Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus™ Network recently held its annual Vision Conference at the Marriott Sawgrass resort in Jacksonville, Fla. The conference provided more than 90 leading collision facility owners and managers with world-class training, top industry speakers and group breakout sessions, all with a focus on succeeding in a difficult economic climate.
“Collision facility owners and managers that attended this conference already outperform the market by almost 10 percent. We’re pleased that Sherwin-Williams can assemble such a successful group of collision industry leaders and be a resource to assist them in continuing to meet their numerous challenges,” said Adam Chafe, Vice President Global Marketing for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “Not only are the top collision centers faced with fewer repair opportunities, increasing performance demands and higher operating costs, but in order to be successful, they must stay ahead of the curve and help drive the culture of the new collision repair industry.”
The A-Plus Network is made up of an exclusive group of collision repair specialists who reflect the industry’s highest standards. They are part of the Sherwin-Williams leading value added program that combines comprehensive business solutions to help them improve customer service, employee growth, insurance relationships, process refinement, productivity and profitability.
The conference agenda featured many outstanding industry leaders and speakers from the collision repair arena:
•Richard Rule, Senior Consulting Partner, The Ken Blanchard Company, opened the session with an extensive session on creating legendary customer service in your organization
•George Avery, Estimatics Consultant Property & Casualty Claims, State Farm and President of the National Auto Body Council, provided an overview of NABC’s Recycled Rides program. He also discussed changes and challenges in the collision repair industry and what DRP relations might look like in the future
•Chris Andreoli, Corporate Claims Manager , Progressive Insurance, reviewed Progressive’s current position and collision repair market strategy, including its extensive Concierge program
•Leslie Upham, Director of Commercial Development, Thatcham Organization, presented in-depth analysis and trends within the collision repair industry in the United Kingdom, and how its issues and regulations could affect and assist shop owners and managers in the U.S.
•Tom Hablitzel, President, Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes, reported on the status of the Company, global challenges Sherwin-Williams and its customers face, and where the collision industry is headed in years to come
After keynote speakers were finished, a number of breakout sessions were held in tandem with peer-to-peer discussion groups during the three-day event. The discussion groups gave attendees the chance to review financial performance, discuss lean implementation, build marketing plans and define their goals.
“This conference was intended to support and educate our Vision Group Members as they formulate their 2011 business plans, giving our members the competitive edge to succeed in this challenging environment. The conference is just one of several meetings our Vision Group Members attend and all are designed to keep their businesses at the industry forefront,” added Chafe.
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes began the A-Plus Network Vision Group Program in 2000 and now has two independent owners groups, one manager’s group and two dealership collision center groups. These groups consist of both single and multiple shop owners and managers. Square One Systems, Inc., one of the premier independent “20-Group” providers in the industry, administers and moderates the A-Plus Network Vision Groups.
A-Plus Network members not only benefit through their Vision Group participation, but are also assisted by the program’s many business-building opportunities. These include specialized marketing and management programs, industry leading business training through A-Plus Network University, insurance relations programs, loyalty benefits and specialized programs and services from outstanding contributors.
For more information about the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus Network, its features, advantages and benefits visit www.sherwin-automotive.com; or call 1-800-SWULTRA (1-800-798-5872).