“Our attending customers make our conferences successful,” said Jim Berkey, PPG, director, MVP Business Solutions. “We have the privilege of being associated with many of the strongest performing shops in the country, and it feeds into the strength of our programs.”
More than 250 PPG customers attended and heard keynote speakers discuss current industry developments and opportunities. Greg Horn, vice president of industry relations at Mitchell International, spoke about trends affecting the overall collision repair business as well as individual shop performance. Horn noted that vehicle collisions were on the decline last year by 5.3%, with total repair revenue now at an estimated $31 billion. He also spoke about new automotive safety technology and how innovations such as side-view cameras and pedestrian braking systems will reduce the number of accidents, thereby shrinking the repair market and corresponding revenues even further.
Horn’s information about the changing automotive industry was the ideal segue to motivational speaker and author Ross Shafer’s presentation. Shafer advised the audience about how to be more competitive and win additional market share in a recovering economy. He offered examples of companies that took a good idea and made it a great idea by evolving it further. He also explained why accepting “best practices” as a moving target can help progressive collision centers avoid extinction. Shafer emphasized that complacency has proven to be the enemy of some of the world's best-known brands; to succeed, shops need to move forward and reinvent themselves to address an ever-changing marketplace.
Chris Andreoli, corporate claims director, repair shop and industry relations for Progressive Insurance, presented the insurance industry’s perspective on issues facing the collision sector and how collision centers can work through these challenges in the changing climate.
The conference, open to owners and managers of collision centers using PPG Refinish products, is a biannual event and a critical component of PPG’s overall commitment to provide advanced business thinking and innovative solutions to its MVP customers.