I thought for those who missed out on this event, as well as those who attended, I would give you a few of the reasons on why Capricorn stepped up and took the lead in arranging an industry event, rather than as we usually do in holding events only for our Members and Preferred Suppliers.
Capricorn has automotive repairers at the centre of its existence and culture and especially the sustainability of both our Members’ and Preferred Suppliers’ businesses. Whilst Capricorn has in excess of 21,000 Members across all sectors of the automotive repair industry, we have a very significant membership within
the collision repair industry, and this sector is the second largest component of Capricorn’s business.
There are currently within Capricorn, around 1,400 collision/panel members in Australia, and nearly 500 in New Zealand. This has Capricorn at around half of the regularly reported number of shops in Australia, and over 60% in New Zealand.
Through an intensive body of work with our members and suppliers last year, together with the current industry developments of consolidation and rampant increases in technology affecting both repairability and equipment, we were continually hearing that more needs to be done to
address the few key issues that like a squeaky wheel, never seemed to go away, and each time they rise to the fore, these issues were often worse than before. In a number of forums held with both members and suppliers, commentary was that the industry appeared to have less lustre and certainly a lot more angst, on
both repairer and supplier fronts.
There’s certainly no 1 golden key answer, but we believed that there was a place to start. That was to create an event that had a person qualified from within the industry, who was with integrity, passion and knowledge, able to challenge the significant issues, as well as highlight the
opportunities which, with trust, would allow industry stakeholders to become sustainable within their businesses now and into the future.
Enter Mike Anderson and what a dynamo he proved to be! Mike has an incredible grasp on the operations and knowledge of the collision industry. With his background encompassing shop ownership, insurer and assessor bodies, as well as being heavily involved in the OEM vehicle manufacturer field
of parts and technology, Mike was able to provide really in-depth information which was equally relevant here as it in his home base USA.
Mike had everyone captivated, entertained and certainly educated on what life in a panel shop can be, if and only if, repairs are done with safety first and at the forefront of every repair, and then the ability to drive continual change with stakeholders based on new levels of trust between
repairers, assessors, insurers as well as being able challenge the times and rates held within insurer driven estimating systems and deliver an improved outcome for the repairers. The room of just on 200 delegates soon boomed Amens to his points and statements, and “that dawg don’t hunt” being the term he uses
to show disagreement was only used a few times when the room reflected on poor practice.
David Newton-Ross led our panellists through a number of topics raised within Mike’s presentation, as well as from audience interaction. A fair amount of discussion was led by Mike Killen on the inaccuracies of times captured within systems such as Audatex and from Mike’s information, we will be
exploring working with both providers and solution architects to improve this matter. Very valuable discussions were led by Geoff Gwilym, Jason Trewin, Rod McDougall, Andrea McCarthy and Carli Ruggeri.
Under a more active discussion, Carli Ruggeri and Andrea McCarthy spoke to the issues of insurers dictating/forcing rates as well as issues in parts supply, and very soon the term of “The race to the bottom” was as hot a topic as was the discussion on the need for safe, quality repairs
using OEM repair methods and times.
It is our intention to bring Mike back to both Australia and New Zealand as we look to hosting our next Futures Collide conference with the wider industry, as well as information and educational sessions across the various states for our members and suppliers.
Capricorn has also from this conference commenced with the introduction of new suppliers of products and services for our collision Members, and there are some very exciting opportunities being worked on right now, so as they say….
Watch this space!