CCIF returns to Toronto

February 6, 2023

The Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) returned to Toronto in February 2023, after a two-year absence from the largest auto care market in Canada. The event, held on the second and third of the month, brought collision industry professionals together for two days of sessions and networking.

Getting things done

The event kicked off with an afternoon workshop, presented by John Cox, business services manager for Canada at AkzoNobel. Laying out how to put into practice the myriad of ideas presented at conferences like CCIF, John’s workshop on creating a culture of execution showed how to move from just thinking about making a change to actually doing it. For John, it comes down to picking a single direction – forward.

“Make the commitment. Burn the boats. You will only have one option and that is to execute. So, ask yourself: have you burned the boats on this one? Are you able to go back or no?” he said.

A networking reception followed the workshop, giving those in attendance the chance to meet and mingle before Friday’s full day of presentations.

New cars and new opportunities

CCIF Toronto started in earnest on Friday with a morning of presentations looking at new car sales and the parts supply chain.

Guido Vildozo of S&P Global Mobility got the day started by exploring the impact of recent investments in electric vehicle (EV) production in Canada. EVs are set to change the entire automotive landscape, but people seem to be more focused on inflation. Guido doesn’t think they need to be.

“Inflation is worrying, but its long-term effects won’t be as severe as predicted,” he said.

The morning’s second speaker, Paul Gange of Advantage Parts Solutions, turned the spotlight on the parts supply chain. After two very difficult years over the course of the pandemic, the importance of the parts supply chain has been brought into focus. Paul offered a new vision towards optimizing the supply chain for the benefit of everyone involved – especially the vehicle owner.

“We have fragility in our industry. We need to recognize and work together to resolve it. If you are winning but the rest of the supply chain is losing, we are all losing,” he said. “At the same time, a rising tide lifts all boats. If we work together to address this fragility, we all win.”

Avoiding pitfalls and measuring success

After a break for refreshments, Lane Bailey of ELC Dispatch Solutions, guided participants through the ins and outs of the towing and storage industry. The towing industry is an essential part of the collision sector, but one fraught with pitfalls. It starts with being on top of what goes on in the industry, he explained. “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

In his wide-ranging talk, Lane offered concrete solutions to issues including reducing fraud, increasing logistical efficiency and saving money.

The future of the industry

The afternoon concluded after lunch with a pair of talks looking towards the future.

With EVs set to replace traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, Damon Aldrich reported on the efforts made by Enterprise Holdings to embrace this new electric future. As Damon detailed, it is a change that requires input from different stakeholders, both private and public, to ensure no one is left on the side of the road to electrification.

The conference’s final speaker, Kristle Bollans of Hertz Corporation, brought the discussion down to a more personal level – the future of women in the collision industry. A spokesperson for the Women’s Industry Network (WIN), Kristle detailed the network’s efforts to make the workforce, including the collision industry’s, more inclusive and challenged attendees to step up and help.

“We build ourselves when we build others,” she said.

Looking ahead to Moncton

It may have taken two years for CCIF to return to Toronto, but it was well worth the wait. The packed house and presentations demonstrated why CCIF conferences are the Canadian collision industry’s premier opportunity to learn and network.

The next CCIF event will be held in Moncton on June 8-9, 2023. Registration for that event is open.


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