vehicle,’ said Andrew, ‘but due to a lack of consistency in technology and fitment there is no one standard of how to recalibrate the systems. We have a significant pool of vehicles already within the market that will require ‘expertise’ to facilitate a safe and efficient repair. This, he suggested, was where the value would lie for profitable collision repair businesses in the future.
‘Moving towards 2030, self-calibration will come and come quickly, but it leaves a gap,’ explained Andrew. ‘We need to educate ourselves and become the go-to industry for this expertise – become the one stop service provider,’ said Andrew. ‘We need to recruit and invest accordingly and become that hub of expertise for the future.’
FLEETS SET FOR FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE
IBIS Global Summit 2018 delegates were told that ‘autonomous driving and increased sharing behaviour will fundamentally change the automotive and mobility industry.’
The message came from Philipp Enderle, consultant, strategy operations, Deloitte, as he explained how fleet management will be a key enabler for the electric and autonomous future of mobility. He explained how fleet management extended the value chain of OEM and captive business, whilst additional fleet management services add additional revenue and profit components.
Prior to Philipp taking to the stage, his colleague Dirk Utman, senior manager, risk advisory, automotive, Deloitte provided an overview of the organisation’s automotive centre of expertise which includes areas such as business growth, operational excellence, finance, technology and people. ‘There will be challenges but the opportunities related to new technology are emerging, for example around data and how it is managed and accessed,’ said Dirk.
Looking specifically at fleet management in the North American and European markets, Philipp highlighted how, ‘today fleet management is big but it will be huge in the future,’ he said.
Philipp told how the size of the corporate channel in the region was smaller than in Europe in relative terms, highlighting how despite there being more registrations in North America than the EU27 (19.3 million versus 15.8 million) there remained a ‘huge private retail share’ of circa 80%. In the US, Deloitte’s research showed the market size for fleet management services as being roughly between Germany and France, whilst the Canadian market for fleet management services is about half the size of Spain’s.
Focusing on the fleet management company competition in the US, Philipp pointed to Europe’s largest and the world’s second largest fleet leasing company, Leaseplan as an example pointing to its 1,620,000 cars under its management and with an average growth of 4.5% per annum since 2010. According to Philipp, Leaseplan’s new strategy is any car, any time, anywhere, highlighting a shift in its mindset to become a mobility provider. He highlighted how fleet service income is of growing importance to fleet management companies. ‘Much of their service provision is outsourced,’ said Philipp highlighting a growing opportunity for service providers.
‘Many new players are entering the market from each side, so fleet management and captive organisations are changing their approach to market to become suppliers of mobility solutions,’ said Philipp.
In closing, Philipp pointed to how fleet management companies will evolve into providers of multi-modal mobility which in turn will create greater commercial opportunities in financing and related services; vehicle related services; and driver related services.
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES, SIMILAR CHALLENGES
The key message to emanate from two of the world’s leading collision repair organisations, speaking today at IBIS Global Summit 2018, was that despite the geographical differences, the challenges of collision repair remain central.
During the session, ‘Collision repair around the world’, Summit delegates heard from Michael Wilmshurst, chief executive of Nationwide Accident Repair Services Plc, and Frank Liu, CEO of Fix Auto China, on how their respective markets provided both opportunity and challenge in equal measure.
When asked to describe each company’s model of operations, Michael explained that Nationwide places an emphasis on the diversity of the repair solution where different problems need different methods.
‘We have a saying: sometimes you need a nurse, sometimes you need a doctor and sometimes you need a surgeon,’ Michael said. In order to repair correctly, a company must have the right equipment, and technology. Furthermore, Michael stated that it is important to ‘keep within scope’ and make sure you are capable of doing the job before taking it.
But talent is a concern in both markets, with Frank highlighting the lack of technicians within China’s industry. He pointed to efforts Fix Auto has made to implement training. Supported by government funding, Fix Auto China has invested in schools to train technicians. Frank said, ‘The goal was to set the bar for the industry in China, we are the future for the industry.’
