Franchisees from Fix Network brands Fix Auto, Novus Glass, ProColor Collision, and Speedy Auto Service attended the company’s two-day global conference in Florida, USA to network and share knowledge across various automotive aftermarket fields.
“Nothing can take the place of meeting in person to celebrate our successes, share best practices and information, and prepare for an exciting future,” said Steve Leal, President and CEO of Fix Network. “Having our global network come together is a true testament to our company and the focus we put on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses, regardless of where they are in the world.”
The event commenced with a welcome message by Leal, who also discussed the continued global growth of the company and encouraged franchisees to welcome and embrace change to innovate their businesses. He also talked about the positive impact of artificial intelligence in the automotive industry and the favourable job outlook for glass and automotive technicians.
Lisa Foshee, Senior Vice President Government Affairs and General Counsel at the Auto Care Association, spoke about the Right to Repair initiative that supports customers having equal access to their vehicle’s wirelessly transmitted repair and maintenance data. While Foshee spoke about the movement in the United States, she explained that 33 global trade associations favour legislation that allows open competition and consumer choice with respect to automotive repair.
Business growth expert Jeff Havens presented a session titled ‘The next big thing will begin as a small thing’. He said that innovation starts by looking at how to improve existing systems and asking a question, thinking of possible answers, and trying those answers. “Ask, think, do, repeat,” said Havens.
William George, General Manager at NSG / Pilkington, spoke about the evolution of automotive glass and how quickly it is changing. As an example, he talked about the increasing complexity of vehicle parts, saying that in a 2005 vehicle there were approximately three to four differing windshield SKUs, while in a 2023 model there are 11 of them.
Craig Hardie, Group Chief Operations Office at United Motors Group, provided an update on Fix Network’s growth in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the introduction of Fix Auto and its new brand, Fix Auto Service.
Entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and author Ariane de Bonvoisin focused on change, saying: “The best way to deal with change is to change yourself. Every good thing in life has resulted from change.” She then outlined the nine principles of change attendees could implement in their everyday lives.
A panel featuring franchisees Valerie Veronneau from Fix Auto Sherbrooke Mi-vallon in Quebec, Canada; Lynn Washington from Novus Glass Denver in Colorado, USA; and Dan Hogg, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Fix Network, discussed the challenges and benefits of consolidation and providing ‘one stop’ locations for customers.
The conference included time to celebrate with a Floridian-themed welcome reception, complete with alligators and other reptiles; a Fix Network Global Block party at Universal Studios’ City Walk; and a Futuristic Fantasy gala dinner.
Several franchisees spoke highly of the event. “Attending the global conference was a great business decision for my wife and me,” said Matt Anderson from Novus Glass of Spokane, Washington, USA. “Attending allowed us to gain knowledge and energy from other franchisees within our brand and from around the world. It also gave us access to quality speakers who presented growth-focused information that we could bring home and immediately implement in our business.”
Knut Hildesheim from Fix Auto Ludwigslust in Germany said: “I found this world conference to be very visionary. It was impressive that a global network still lives and shapes values such as team orientation, family, credibility, and passion.”