IBIS Global Summit Wraps Up After Addressing The Industry’s Biggest Issues

IBIS Worldwide has hailed the 2024 IBIS Global Summit “a resounding success on every level”, particularly for the way it achieved greater collaboration under the theme ‘Transforming Tomorrow Together’.

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

Among the highlights was the presentation of two important industry awards by Jason Moseley, CEO of IBIS Worldwide. The awards recognised 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.

DAY 1

On day one of the conference, Auto Additive officially launched its pioneering new business, which will provide 3D printing solutions to the repair sector.

Topics discussed in Rhodes included 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.

“We’re looking into AI today to see how we can change the future of claims, ultimately to improve the experience of our clients,” said Parker. “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 summit also addressed the global skills and labour shortage, with talent initiatives and programmes discussed by Dambrowitz, John Wood of Career Grandmaster, Michael Massey from 3M, Dave Reece of School of Thought, and Roar Solberg from BASF.

“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,” said Wood. “The four key pillars of effective recruitment are telling your story in an authentic way, being consistent, staying proactive, and showing mutual benefit.”

DAY 2

The talent theme was further explored on the second day over two sessions. The first presentation was a thought-leadership discussion featuring three industry leaders who direct strategy across multiple markets. David Gunderson, President of Automotive Aftermarket Division at 3M; Cris Hollingsworth, CEO of Repairify Global Holdings; and Fabien Boschetti, Vice-President EMEA at Axalta, examined the challenges and opportunities shaping global collision repair and insurance claims.

“When it comes to [staff] retention, you have to ask yourself – ‘what is your strategic partnership like with your employees?’,” said Gunderson. “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, David Luehr from Elite Bodyshop Solutions delivered an anecdote-filled keynote presentation about how body shops can become high performance repair centres. He then joined a panel that discussed team culture, collision repair challenges and opportunities, and the changing face of traditional body shop 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 body shops must be prepared, ways to embrace change and why change offers a great opportunity for repairers.

“The biggest thing you need to do to move forward is to keep going,” said Picciano. “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.”