Both agreed that, with the industry as specialised as it is, relationship-building is fundamental and that in order to repair cars safely and serve the customer well, companies must work together with an element of transparency. Frank said, ‘You have to build trust by showing transparency.’
They expect the pace of change to accelerate, with Michael saying that there is a drop in frequency from market share gains. ‘Vehicles that used to be written off are being repaired.’ He believed that the value of cars are going up, which means more collision repairs opposed to disposal.
Frank added that people now care more about the quality of collision repair than before. ‘The industry standard is being brought up, where more opportunities are being made,’ he said.
To conclude, both representatives were asked about the challenges being faced in the market. Frank claimed that the main hurdle within the Chinese market was the skills gap, where more training is vital. Michael concluded that the challenges for Nationwide was establishing trusting partnerships, more appropriate and cost effective solutions and satisfying every party involved within the market.
COLLISION REPAIR INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATION
Brad Mewes, principal, Supplement told IBIS Global Summit 2018 delegates that consolidation has reached a new phase and mega deals are now a real potential in North America.
Brad provided delegates with an insight into the past, present and future of consolidation and how the industry is now in a new phase. Brad referred to his presentation at IBIS 2016 and highlighted how 2015 saw lots of activity with private equity investment entering the sector and how predictions of consolidation in the collision repair sector had been quite ambitious. Brad pointed to how, at that stage, the major players were growing rapidly with growth rates (CAGR) of 33% and said ‘at that stage the ambitious targets did not seem out of reach’. He continued, ‘it was an intense period of growth and opportunity.’
Fast forward to 2018 and the ‘big four’ in North America have continued to grow but at a slower rate of 26% CAGR – ‘growth is now far more strategic’ said Brad. However, asking what had changed in the space, Brad pointed to the continued growth of the two major collision repair franchise operators – Carstar and Fix Auto – who he classed as ‘very active in the market and have grown aggressively’.
‘So,’ Brad questioned rhetorically, ‘is consolidation dead?’ His response was that it is not dead but it had entered a new stage of a far more selective, disciplined approach. Highlighting the consolidation curve, Brad said, ‘Industries evolve in a very predicted way over time,’ and highlighted the four stages of consolidation that can help to track this development.
‘In 2015, we were in stage two. Today, it is closer to stage three,’ said Brad delving a little deeper into the North American market. This, suggested Brad, was the period of mega deals and greenfield site development where the strategy was based on profitability and scale.
Despite the slowdown, Brad pointed to the ‘unprecedented amount of capital and dry powder in the market today,’ suggesting there was $1.7tn of dry powder investment capital available. He said this was being invested in horizontal acquisitions and integration of businesses.
Focusing on private equity and what will happen next in this area, Brad pointed to a period of ‘de-leveraging’ where organisations are looking to strengthen their balance sheets and reduce debt.
Looking ahead, Brad highlighted how ADAS could impact the sector but he said there was no indication that it would decrease collision repair volumes anytime soon. He pointed to how humans are increasingly distracted by smartphone technology which, in the short term, could have the opposite effect.
In closing, Brad suggested there is still a lot to target within the space and the potential for cross border consolidation is certainly evident but such a ‘mega deal’ would greatly depend on the opportunity available.
VISION FOR SUCCESS
Jennifer Boyer, Ford’s global collision repair business and strategy manager told IBIS Global Summit 2018 delegates that a positive brand experience can only be achieved with partners who share the Ford vision.
Opening her presentation at the event, Jennifer pointed to the Henry Ford quote: ‘If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses’ to emphasise how the business has constantly innovated over the years. Jennifer then provided some examples of the long list of Ford innovations over the years which included the aluminium F150.
Technology was then highlighted as the key driver today and said, ‘technology compresses time.’
