International opportunities at IBIS

IBIS 2015

Opening proceedings, IBIS marketing and events manager, Jake O’Neill highlighted how, from humble beginnings in 2001, IBIS is now a global proposition and its core essence now and into the future is based around safety, skills and standards ‘for the benefit of all stakeholders’ said Jake.

David Lingham, IBIS 2015 conference director, then set the scene for IBIS 2015 and lightened the mood by referencing a recent European Nissan study which revealed three out of ten drivers (33%) reported damaging their car in the last five years, with 16% of those suffering car damage while in the act of parking.

Sean Carey, president, SCG Management Consultants presented a brief session, following has involvement in IBIS 2014, called ‘Connected car, connected claim, 12 months on…’. ‘The connected car is everywhere,’ said Sean, ‘Although we’re not quite there yet, the vehicle will, no question about it, make the claim in the future.’ Sean questioned, ‘Can you hear the footsteps of the seamless claims process which just happens? The connected car is the catalyst to change.’

Clive Humby, chief data scientist, Starcount presented a session entitled, ‘Data is the new oil’ during which he suggested data has ‘changed the way the world works. Data will be the tool on which the industry changes.’ He stated, ‘The most important thing with data is relevance.’ He continued, ‘Big data will mean a revolution for the industry. Some of the best and most profitable uses are what is made from it by others.’

Honing in on the domestic market, AkzoNobel’s sales manager VR premium for Greece, Italy, Balkans and Turkey, Yannis Ioanniadis claimed there is ‘opportunity’ within the Greek sector. Yannis said, ‘We are seeing the emergence of insurer repairer networks and accident management companies are taking position. There is opportunity within the market, but the future is not yet clear.’

Looking at a ‘Collaboration model for a win-win’, AIG’s global head of consumer auto claims, Joe Funk looked at the partnership models the insurer has in place in the south America and Asia markets. ‘Key partner garages are our customer interface,’ said Joe. ‘I want our repair partners to make money because if our repairers are happy, that reflects well on my customer.’

Rex Green of BB&T Capital Markets offered a presentation entitled, ‘Consolidation in the US: what it might mean for the rest of the world’ in which he highlighted the ‘unprecedented’ trend of consolidator activity within the collision repair industry. Rex highlighted how at present in the US, four consolidators – ‘the four horsemen’ – at present share 10% of collision repair revenue. However, in 10 years’ time Rex predicted that figure to be closer to 65% of revenue. Rex suggested collision ‘couldn’t be a hotter investment right now’.

Wijnand Mebius, chairman of the board of co-op, PartsPlan offered an insight into the fascinating parts platform in the Dutch market. ‘If we join forces, and are smart, success takes care of itself,’ said Wijnand who explained that by the end of 2015 it is forecast that 75% of the parts turnover within the Netherlands will go through PartsPlan.

The last session of day one, saw David Mills, head of motor fulfilment and supply chain at Direct Line Group (DLG), present ‘The view of the customer’ in which he asked ‘How do we provide great service to someone who doesn’t want to use it?’ David said, ‘we need to get the basics right to add real value. The longer a repair takes, the more effort is required and the greater the cost but quality is crucial,’ said David who suggested there is ‘waste’ in the claims process.

Following a highly praised international dinner, day two of the IBIS 2015 programme welcomed Andy MacDonald, body repair programme manager, Tesla Motors who discussed the manufacturer’s repair programme strategy. Andy explained how Tesla ‘micro-manages the entire repair process’ and that data is key with all repair cases tracked, monitored and measured. He also pointed to how, good communication from the repairer, with both Tesla and the customer is crucial and that ‘good customer service is everything’.

Axalta Coating System’s business director refinish systems central eastern Europe, Georg Tautz was next to offer an insight into Russia and the opportunity that still exists within the region. ‘There is still good opportunity within Russia,’ said Georg, ‘but uncertainty is hitting all market players.’ He suggested three options for market players: wait and see, be pro-active or exit but warned that withdrawal from the market is likely to be ‘the point of no return’.

The final session of IBIS 2015 saw Audatex UK managing director, Paul Sykes discuss ‘Generation Y and digitalisation’ and explain ‘how they interact differently’. Paul drew attention how 91% of Generation Y are tweeting about businesses and brands – ‘you have no control over this,’ said Paul, ‘you can choose to join in. Or not.’

IBIS 2015 was supported by official partners: 3M, AkzoNobel, Audatex, Automechanika, Axalta, Chief-Elektron, EMM, Enterprise and Fix Auto World. The event was held at the Hilton Athens, Greece.