CCIF makes its way to Calgary 

October 12, 2023

The Canadian Collision Industry Forum made its way to Calgary in October 2023 for two days of learning, sharing, and networking. The event, held on October 5th and 6th, brought collision industry professionals together in one central location to attend informative sessions and to discuss industry trends and challenges. 

Material management and cost control 

CCIF Calgary began with an afternoon workshop hosted by Sean Ashford, Business Development Specialist at Color Compass Corporation. At the beginning of his presentation, Ashford emphasized how cost control is an issue many businesses face. Ashford further explained that material management is a key strategy in managing costs. 

“Training, educating, and continuously following up on data analysis can help address human error within inventory management.” 

Shortly after the workshop, a networking reception took place, allowing those in attendance to connect before Friday’s full day of sessions. 

Engaging young talent  

Friday, the first full day of sessions started with a session on the dire need for new talent in the autobody collision repair sector. Hosted by Mike Hughes, Academic Chair of the Autobody program at the Southern Alberta Insitute of Technology, the session began by emphasizing that as the collision industry grows at a rapid pace, so does the demand for skilled talent.  

“Current solutions to bringing new collision professionals to the industry are apprenticeships, open houses, info sessions and skill development initiatives.” 

By utilizing past pilot projects as examples, and providing attendees with strategies, Hughes provided attendees with key insight on how to recruit young talent into the industry. 

Looking into the future of ADAS 

It is no secret that the collision industry is evolving—in all aspects. Nick Dominato dove into the growth of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) calibration technologies and the impact these technologies will have on the Canadian market within the next ten years. 

“It is very difficult to know that a vehicle needs to be calibrated, where the estimators may be overworked and may not have the time to check into the ADAS and its need for calibration.” 

Dominato, Director of Product Management at I-CAR, presented his evaluation of the market size and what he thinks is the future of the industry and what auto care professionals should be aware of regarding the future of ADAS. 

Sustainable practices: Auto care claims 

After a brief networking break, Peter Kalantzis and Michelle Li of AVIVA Canada joined CCIF Calgary to teach attendees about sustainable auto claims and how they are a key part in embedding sustainable practices in the collision sector.  

“Aviva views sustainable auto care claims as key to addressing in acting on climate change, where the collision industry can benefit from sustainable attitudes.” Says Kalantzis 

Kalantzis and Li further informed attendees on how to decarbonize auto care claims and the importance of doing so.  

A how-to on becoming an industry powerhouse 

Taylor Moss, Manage of OEConnection’s Repair Intelligence Team, provided audiences with a thorough understanding of how their business can become a collision repair powerhouse.  

By implementing tactics, and reflecting on processes and technologies currently in place, businesses have the opportunity to build a powerhouse collision repair business. 

“Other employers are offering strong starting pay and good benefits from day one. That is why it is important to invest in your employees, pay top performers, and offer memorable benefits.” 

Considering technician trends and challenges 

After a lunch break there was an in depth look into industry trends and challenges, hosted by Cecile Buckmeier. Buckmeier, Program Chair at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, provided attendees with a comprehensive presentation regarding technician trends and potential challenges being faced in the auto care industry today.  

“What is trending now is that we have a new generation of workers, and more diversity than ever. They are tech-savvy, they want to feel valued, they want a work-life balance, and they want the opportunity for career advancement.” 

Buckmeier explained that technicians may face these challenges for three primary reasons: the influx of new information, advances in technology, and labour market shortages.  

Completing the session, Buckmeier informed attendees on how to overcome these challenges and what opportunities collision shops have to keep their best talent in-house. 

Looking ahead: Toronto 2024 

CCIF Calgary was an excellent event, allowing Canadian collision industry stakeholders to learn and share about the future of the industry. The packed presentations showed why CCIF conferences are an incredible opportunity to network and connect.  

This February, CCIF returns to Toronto. After a brief hiatus, the CCIF Toronto trade show is officially back. Do not waste any time as registration to become a trade show exhibitor closes on November 27th, 2023, and the CCIF Toronto conference early bird admission rates wrap up on October 27th, 2023. 


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