‘We have innovation, technology and now connectivity,’ said Jennifer, ‘the convergence will create unparalleled opportunity to create new mobility solutions and richer user experiences.’
Jennifer explained how the business was constantly evolving to meet customer needs stating: ‘Listening to our customers is key to our product strategy and our collision repair strategy.’
She continued, ‘It all starts with our customers – responding to their needs is pivotal to our success and it doesn’t just stop in bringing a vehicle to market our aftersales strategies are equally important and that includes collision repair.’
Jennifer then moved on to explore the evolution of the industry, highlighting three main influencers: insurers, OEMs and the collision repair industry.
With millions of Ford vehicles involved in collisions annually, Jennifer told delegates: ‘Collision repair is part of the Ford ownership experience and we need to be prepared to serve our owners.’ She continued, ‘Collision needs to be understood as part of the Ford customer experience.’
Further to this, Jennifer then highlighted the results of a Ford customer survey which asked what was most important to them when choosing a bodyshop. The results showed 52% wanted a vehicle manufacturer approved facility; 21% desired a family or friend recommendation; 20% an insurer recommendation; and seven per cent were keen on something geographically convenient.
Jennifer then explained the Ford collision philosophy which is ‘to provide Ford owners with quality collision repairs utilising Ford OE repair procedures and parts.’ The philosophy takes into account five strategic pillars: prepare; develop; engage; provide; and grow.
Quoting Henry Ford again, this time on relationships – ‘We wish all users of Ford cars to know what they are entitled to’ – Jennifer demonstrated how Ford’s collision repair strategy has vastly evolved and now involves many different personnel in the process.
‘With our owners being the focus, we feel it our duty to educate them – and that is where the critical nature of relationships come into play. Relationships matter. We have not been as engaged in the collision repair industry as perhaps we should have been – 18 months ago in the US we had one person on the collision team, we have now added five people to that team,’ explained Jennifer. She continued, ‘Dedicating resources to this space is not just happening in the US – it is happening around the world.’
Turning her attentions on the stakeholders influencing brand experience, Jennifer suggested that market forces – namely technology, repair capabilities, and traditional business models and cost pressures – were changing the landscape. ‘Challenging perspectives is now and frankly none of us can do it alone,’ said Jennifer.
‘It starts here,’ said Jennifer highlighting how consumer education is the key to a positive brand experience, something she said can only be achieved with partners who share Ford’s vision.
When questioned about Ford’s movements within the market, Jennifer said Ford had been busy engaging the industry in order to create the right partnerships and also stated, ‘We are very serious about our approach to the global collision repair industry.’ She continued, ‘the teams across the globe are starting to build the certified standard for a global network – we feel this is very important for the future.’
OWNERSHIP IS KEY
Day two of the IBIS Global Summit 2018 opened with a debate around the skills gap with the panel agreeing much of it was down to ownership of the issue.
The panel, comprising Jim Muse, sales director, North America and director, global refinish accounts, Axalta; John Van Alstyne, CEO and president of I-CAR; and Stuart Sandell, director, sales replacement division, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Europe, Enterprise Rent-A-Car discussed the industry’s skills issue, relaying ideas and perspectives from a corporate and grassroots level.
Stuart suggested that the collision repair sector skills shortage is not just an industry specific issue but industries across the world are suffering. He also pointed at how different European markets are developing at a different rate and therefore certain skills issues are more evident in some areas than others.
Jim described how in general the workforce within the industry was ageing and took a ‘show of hands’ survey of the ‘baby boomers’ (those born between 1945 and 1965) amongst the IBIS audience and quipped, ‘we are the problem’. However, Jim explained, ‘As we move and our industry moves, so our image does too.’
John spoke of I-CAR’s role in tackling the skills issue and suggested from his perspective that often within the developing markets the skills gap is even wider. Interestingly he highlighted how the average technician age in the US is 41, against the average age of the workforce in the country being a little over 42.
