Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Paint, Body & Equipment Specialists (PBES) Conference in Denver. This is an organization that focuses on the delivery of the essential products needed to run our industry. It’s attended by suppliers, distributors and jobbers. It’s a great group of business owners, and it’s always refreshing to get an inside look at a group of businesses that provides all of us the products vital to our success.
Remember, these businesses function behind the scenes to be sure we all have the necessary materials to complete repairs on a regular basis. I hate to say it, but I think we kind of take them for granted. They also provide a vital aspect to our business called training. Their field personnel have to know all the products and are often called on to provide technical information when one of us doesn’t know which product will work best. They’re truly the first line of defense when it comes to information in the field.
The manufacturers rely on them heavily to provide feedback on what’s working and what’s not working. They’re the first to alert a manufacturer if there’s a product problem in the field. They work hand-in-hand with factory reps to solve issues and/or provide additional training when needed.
The content of this conference was very enlightening when it came to looking into the future. The paint manufacturers had a very interesting panel where each of them reported on separate aspects of the business. The amount of information on what’s coming down the pike was staggering. Colors are being stretched to unbelievable levels. New colors are four-step, and some require clear before the basecoat! New colors in Japan absorb sunlight and transfer the energy to increase vehicle efficiencies.
The need for all of us to stay current is even more evident. Stay close to your supplier and hang on!
I hope to see you all at NACE | CARS in Anaheim.