The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has included several tracks in its Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series at the SEMA Show that will address the consolidation trend in the industry.
"SCRS is continually looking at ways that we can help collision repair business owners succeed in the marketplace, and we realize that what defines success varies for the wide array of repairers operating in today's shifting landscape," said SCRS Chairman Ron Reichen. "We suspect that the private equity entering our industry is going to continue to fund acquisitions, and that means independent collision businesses are likely to be interested in one of two models for success: they will either position themselves to compete against consolidation or position the business to sell for the highest value."
To address the latter, SCRS has put together several sessions, including a panel of well-known industry veterans who made headlines of their own during the sale of their previous businesses. The panel, "If I Knew Then What I Know Now – Lessons Learned Selling My Body Shop," will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7. Panelists will discuss things they learned in the process that can help attendees interested in proceeding down a similar path best prepare themselves. Subject matter experts include:
• Aaron Clark, former owner of Collision Solutions, sold to ABRA Auto Body & Glass
• Pat O'Neill, former owner of 911 Collision Centers, sold to Caliber Collision Centers
• Dan Bailey, former owner of A&B CARSTAR, sold to CARSTAR Franchise Systems
• Mike Anderson, former owner of Wagonwork Collision Centers, sold to Pohanka Collision Centers
"There is a great deal of combined knowledge among these experts, who will be offering first-hand insight into how to navigate the process of valuing and selling your business," said SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. "That said, it is very important to point out that we have a great deal of optimism that independent collision repair owners can thrive in today's marketplace as well, and have also defined specific programs that address solutions for them."
Perhaps none of the programs address these solutions more specifically than Wednesday afternoon's session entitled, "Competing in a Consolidated Marketplace." This session will be led by Tim Ronak of AkzoNobel and will take place from 3 to 5 p.m.
Ronak will discuss the most current consolidation information available as of November 2013 and suggest the path consolidation may take and the impact it might have on the industry at large. He will compare collision consolidation to other industries to identify strategies that were successful within those industries when consolidation reshaped their business model. Participants will have better understanding on how to navigate in this environment and insight into survival strategies for their business.
On Friday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Scott Biggs of the Assured Performance Network will host an in-depth session entitled, "Creating a Parallel Universe: Reinventing the Collision Repair Industry." This discussion will allow industry members to better understand profit, prosperity and business survival in the decades ahead, taking a futuristic look at the industry and the trends that are shaping it right now. Attendees will see alternative versions of the future based upon the plans and agendas of insurers, MSOs and OEMs.
The 2013 RDE series is sponsored by industry organizations such as SEMA, PPG Automotive Refinish, GM Genuine Parts, BASF Refinish, Ford Motor Company, AkzoNobel, Hertz, Axalta Coating Systems, Goliath Carts, PBES (a division of AAIA), LKQ Corp., SATA, Spanesi Americas, Sherwin-Williams and AASP.