Some of the world’s most highly regarded industry speakers are heading to Australia this July to appear at the inaugural BodyShop News International Collision Congress (BICC). Supported by IBIS Worldwide, it will be held at Sydney’s prestigious Four Seasons Hotel on 25 and 26 July.
With the support of some of the global collision repair industry’s biggest suppliers, the BICC will commence with an exclusive Black-Tie Welcome Dinner on Tuesday 25 July, hosted by Australian driving champion Cameron McConville. In addition to being Master Of Ceremonies, McConville will share his experience driving for some of the country’s most famous racing teams including Dick Johnson Racing, Holden Racing Team and Garry Rogers Motorsport. He will also share the secret to developing a winning mindset, excelling under pressure, and overcoming adversity, all of which can be applied to business management.
The dinner will be followed by a full day of lively and insightful presentations. Under the theme of Leading the Way to a Better 2024, the Congress will commence with an official welcome by BodyShop News Publisher Michel Malik, followed by the keynote address presented by inaugural New South Wales Women’s Safety Commissioner, lawyer and author Dr Hannah Tonkin.
Tonkin has built an extraordinarily successful international career in a multitude of leadership roles. She worked for many years as an international lawyer and policy adviser at the United Nations in a range of conflict and post-conflict contexts, including Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Gaza, Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia, with a focus on protecting civilians in armed conflict and prosecuting war crimes. She also worked as the Director of Disability Rights at the Australian Human Rights Commission and as a barrister in London and Australia.
As Women’s Safety Commissioner, Tonkin provides leadership and expert advice on whole-of-government policies and programmes relating to women’s safety and gender equality.
Tonkin holds a master’s degree and PhD in international law from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and honours degrees in law and science from the University of Adelaide. Her book, State control over private military and security companies in armed conflict, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.
The first session, Leading the Way to a Better 2024 – Supporting your success, will be moderated by Kathy Zdravevski, Industry Policy Advisor at the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry (MVIRI) Code Administration Committee (CAC) representative for the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA). The discussion will look at the way industry associations support their members and show proactive, interdependent, and forward-thinking leadership.
“We can only exist if our members exist, and we never forget that,” said Zdravevski. “More than any other time in history, our mutual sustainability depends on each other, so we welcomed the opportunity to outline our objectives and actions for 2024 at this invaluable and perfectly timed congress.”
The panel will feature Stephen Jenkins, General Counsel & Head of Employment Relations at the Motor Traders’ Association of NSW (MTA NSW), CAC Chair and CAC representative for the MTAA; Kaes Cillessen, General Manager Media, Marketing and Policy at the Motor Trade Association of South Australia and Northern Territory (MTA SA/NT) and CAC representative for the MTAA; Rodger Nardi, Executive Officer of the Australian Automotive Service and Repair Authority (AASRA); and John Khoury, Industry Policy Advisor at the VACC and Board Director at AASRA.
The next session, New Vehicle Technology – The learning gap and the price of getting it, will take an objective look at new vehicle technologies heading toward 2024, before moving on to the outlook for 2026 and 2028. The discussion will explore the way vehicle manufacturers are tackling challenges, the effect on the collision industry learning gap, and the risks faced by repairers because of the technological revolution.
Speaker Dirk Fuchs, US-based CEO and founder of Electric Mobility Consulting, will lead the discussion, joined by a group of panellists including Adrian Parkes, founding Director at ADAS Solutions Australia, and renowned collision industry consultant Mark Czvitkovits.
Dave Luehr, founder and owner of Elite Bodyshop Solutions in the USA, will present Thriving in Chaos – Why do some succeed wildly while others struggle? A collision industry expert, author, and business coach, Luehr believes that for some businesses, now is the greatest time in history to be in the collision repair business. During the session, Luehr and his panellists will share the attitudes, cultures, and practices of those who have fostered a change-driven organisation and risen to the top.
Alternative Supply Chain Models – The new normal becoming just normal, will be led by supply chain expert Chris Daglis, Managing Director of Auto PARTnered Solutions. Daglis and his panellists, which includes ACM Parts head Adam O’Sullivan, will debate the impact of current reactive and unpredictable supply chain models and the root causes of why the industry persists with them despite compelling evidence pointing to the need for an alternative. They will then discuss alternative supply chain models that are providing early adopters significant operational and financial benefits, not just some pre-perceived cost savings.
Nurturing Talent – Because without talent what is a business anyway? will feature a panel including Ash Jardine, Automotive Recruitment Consultant, and Michael Wentworth from Apprentices R Us Australia.
As the industry thinks differently about employees regarding mental health, inclusivity and diversity, team culture is now as important as technical skills. The panel will discuss how the industry is adapting, what leaders are doing differently to attract employees, and ways to retain them.
Unblocking the Cashflow Waterfall will feature Robert Snook, Director of UK-based Business Success Global and IBIS Conference Moderator, together with a panel of industry leaders.
The session will examine how the best performing businesses think and work in context, not content, and how understanding functionality, capacity and capability, as well as doing things differently, brings better results. The session will also discuss the benefits of investing time in unblocking the ‘cash flow waterfall’, rather than simply trying to work faster, harder and longer.
“The only difference between high and low performing businesses is implementation,” said Snook. “Everything else is just an excuse. Trust me, hope is not a strategy.”
Leading from the Front – The CEO’s perspectives, will feature a panel of leading international and Australian industry suppliers, including Pierre Nicolau, President and CEO of Celette.
Against a backdrop of unprecedented challenge and opportunity globally, the panel will discuss the current and future market outlook from a CEO’s perspective, providing insight into how they will move toward a better 2024.
“Change for a better future starts with us, the leaders of organisations,” said Nicolau. “It is our responsibility to get clarity on the vision and communicate the strategy to get us there on time. This is our job and why we are on the payroll.”
These are just some of the sessions that will be at the BICC in July, to be held at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney. The event is supported by the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) and sponsored by ACM Parts, Celette, Sherwin-Williams, and the VACC, with more sponsors set to be announced in the near future.
“We are thrilled to be the Diamond Sponsor for the BodyShop News International Collision Congress,” said Adam O’Sullivan, head of ACM Parts. “We are very passionate about supporting the collision repair industry throughout Australia, outside the role we play within the supply chain providing our customers choice with respect to genuine, reclaimed and aftermarket parts and workshop consumables.
“Conferences such as this provide an invaluable opportunity for knowledge sharing and networking. Post COVID, these events are even more relevant given the challenges being faced across our industry, like the skilled labour shortage, inflationary pressures, parts availability, and rapidly changing technology.”
The event will be capped by an evening cocktail party, where attendees will have the opportunity to network with peers, business experts, and international and national suppliers.
The BICC follows on from BodyShop News’ hugely successful webinar programme, which helped the industry deal with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be supported by IBIS Worldwide.
“We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with BodyShop News International,” said Jason Moseley, CEO of IBIS. “Strategic alliances are a fundamental part of our IBIS plan to grow our platform around the globe.
“The 2023 BodyShop News International Collision Congress is a perfect step towards moving the IBIS story into the Australian collision market. This joint project will bring a force multiplier of valuable networking, knowledge sharing and learning for the leading influencers in the sector.”