Keynote speaker David Lingham, director of Orbis Business Impact, took the stage at the event to discuss his global perspective on trends in the UK, Western Europe and Australia.
Lingham discussed labor rates and how those in the industry who consider them need to be extremely careful.
“There needs to be a re-education here to get the focus away from labor rates,” he said. “It’s, ‘How much does it cost to do the job, and what is a fair price?’
“The big problem I’m finding in many countries now is insurers are saying, ‘I do not understand what the real cost of repair is because I keep getting conflicting information from my repair network.”
Why? Lingham asks. Because it’s very unstructured.
“The whole concept of how we repair cars is coming into question,” said Lingham. “Customer expectations worldwide are going up and up and up.”
Lingham explains how the big issue is the future and how the industry will adjust to accommodate and communicate with Generation Y.
“Generation Y has a different view of life, they communicate differently, and recommendations are key to them,” said Lingham. Research, he explains, is normal to this generation, and brands are king.
He then pointed out a few staggering facts to attendees: 41 percent of accidents in 2011 involved Generation Y In the next 10 years, 80 percent of the industry’s core business will be Generation Y.
Lingham states that what he sees in terms of body repairs lately is very much a “seat-of-your-pants” approach.
“Very few collision repairers around the world understand their competition,” said Lingham. “Read, talk and engage with others in and outside Canada, further than the USA.”
“Be on top of developments and trends and not just in your immediate range of sight.”