Fix Automotive Network Conference: One Family, One Vision
May 3-5, saw Fix Automotive Network host its first ever conference that brought together all brands, Fix Auto, Speedy Auto Service and NOVUS Glass. (Photos: Huw Evans)
From May 3-5, at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, the Fix Automotive Network hosted its 2018 Conference.
This represented the very first time that all three brands within the network, Fix Auto, Speedy Auto Service and NOVUS Glass were represented not only at a national but also a global level.
The two-day event was packed with engaging and rich content, which ran the gamut from strategic vision and corporate overview at a national and global level, to effectively utilizing tools and strategies to help individual franchisees grow their business.
There were keynote addresses, panel discussions and an onsite trade show, as well as plenty of networking opportunities, plus an Awards Gala that recognized those individuals within the network for their outstanding achievements. Special keynote speakers in the form of entrepreneur and motivational speaker Patrick Leroux, plus Wealthy Barber author and Dragon’s Den star David Chilton were also a big draw.
Over 338 attendees registered for the event with over 200 of those being Fix Automotive Network strategic partners that came from everywhere, including Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Western Canada and overseas.
The importance of unity
The key theme of the conference was “One Family, One Vision,” and Fix Automotive Network President & CEO Steve Leal emphasized the need to be united as a family and that by being united it allows you to stay together, both when times are good and also turbulent. “We’re doing things that haven’t been done before,” said Leal. “When you’re doing that it will be challenging and will take time,” he said—noting that unity and success often go hand-in- hand. “Families aren’t perfect and don’t have to be perfect, but they need to be united.”
Leal also said that it was important for each brand within the network to be focused on the same strategy. “The way we did business five years ago is not the same as it is today. Consumers expect mobile, they expect speed, convenience and accessibility. They hold brands to their promises and they trust online, third-party reviews.”
Leal talked about the importance and benefits of the franchise system—how it empowers those on the frontline and creates pride of ownership which in turn delivers operational excellence.
He also discussed tools the network has built to support its strategic partners and also how the company has evolved from three ownership groups to a single entity, one that now has business operating in nine countries with further expansion on the horizon.
“Our goal is to be a complete aftermarket solution,” said Leal, who noted that through FAN’s partnership with Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, the ability to create a global footprint has already resulted in the single largest aftermarket service provider worldwide.
Fix Automotive Network President Steve Leal discusses the concept of “One Family, One Vision,” at the annual network conference on May 3.
David Lingham, Head of Business, Fix Auto World talked about global trends and issues, including increasing vehicle technology and addressing skills shortages.
A number of networking breaks provided a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and share ideas.
AIA President, Jean-Francois Champagne, focused on topical issues facing the industry in Canada such as repair accreditation and access to information.
Patrick Leroux talked about focusing on the activities that give you the most value in your business and the importance of loyalty.
The May 3 trade show brought vendors from the collision, glass and mechanical segments, including Uni-Select’s Bumper-to-Bumper and Auto Parts Plus. Kirk Argo (left) and Bill Hay (right) stand with Taj Lauhar, from Speedy Etobicoke.
There was plenty of activity at the Progi display during the trade show.
Among the attendees on the insurance side were Maurice Hupe (left) and Joe Carvalho from Economical.
Brent Jamieson, from Axalta Coating Systems, displayed some of the company’s latest products.
Claude Zalac, (left) and Mike Kaplaniak from UniParts OEM had a prominent display.
NAPA’s CMAX team pose for a group photo. (Left to right) Keith Tuttosi, Gerry Creaney, Trevor Steeves, Bruce Tokiwa and Eric Leveille.
Keith Chapman (left) and Francois Couillard manned the Norton Saint-Gobain display.
Chief Automotive Technologies had plenty of information on display at the trade show.
The Mirka Canada team. (Left to right) Scott Savage, Claudio Di Sabato and Kevin Peplow.
Insurance Panel discussion on May 4 generated some interesting topics, particularly on branding and customer relationships.
Tony DeSantis discussed some of the new tools available to strategic partners including the mobile estimating app and performance dashboard.
Jay Bickford from NOVUS Glass delivered a live repair demonstration using some of the company’s patented tools.
Fix Auto World’s management team pose for a group photo in Niagara Falls on May 4.
Fix Auto’s Canadian Management team pose for a group photo.
Strategic partners came from across Canada. Pictured is the team from Fix Auto Mississauga Central.
David Chilton, author of the bestselling book, The Wealthy Barber and star of TV’s Dragon’s Den delivered some insightful info on personal experiences as well as the importance of attention to detail.
2018 Award Winners pose for a group photo at the Gala Evening on May 4.
There was a strong contingent from Quebec at the conference. (Left to right) Christian Guadet, Speedy Auto & Novus Glass, Gilles Andre, Fix Auto Lachine, Fatima Amaral and George Salsa, Fix Auto Rosemont.