IBIS Global Summit 2019 – The story

Hundreds of delegates gathered in the beautiful setting of Lake Maggiore, Italy from 10-12 June, for the 19th hosting of the IBIS Global Summit, centred around the theme of ‘passion for progress.’

After a lovely welcome evening of traditional Italian dinner and networking, the first day of sessions kicked-off the following morning with a warm introduction from IBIS CEO, Jason Moseley.

Next, Jason brought the first speaker to the stage Dr Annette Winkler, former head of the Smart product division, Daimler AG, to discuss her insight into leading a global OEM business. After exploring the changes currently happening within the industry, Annette listed how leaders of businesses can offer direction to their company and staff. ‘Leaders can provide orientation with common targets through positioning; decisions and values; space for creativity; common rules and values with mutual respect; partnering; and placing the best employee in the best position,’ Annette stated.

Following Annette on stage was Hod Lipson, professor of engineering and data science, Columbia University, who explored the large-scale implications of artificial intelligence (AI). Along with discussing the history of AI, he revealed what is currently driving AI (exponential growth in computing power, rediscovery of machine learning, and a cloud that allows AI to teach other AI) and what the future waves of AI hold (predictive analytics, cognitive computing, creative machines, physical embodiment and sentience.) However, Hod said that no robot in the world will be able to replace trained, skilled work.

After a short coffee break where guests had the opportunity to network, the first panellists took to the stage, including Ian Pugh, director, Fix Auto UK; Bill Lopez, vice president, general manager collision and OEM programs, OE Connection; Dave Shepherd, regional managing director, Audatex UK and Africa; and Kevern Thompson, commercial manager, CAPS Consortium, to discuss the challenges of managing data in a changing auto claims environment.

For the first part of the session, Kevern set the precedent and understanding of what data is and how it affects the industry with emphasis on storage, safeguarding and GDPR. The panel then addressed a multitude of topics surrounding data, for example GDPR training, data criminality, and data ownership. Ian rounded off the session perfectly when he said, ‘We have a massive change we are going through. It is a behavioural change where education is key.’

The next three sessions of the day specifically explored bodyshops, where the objectives were to deliver practical takeaways for bodyshop owners to share with their employees, and for those in the supply chain to discover how better to serve the customers of their business. First up was Jeff Smith, ‘The KPI Guy’ and international best-selling author to reveal to delegates how to make more profit and keep it. Jeff explained the biggest reasons why businesses fail are, in his opinion, inertia (reluctance or refusing to change), procrastination, and paradigm shifts. Furthermore, he said that, ‘the key rules to a successful business is return on investment, net profit before interest, and circulation investment. Being profitable is not about making more profit but the relationship between these three.’

After a delicious networking lunch, guests were ushered back to the main stage to hear author Dave Luehr’s six secrets to a successful bodyshop, which can be found in the list below.

  1. Busting old beliefs (you have the choice to choose the beliefs you want)
  2. Overcoming challenges of the family-operated business
  3. Building a sustainable business model
  4. Getting customers to your door
  5. Learn modern leadership
  6. Belong to some type of peer group

The final session regarding bodyshops was a panel made up of Steve Leal, president and CEO, Fix Network World; Theo Theodosiou, technical director, Solus Accident Repair Centres; Lucy Cater, marketing support specialist, global accounts vehicle refinishes, AkzoNobel; and Farzam Afshar CEO, president, and co-founder VeriFacts Automotive, LLC, who explored the customer of the future. The esteemed panel discussed millennials’ view and complaints about the industry, how to obtain adaptability, if change is achievable, staying relevant to customers, and auditing expectations and experiences.

After another short networking opportunity in the form of a coffee break, the next session commenced, titled ‘Improving a motor claims journey,’ with presenter James Grant, vice president, business development, Verisk Insurance Solutions. James covered topics like the lack of money in repairs, how to leverage expertise and advanced technologies, photos and videos usage, data and telematics and combating fraud. ‘Who benefits from changes?’ asked James as he closed the session. ‘The customer, OEs and insurers.’

For the last session of the day, delegates heard from Jennifer Boyer, global collision business and strategy manager, Ford Motor Company and Jim Azzouz, marketing director for aftersales, Ford of Europe, who spoke about a ‘collision repair strategy within a global OEM.’ Using Ford’s collision strategy as a case study, the two speakers discussed the progress the OEM has made over the past 18 months, current successes, and the progress it will make in the future – including reinventing hybrids and electric vehicles and providing training related to repair.

Jason concluded day one before inviting everyone to the evening’s drink reception and dinner at the Hotel Dino, where a five-course meal was served with musical entertainment.

He then introduced the event’s second and final day, before Mary Mahoney, vice president insurance replacement, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, took to the stage as the day’s first speaker to deliver her presentation titled, ‘Opportunity in disruption: how we can all win.’

She said,There are three areas of opportunity in disruption: the customer experience; connected cars; and investment in people and technology.’ As a final word of encouragement, the speaker told delegates, ‘We are all going to win if we invest in the customer, technology and talent.’

Following a networking refreshment break, IBIS Global Summit 2019 concluded with the final session, headed, ‘Collision repair skills: a view from the floor.’

Forming the panel was Mirko Cutri, WorldSkills; Dave Gunderson, VP AAD, 3M; Ase Brekke Roe, 2014 WorldSkills paint champion; Georg Profanter, WorldSkills body repair champion; Steven Waite, paint technician, Devonshire Motors ARC; and Nicholaus Owen, panel technician, DLG Auto Services Orpington.

Firstly, Mirko gave a short presentation about WorldSkills and what the organisation does. ‘We recognise talent and skills on stage while exposing youth to a variety of skills,’ he explained. The other panellists then joined him on stage to provide their own insights in an interview format. They covered a range of topics, including the importance of promoting skills, the journey to skills, the reasons for the skills shortage, industry promotion, staff retention, working together for change and the lack of training options.

To close the 2019’s IBIS Global Summit, Jason returned to the stage for the final time. Reiterating the topics covered during the previous two days of insightful presentations and networking, he reminded guests that, ‘All the answers to our industry’s issues lie in this room.’

After thanking sponsors, delegates, and staff, Jason announced the location of the IBIS Global Summit 2020, which will take place in Monaco.