IBISConnect LATAM – global knowledge, local focus

IBISConnect Latin America (LATAM) – the first event on the new 2021/2022 calendar of innovative simulcasts and in-person conferences from the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) – has been hailed a huge success by the nearly 450 registered delegates.

Offering global knowhow with local focus, IBISConnect Latin America’s speakers provided invaluable insights, crucial data and business solutions for Central and South American collision repair markets.

GiPA’s America region director Óscar Balcázar opened proceedings with a detailed overview of the regional car parc and a deep dive into data from Mexico, before highlighting signs of recovery across the region.

Following each session, IBIS Worldwide CEO Jason Moseley interviewed the speakers and took questions from the global audience using an intuitive English-Spanish Q&A facility.

Jason Scharton, senior manager: global expertise delivery at 3M AAD, then spoke about technician education and training, the development of standard operating procedures, and the need for bodyshops in Latin America to prepare for these procedures because of the onslaught of new technology in cars.

“Training is key to working on electric vehicles, but you don’t have to cover every vehicle on the road,” he said. “Find out what EVs are most popular in your market and train for that vehicle – get educated on those automobiles.”

Osiel D Velázquez R, director of operations at CESVI México SA, explored evolution of repair estimating over the past 30 years, including the impact of repair process standardisation and workshop efficiencies, while talking about the evolution of tools for estimating vehicle damage in Latin America.

“It is import to understand how these tools have been designed to estimate repair costs and how new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and visual intelligence will be incorporated,” said Velázquez, who also highlighted the challenges for bodyshops of a fully automated claims management process.

Then followed a virtual coffee break, during which delegates were able to “mingle”, ask questions or visit an Innovation Hub complete with partner stands set up for 3M, Axalta, Solera Audatex, GiPA, CESVI México, Automechanika and WorldSkills.

How companies have adapted to Covid was the subject of the next talk, by Axalta Coating Systems key account manager Eduardo Sebastian Avila Flores, who explained how his company and many others have had to use different strategies to communicate with customers.

“The only way to engage with our customers and give them what they need in these new times is for each of us and the companies we work for or own to reinvent ourselves and to adapt,” he said. “I don’t think we will ever return to the normal we had 15 months ago – especially working from home and using digital means to communicate effectively.”

Exploring the claims journey from start to finish, Enrique Eduardo Balderas Fernández, director of automobile claims at Seguros Atlas in Mexico, said that the “clock is ticking” for the claims management ecosystem.

He said: “Ten years ago, the insurance sector was mainly concerned with one issue – how to get to the scene of the claim in less than half an hour. Although that is still an important issue for the insured, the insurance companies have made significant progress in claims resolution … having learned to improve the day-to-day running of the motor insurance [division], down to predictive, data-driven systems.”

Raj Pofale, founder and CEO of Claim Genius, closed IBISConnect Latin America 2021 with his presentation on disruptive technologies and the importance of supply chain partnerships in implementing effective solutions in the claims industry.

Pofale questioned whether technology will ever fully replace an insurance engineer, physical inspections and bodyshop estimators, and outlined the effects of the pandemic on the adoption of disruptive technology.

All IBISConnect Latin America 2021 sessions and IBIS Innovation Hub content will be available to view on catch-up. Use your existing login details for access or visit the IBIS Worldwide website. Click this link to register for future IBISConnect and IBIS in-person conferences.