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Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips photoStacey Phillips is a freelance writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has 20 years of experience as an editor including writing in a number of businesses and fields.

 

She can be reached at sphillips.autobodynews@gmail.com. 

 
Wednesday, 13 May 2020 22:10

Industry Leaders Share Insight About Future of Industry During 3M ‘Shop Talk’ Panel Discussion

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With a significant reduction in vehicle miles traveled since stay-at-home orders went into effect, collision repair shops across the country have felt the impact of fewer accidents.

3M recently invited industry leaders to participate in a “Shop Talk” panel discussion and share their insights about the future implications of COVID-19.

 

Participants included Mike Anderson, president and owner of Collision Advice, and Kristen Felder, COO of Engage Target Media and Collision Hub.

 

In the discussion, panelists were asked to share concerns they’ve observed from repairers as a result of COVID-19, as well as some emerging trends.

 

After talking to body shop owners across the country, Anderson has found most businesses have received their Small Business Administration (SBA) loan as part of the Payment Protection Program (PPP.). However, some facilities, especially those that deal with the largest national banks, still have not received their funds.

 

In regard to emerging trends for shop owners, Felder said business management is top of mind.

 

“For a lot of shop owners, the business just ran itself in a lot of ways,” said Felder. “Now, they are really thinking about their businesses and reflecting on the decisions they made.”

 

She said this includes employee development and how to retain and develop workers.

 

The panel host brought up the mass speculation that once there is a return to some semblance of normal, drivers will prefer traveling in personal vehicles rather than use mass transit. The panelists predicted people are going to start traveling in their own vehicles and miles driven is going to increase. As that occurs, accidents are expected to increase, and shops will find themselves getting busier.

 

Felder said this increase is already becoming apparent.

 

“We know airline travel is not where it needs to be, but some airline rental agencies are reporting that business is going back close to normal,” she said.

 

“When we get through this, you are going to hear a lot of pent up anxiety and people are going to be hitting the roads in unpreceded numbers,” Anderson agreed. “I think they are going to want to start driving… and taking more local vacations.”

 

He also forecasted there will be a continued focus on technology and new insurance processes, including virtual inspections and increased use of video.


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