With Washington, D.C.’s historic landmarks serving as a poignant backdrop, collison repair industry editors gathered on Sept. 18 for an exclusive media briefing hosted by AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings (A&AC) North America. The event was held in conjunction with the company’s 2014 summer Acoat Selected North American Performance Group meeting, September 17-19, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Pentagon City.
The primary theme of the briefing centered on the need for the collision repair industry to no longer view sustainability as an option, but as a critical imperative to “future proofing” the industry’s long-term growth. Several key insights were presented for how the industry can achieve sustainability through a “triple bottom line” approach that results in greater efficiency, lower negative environmental impact and cooperative social engagement in the work place.
Guest speakers at the briefing included:• Dr. Manish Mehta, director of Strategic Projects & Sustainability at The National Center for Manufacturing Science, who offered a 360-degree view of what he calls “co-opetition.” Dr. Mehta provided meaningful recommendations for how the collision repair industry can leverage what other industries are doing to achieve sustainability.
• Rocco Neglia, vice president of claims at Economical Insurance Group, shared his company’s journey to building sustainability into their corporate strategy, and how the implementation of effective, function-specific processes into the work environment has improved the performance, professionalism and “team vision” of their body shop network in Canada.
New Online Tool
A featured highlight of the briefing was the debut of AkzoNobel’s new online sustainability assessment tool specifically developed for helping body shop owners determine their level of sustainability, benchmark current performance against other collision repairers and provide a path for boosting their competiveness in the marketplace. A&AC’s Commercial Services Leader, Barry Rinehart, demonstrated various features of the assessment tool and creative ways for how industry stakeholders can utilize this innovative resource.
“The online sustainability assessment tool is the result of a unique collaborative effort with Economical Insurance Group of Canada, and is a great example of how powerful collective thinking and actions can be in bringing tangible solutions to collision repair,” said Rinehart. “We are very excited at the initial test feedback we’ve received about the online assessment tool and look forward to seeing how it can be leveraged across the industry in the U.S.”
The media briefing concluded with a rallying call by AkzoNobel North America communications manager and event facilitator Bill Orr for collision repair professionals to proactively join forces in advancing sustainable principles and practices that both ensure a thriving industry long-term and provide real-time solutions to the industry’s most critical issues today.
“We were extremely pleased with the depth of content presented by our guest speakers and the enthusiastic participation of industry media,” said Orr. “After leading the sustainability ‘charge’ for more than a decade through numerous sustainability-focused programs, AkzoNobel is clear on the fact that it will take a coalition of commited industry leaders to secure the future of collision repair.”