The third annual Midwest Collision Industry Forum (MCIF) in Columbia, Mo., was deemed a success by its organizers (AASP of Missouri, ASA MOKAN and SCRS MOKAN) as nearly 125 collision industry professionals from as far east as Virginia and as far west as Montana participated.
The one-day forum featured speakers Mike Anderson of Wagonwork Collision Centers, Erica Eversman of Vehicle Information Services, Staff Attorney Brett Butler of the Missouri Insurance Coalition (MIC), Chris Andreoli and Larry Shaw of Progressive, and George Avery and Don Porter of State Farm.
Anderson of Wagonwork’s seminar on "Positioning Yourself in the Collision Industry" taught attendees valuable ways of thinking outside of the box when it comes to marketing, production methods and understanding the importance of being familiar with their financial information.
During the working lunch, the associations recognized the sponsors of the event: platinum sponsor LKQ/Keystone; gold sponsors 3M, DuPont and Hertz Local Edition; silver sponsor Ford Motor Company and bronze sponsors Car Quest Auto Finishes, Insurance Auto Auctions and JC Auto & Truck Parts.
Butler of the MIC briefly outlined some of the accomplishments between the MIC and the collision repair industry and took questions from the audience.
Eversman of Vehicle Information Systems followed with an informative and thought-provoking presentation on “shortsheeting" within the industry and how this affects treatment of the vehicle owner and his or her perception of the repair process and insurance company.
Andreoli of Progressive outlined some of the initiatives the insurer is researching and testing and spent a good amount of time answering questions from repairers in the room.
Calamity nearly struck when Avery and Porter of State Farm found their usual route to Columbia blocked by floodwater. With the assistance of some local Missourians and their GPS, they eventually did manage to arrive and address the participants, who were kind enough to extend their time at the meeting.
“It was a professionally set meeting about difficult topics, any one of which could have taken the full day," said one attendee. "Sometimes it takes a little spirited dialogue to express the frustration that all parties are feeling within the industry…this meeting provided the opportunity for that to happen in a professional setting where everyone could take something constructive home with them to further whatever segment of the industry they represented.”
Ron Reiling of AASP of Missouri said, "I feel that the dedicated professionals of the collision industry who attended the MCIF received the maximum return on their investment. A day away from their businesses to spend with likeminded professionals receiving pertinent firsthand information set in a professional environment is a priceless opportunity.”
“It’s very impressive that the three organizations worked together to host a national level forum in the Midwest with an array of speakers, all of whom excelled and exceeded any expectation," said Ben Steinman, past chairman of ASA MOKAN. "The training and networking that was available to those who attended was absolutely outstanding.”
For more information on the MCIF, visit www.missouricollisionforum.com.