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IBIS: Collision repair consolidators talk strategies, tech shortage

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Business Practices | Education | International | Market Trends | Repair Operations

As always, the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium provided fascinating coverage of the latest IBIS summit — a godsend for collision repairers unable to make it out to the various exotic locales to catch the insight firsthand.

Auto body professionals, OEMs and insurers all should check out all the coverage of the Madrid event Monday-Wednesday on Twitter (@IBISworldwide) and IBIS’ website.

One of the most interesting articles, posted Wednesday, discussed what Fix Auto World CEO Steve Leal called the “inevitable” consolidation of the collision repair industry, but went a step further by discussing the somewhat disparate goals of the major MSOs.

As IBIS reported, “Caliber says it wants to be the ‘category killer’.” and quoted Caliber Collision CEO Steve Grimshaw: “That means competing at a level that makes it very difficult for others to compete against you.”

IBIS’s article continues:

Fix Auto World and Auto King (a large Turkish MSO) meanwhile, are focused on increasing their service portfolio. Steve Leal said Fix Auto World wants to evolve into a single solution for collision, mechanical and glass and is ‘actively looking to acquire more companies in each of these brand lines,’ while Auto King wants to reach the customer at an earlier stage in the process.

Faced with these competitors, it seems as though independents and other MSOs might want to ask themselves what their own niches will be.

Tech shortage and development

The article and another featuring Service King CEO Jeff McFadden also spoke to the technician shortage which can stifle an MSO and small shop alike as well as the issue of training the technicians one has. Among the highlights:

  •  IBIS reported that Caliber spends more than $10 million a year on training and also quoted McFadden’s observation, “It’s going to be everyone’s largest investment, creating your own bench. The trained people to support this industry do not exist.”
  •  Such as Service King’s apprentice program. It started at 15 supervisors and 51 apprentices, and is up to 48 supervistors and 263 apprentices or graduates, IBIS reported.

  •  “(McFadden) suggested attrition ‘is the hard part’ with industry norms highlighting one in every seven technicians leaving their roles with 60% of those leaving for another bodyshop,” IBIS wrote. “In comparison he highlighted how the Service King programme sees one in 11 leave their role and none leaving for other bodyshop.”

More information:

“PRIVATE EQUITY: ‘JET FUEL’”

IBIS, June 14, 2017

“CONSOLIDATION IS INEVITABLE”

IBIS, June 13, 2017

@IBISworldwide Twitter feed

Featured image: Caliber Collision CEO Steve Grimshaw is pictured. (Provided by Caliber Collision via Business Wire)