If there is a constant in the collision repair world today, that constant is change. And shop owners and managers need to keep looking ahead to see where technology is taking the industry and then use those changes to help them succeed. So said Randy Dewing, senior manager, PPG MVP Business Solutions, in his opening remarks to more than 300 attendees at the recent PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) MVP Business Solutions Conference at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
Themed “Visionary Leadership: A Call to Action,” the three-day event offered speakers, seminars and discussion groups focusing on how collision shop owners and managers can enhance their leadership skills and play a visionary role in fostering a high-performance culture in the rapidly changing collision industry.
“We continue to work on interdependent success, partnering with our customers to work on business performance required to be the competitive leaders in their markets,” said Jim Berkey, director, PPG MVP Business Solutions. “Our conferences are an opportunity to bring a strong mix of passionate, successful people together to continue the learning process.”
Keynote speaker Scott Klososky focused on the conference theme and emphasized that while making good technical decisions is important, acting on those decisions is absolutely essential. “Those who are reactive will end up being taught by their proactive competitors,” Klososky said. He added that a long-term vision is necessary: looking ahead five years to determine what investments will need to be made in people, products and processes. Klososky, with a combination of futuristic imagination and “in-the-trenches” practical experience, discussed how technology and forward thinking can help business leaders seize an “unfair share of business.” Most critical, he pointed out, is having a process in place to address change and implementing a strategy for success. Klososky outlined a step-by-step “visionary leadership” process to help lead a company into the future.
Austin Brock of the Disney Institute spoke about leading through turbulent times. She presented strategies and tactics a leader can implement to ensure a company stays on course for success, pointing out that leaders need to have a vision and to communicate it effectively to their organizations. In so doing, Brock said they need to shift the organizational culture to focus on behaviors and results and to support the shift with genuinely open, two-way communication. She also offered process strategies for turbulent scenarios and for difficulties created by the changing nature of competition.
Richard Flint, also a keynote speaker and regarded as a top U.S. personal development coach, delivered a dynamic presentation, “Recharging the Human Spirit,” in which he dramatically demonstrated how to motivate personnel, rebuild morale and re-energize a company to function at its highest levels.
Norm Angrove, PPG senior manager, value programs, and John Martin, PPG manager, performance learning, value-added programs, discussed marketing in the 21st century, covering the technological and online opportunities available today and how social media and other techniques can help enhance collision shops' success. They stressed the growing importance of this aspect of marketing as new generations of employees and customers who are more tuned in to the online world enter the marketplace.
Attendees also heard PPG MVP Business Solutions Managers David Knapp and Mike Gunnells deliver an introduction to hands-on, problem-solving methodologies that have been used successfully at the original-equipment manufacturer level and may be applied by those in the collision industry.
Conference attendees participated in breakout discussion sessions and seminars designed to help them develop and implement improved business models, motivate employees and prepare for change.
“The conference was sensational,” said Nick Hindy, partner in Anthony’s Autobody, Shrewsbury, N.J. “The speakers provided us with a wealth of knowledge, everything from business strategies to marketing with social media and understanding what that’s all about. I feel like we were getting a complete education that can really help us.”
The conference is one component of an all-inclusive range of PPG MVP Business Solutions value-added programs and services, intended to keep PPG Automotive Refinish customers positioned to face today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities. The next PPG MVP Business Solutions Conference, themed “Journey to Excellence,” will be March 27-29, 2011, at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Palm Springs, Calif.
For more information about PPG MVP Business Solutions and its next conference, visit ppgmvp.com, contact a PPG Automotive Refinish territory manager or send email to MVPmailbox[.]ppg.com.
When introduced more than a decade ago, MVP Services was the first program of its kind in the collision repair industry. Since then, thousands of collision center owners and managers have taken advantage of PPG MVP Business Solutions' innovative services to improve the way they run their business. Green Belt Training is part of the MVP program.
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG (ppg.com) operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2009 were $12.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).