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Wednesday, 10 May 2017 20:54

10 Takeaways From the Southern Automotive Repair Conference

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1) “Positioning Yourself in the Collision Repair Industry” by Mike Anderson


In Mike Anderson’s presentation, "Positioning Yourself in the Collision Repair Industry," he spoke to attendees about what it takes to be successful. “Whether you are a collision repair center or a jobber supporting your customers, it is critical to understand how to best position yourself to succeed,” said Anderson, the owner of Collision Advice and the conference facilitator. “In order to do this, collision repairers need to focus on the business analysis metaphor of the three-legged stool: sales and marketing; production; and accounting, finance and human resources.”


Anderson explained how to attract and increase sales in today’s competitive environment. He also addressed the role that OEMs will play as well as what KPIs the OEMs and insurers monitor. The session covered the importance of having an online presence and reviews in marketing and selling your business, new estimating tools to help capture more non-included operations, and the most profitable sales mix.


2) “Better Understanding Yourself to Better Understand Others” by Mike Jones


Keynote speaker Mike Jones talked to SARC attendees about the importance of understanding yourself to better understand others. The human behavior expert and president of Discover Leadership Training motivates high levels of leadership, utilizing tools to develop untapped potential. He served six years in the U.S. Coast Guard, is an accomplished TV host and radio personality, flew a helicopter for the Houston police, and was a four-time recipient of the Houston Police Officer of the Year. The dynamic and inspiring presenter shared information with those in attendance on how to best create and manage teams to become more successful and profitable in business. 


“When you understand yourself better, you become aware that your truth is not ‘the truth,” said Jones. “You become aware that others are living according to their own truths. The understanding and awareness of this will help you to see there are more ways of doing something than the way you see it.”


Jones said that people often feel that the way they get things done is by using common sense. “You are correct that it is your common sense,” said Jones. “Here is a question to ask yourself: ‘If your common sense is SO common, why is it SO rare?’ ” He said by meeting others where they are, they will become more effective in executing on the task you are asking them to do. “They will never be able to do their best if you require them to do it the way you best get it done. Meeting them where they are allows you to speed up the transaction and have fewer do overs.”

3) “The Mitchell Database: Powered by OEM Information, Keeping up with Changing Technology” by Jerry Gastineau


Jerry Gastineau, database development manager from Mitchell International, talked about “The Mitchell Database: Powered by OEM Information, Keeping up with Changing Technology.” He spoke to attendees about the Mitchell Collision Estimating Database, which leverages multiple types of OEM information. His discussion included information about what is involved with the changing technology of collision repairs, including aluminum, advanced high-strength steels, driver assistance systems, template-based estimating, and OEM recommendations.

 “If you think that it is important to utilize OEM information when creating a collision damage appraisal, you are right,” said Gastineau. “If you are using the Mitchell database to create damage appraisals, you are already leveraging a significant amount of OEM information!” He said Mitchell recognizes the importance of OEM information in the collision repair process and invests considerable time, effort and energy into developing and maintaining positive relationships with OEMs to be able to develop and support the most accurate, OEM-based collision repair information available.

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