IBIS delivers a Global Summit to shout about

The 2024 edition of the IBIS Global Summit has been hailed a resounding success on every level, especially in the way it has moved the dial towards greater collaboration under IBIS Worldwide’s 2024 theme “Transforming Tomorrow Together”.

After three days of high-level networking and two days of seminar sessions, the great and good of the global collision repair industry departed from the Sheraton Rhodes Resort in Greece, armed with insights and new ways to approach the challenges and opportunities the sector is facing.

Among the many highlights of the conference was the presentation by IBIS Worldwide CEO Jason Moseley of two important industry awards which were handed out in recognition of the exceptional work, innovation and resilience displayed by individuals and companies in the global collision repair industry.

This year’s winners were Jason Scharton from 3M, who received the IBIS Outstanding Contribution to the Collision Repair Industry award, and Michael Macaluso from Driven Brands, who was presented with the IBIS Lifetime Achievement in the Collision Repair Industry award.

Also on day one of the conference, Auto Additive officially launched its pioneering new business which will provide 3D printing solutions to the repair sector. Founded on the insights and recommendations of the 3D Printing in Collision Repair Task Force, which was facilitated by IBIS Worldwide in 2023, Auto Additive and its founding partners – Headlights.com and 4Plastic – are set to revolutionise the supply of 3D printed tools, jigs, and repair parts such as headlight tabs.

Among a range of topics being discussed in Rhodes was the real-life application of AI and digitisation in collision repair, featuring Stephan Stergiou of Openclaims and Jon Parker and Trenton Dambrowitz from Halo ARC in the UK.

Parker said: “We’re looking into AI today to see how we can change the future of claims, ultimately to improve the experience of our clients. Using AI will make us cheaper, more efficient, faster and better. AI is going to be a game-changer for our industry and we want to be involved in planning that future.”

The IBIS Global Summit wouldn’t be doing its job without addressing the skills and labour shortages that are seen worldwide, and in an panel session IBIS asked: “How are we really doing?”

To discuss the initiatives and programmes in place that are helping with talent attraction, John Wood of Career Grandmaster, was joined by Halo’s Dambrowitz, Michael Massey from 3M, Dave Reece of School of Thought, and Roar Solberg from BASF.

Wood said: “Hiring and retention matters because a bad recruitment typically costs you three times that employee’s salary, as well as impacting team morale, management time and business loss. The four key pillars of effective recruitment are telling your story in an authentic way, being consistent, staying pro-active, and showing mutual benefit.”

The talent theme came up again on the second day over two important sessions, the first of which was a thought-leadership discussion featuring three industry leaders who are directing strategy across multiple markets. David Gunderson, president of the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division; Cris Hollingsworth, global CEO for Repairify Global Holdings; and Fabien Boschetti, vice-president EMEA for Axalta, were on stage to examine the challenges and opportunities that are shaping the global collision repair and insurance claims landscape.

Gunderson said: “When it comes to [staff] retention, you have to ask yourself what is your strategic partnership like with your employees. How do you change that relationship from a transaction about money to one about value and purpose. Why do people stay at 3M? It’s because they always have new opportunity.”

In the final session at IBIS Global Summit 2024 in Rhodes, David Luehr from Elite Bodyshop Solutions delivered an anecdote-filled keynote about how bodyshops can become high performance repair centres, before he joined a panel to discuss team culture, bodyshop challenges and opportunities, and the changing face of traditional bodyshop infrastructure.

Adam Thurman from EV Bodyshops, John Picciano of Flower Hill Auto Body, Matteo Massone from A21 Holding, and Jay Hayward from CSN Collision discussed how bodyshops need to be prepared and looked at ways to embrace change and why these changes are a great opportunity for repairers.

Picciano said: “The biggest thing you need to do to move forward is to keep going. Get in there, get dirty, get involved, and make mistakes. Be persistent every single day. And get your team all in, because if they don’t buy into your plan, it will fail.”

Next up on the packed 2024 IBIS Worldwide calendar is IBIS Latin America in Mexico City on 7 June, followed by IBIS ASEAN in Kuala Lumpur on 27 June, and IBIS Australila on 23-24 July. To find out more and to register to attend future IBIS events, please visit: https://ibisworldwide.com/ibis-2024-event-programme/.