Discussing the image of the collision repair industry, Stuart suggested that UK wise there is little in terms of ‘aspirational’ figures to inspire the next generation within the industry and referenced TV drama series as portraying a very outdated image of the sector.
Exploring what more can be done to raise the profile of the sector, John explained, ‘We are looking to engage the community with the educational/training schools to raise the bar. However, the challenge is we have a bit of a fragmented message due to the nature of the sector and as an industry we don’t have a great deal of scale. I think there is an opportunity there.’
Stuart explained how the larger corporate organisations have a responsibility to promote the collision repair industry as a whole, and said, ‘We need to get the right people into this industry because we, as a business, need the capabilities.’
Jim suggested that mentoring is a very important aspect in people development. Something Stuart agreed with, suggesting that he has benefitted from numerous mentors over the years. Stuart said, ‘What is the incentive for technicians to become mentors? Maybe their performance should be managed based on the performance of those around them?’ On the same subject, John spoke of how staff turnover is a ‘big management challenge’ and suggested turnover rates within the collision repair industry can vary anywhere between 10%-50%.
Jim highlighted how employee engagement, and gauging it, is a vital aspect to Axalta’s human resource policy. Discussing the most recent survey, Jim said, ‘We were very pleased overall and the survey provided us with great insight into the business.’ Stuart agreed that employee engagement surveys were highly beneficial in order to make positive changes internally but also highlighted the difficulty in measuring a generic industry engagement level. ‘How does an industry body take the pulse of the industry? Internally it’s much easier to gauge engagement,’ said Stuart.
Discussing how the industry becomes more attractive across the board, Jim suggested a unified body could be of benefit to create an educational programme specific to the industry. Stuart agreed but also highlighted how Enterprise recruits 10,000 business graduates a year and highlighted how talent is already available but it is more a case of ‘targeting’ the right areas.
In wrapping up, Jim suggested companies need to have their own strategy when it comes to developing people; Stuart suggested overcoming the skills gap is about ownership but also collaboration – ‘smaller organisations will find it harder to own the issue’; and John raised two issues: firstly, there needs to be a value proposition for someone to join your organisation and, secondly, if the industry could plug the retention issue that it would solve a number of problems.
CALIBRE COLLISION REPAIR GROUP
Mark Sanders, president and COO, Caliber Collision Repair opened his IBIS Global Summit 2018 session by stating: ‘I really want to challenge the perspective that the higher the pace of growth gets, the more your results deteriorate.’
He then went on to highlight how Caliber’s approach to business and staff or ‘teammates’ engagement has seen it improve across all of its key performance indicators over the past three years. Mark listed Caliber’s performance metrics as cycle time; NPS; return rate; kept informed; delivered on time.
He showed a graph charting Caliber’s historic growth from 2010 when it had 79 shops with a revenue of $316m to 2017 during which it was operating 546 sites with annual revenues of over $1.9bn. Mark explained how the company’s strategy has been crucial to that growth and how that focus was developed following a meeting which questioned, ‘Why are we in business today? Immediately after that meeting we started to put the building blocks in place to facilitate that fast growth,’ said Mark.
Mark highlighted how 2016-2017 alone saw the collision repair business grow by more than 1,200 teammates, some 800 sites and nearly 140,000 repairs. ‘It looks very attractive and is a lot of fun to be in a high growth company but the measure of our success is in our key performance indicators,’ said Mark. ‘We have made a commitment that Caliber will never outgrow its ability to provide our high levels of service.
‘Our secret source is our people – we are a purpose driven organisation,’ said Mark as he introduced Caliber’s philosophy of restoring the rhythm of people’s lives and explained how they humanise the collision repair process – focusing as much on people (ie vehicle owners) as they do the repair job at hand. In Mark’s opinion, ‘The perception of our industry is changing, it’s becoming more professional on a daily basis.’ With this Mark highlighted how the business invests in its teammates and how that has resulted in 50% of its leadership team coming from the shopfloor.
