Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus Network recently held its Vision Group Conference at the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla. The conference provided the more than 60 collision shop owners and managers with training, top industry speakers and group breakout sessions, all with a focus on succeeding in a difficult economic climate.
“2009 was a difficult year for small business owners. We understand the challenges that collision repairers are facing, and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes has resources to assist collision repairers in meeting these challenges,” said Brandon Devis, A-Plus program manager. “Not only are the top collision centers faced with fewer repair opportunities, increasing performance demands and higher operating costs, but in order to be successful, they must stay ahead of the curve and help drive the culture of the new collision repair industry.”
The conference agenda featured many industry leaders as well as speakers from outside collision repair:
Dev Ogle, senior consulting partner, The Ken Blanchard Company, opened the session with an extensive team-building exercise.
SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg shared his vision for the “State of the Industry.”
Mark Garrett, research director, J.D. Power and Associates, reviewed key findings in J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
George Avery, estimatics consultant property & casualty claims, State Farm, and President of the National Auto Body Council, provided an overview of changes in vehicle design and marketplace competition from an insurance company’s perspective.
Randy Hanson, auto director claims, Allstate, gave an update on the “Allstate Good Hands Repair Network” and discussed its initiatives for automotive claims handling for 2010.
Linda Nawrocki, director of Internet strategy, Optiem (a leader in online marketing) provided tactics to use at different points of the customer lifecycle to help create a continuing and successful online marketing strategy.
Daren Fristoe, president, The Fristoe Group (a human resources consulting firm), presented a review of attracting, retaining and developing talent.
Breakout sessions were held in tandem with peer-to-peer discussion groups during 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.
“This conference was intended to support and educate our Vision Group Members as they formulate their 2010 Business Plans, giving our members the competitive edge to succeed in this challenging environment. The conference is just one of the four meetings our Vision Group Members attend annually and all are designed to keep their businesses at the industry forefront,” added Devis.
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 and one dealership collision center 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.
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