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A-Plus Network Vision Group Holds Conference in Florida


The Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus Network recently held its annual Vision Group Conference at the Naples Grand Beach Resort in Naples, Fla. The conference provided the more than 80 leading collision shop owners and managers with world-class training, top industry speakers and group breakout sessions, all with a focus on succeeding – and growing – in a difficult economic climate.

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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 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 and business arena, including:

• Bob Lane, managing partner of Robert Lane and Associates, a leading business advisory headquartered in Toronto, delivered the keynote on "How to compete and win in today’s business world." Bob educated the group about undergoing a journey of change, business intellect, competitive advantage, and understanding of what is going on in the world around you. Bob shared his wealth of experiences and knowledge with all attendees to help them know what they need to have in business today to not only succeed, but to win.


• Darren Fristoe, president, The Fristoe Group, and Dan Bailey, former president, CARSTAR, discussed the topic of "Succession Planning," an in-depth look into the long-term reality of each attendee’s company — and how to prepare their businesses for future generations and/or how to make it more attractive to potential purchasers.

• Steve Feltovich, manager of Business Consulting Services, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, presented "Beyond Lean," a deep dive into shop analytics, succession planning and the next key steps for collision industry facilities to adopt as they go further along their lean journey.

• Matt Ohrnstein, principal at Matt Ohrnstein Advisors, a top automotive industry consultant, took the group through the state of the industry — today and tomorrow — and what to expect when collision repair center owners open their third, fourth or even 10th location.


After keynote and featured speakers, a number of breakout sessions were held in tandem with peer-to-peer discussion groups throughout 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.

"Our annual conference continues to support and educate our Vision Group members, giving them the competitive edge to succeed in this challenging environment," said Troy Neuerburg, manager of marketing business services at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. "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."


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, two dealership collision center groups and one Canadian collision facility leadership group. 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.

More information:

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus Network  

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