‘If you’re in a leadership role at Caliber, you are committed to the success of everyone around you,’ said Mark who then described the company’s four pillars for success: best trained, most satisfied teammates – ‘we invest $10-$15m per year in training’; provide operational consistency; manage overall client cost – ‘we have strategic partner programmes with DRPs which allow us to manage our own shops’; and focus on my customer – ‘this is the critical piece’.
‘Strategic alignment is a very important process within an organisation,’ explained Mark who referenced the influence the book, ‘Good to great’ has had on the collision repair business and how it influenced it to subsequently implement the ‘Caliber flywheel’ to provide consistency across the operation. ‘It allows us to build an unparalleled customer experience,’ said Mark.
Mark told delegates that as a business Caliber ‘starts with the why’ and everything it does is centred on creating an engaging culture – ‘everything is built around doing things the Caliber way’.
CHALLENGES CREATING OPPORTUNITY
IBIS Global Summit 2018 delegates heard that a skilled workforce and correct collision repair were two of the key challenges for the industry in the near future.
The message came from the final session of the IBIS Global Summit 2018 which saw Ford’s Jennifer Boyer and Caliber’s Mark Sanders provide their respective opinions on the challenges and opportunities within the collision repair industry.
In continuing the theme of skills shortages, Jennifer, aftersales marketing director and global collision repair director, Ford Motor Company, stated that a key strategic focus for the business is to support its dealers and collision centres in the recruitment and development of its people. Jennifer said, ‘There is more opportunity for us, collaboratively, to promote this side of the automotive industry.’
Moving onto the subject of repair and the implications of new vehicle manufacturer technology, president and COO of Caliber Collision Repair Centers, Mark Sanders said, ‘The day of repairing any vehicle in any shop is over. I want strategically placed operations to handle specific vehicle brands.’
Jennifer agreed and said, ‘There will be a variety of solutions in the future – some specialists and some hybrid approaches.’ She reiterated this by highlighting how equipment and training were two key aspects of Ford’s approach to the collision sector.
On the subject of total losses, Jennifer highlighted how 320,000 Ford owners in US experience a total loss annually. She said, ‘Frankly that’s an area where we haven’t dedicated enough resource previously. I think it’s a key opportunity for us.’ Mark agreed that a true opportunity exists for partners to collaborate on improving the current total loss situation but the solution is not clear on how that might work.
Exploring the connection with the customer and the opportunity to provide added value services, Jennifer explained how Ford has been working with its location functionality of its app to benefit customers in the unfortunate event of an accident. In the longer term she pointed to how connected vehicles would enable the vehicle to seek out the best location to affect a safe and correct collision repair.
Jennifer also touched upon how digital marketing has been used in the US to ‘encourage’ Ford owners to seek Ford branded repair solutions – something she said the business is now looking to develop globally. Jennifer also highlighted how Ford of Europe has been building a collision solution centric team whose number one priority right now is building relationships and IBIS is a perfect place for that.
In closing, and discussing the role of the insurers within the claims process, Mark said a collaborative relationship was vital, ‘Their moment of truth is when a claim occurs – it needs to be a positive experience.’ Jennifer agreed a partnership approach was required and said she saw a great opportunity to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to provide the Ford customer experience.
In closing the IBIS Global Summit 2018, IBIS CEO Jason Moseley revealed that the IBIS Global Summit 2019 is heading to Italy.
‘We are absolutely delighted to announce that our 2019 IBIS Global Summit destination is Italy,’ said Jason. ‘The IBIS Global Summit 2019 promises to be a fantastic event in the homeland of automotive design and passion.’ The event will take place on 10-12 June at the Grand Hotel Dino, Baveno near Milan.
The IBIS Global Summit 2018 is partnered by 3M, AkzoNobel, Audatex, Axalta, Enterprise Rent A Car, Fix Auto and Symach.