Reflecting and Moving Forward
This month’s issue is a big one for us here at FenderBender: It’s our 20th anniversary! We’ve commemorated the occasion all year with a monthly interview series where industry leaders reflected on the past 20 years, as well as standing throwback posts on social media. Throughout the past 12 months, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading that interview series and seeing what industry leaders believe to be the biggest game changers over the past 20 years. Those answers have ranged from KPIs to consolidation to new vehicle design.
But one theme is overarching: The industry certainly has changed over the past 20 years. That was a constant throughout the series, and it’s what associate editor Kelly Beaton took an even greater dive into with this month’s feature, “Time to Reflect.” In that feature, he counts down the 20 biggest industry game changers over the past 20 years—and just how influential their impact has been.
I think Mike Anderson’s recollection of the industry 20 years ago sums it up well: “In November 1985, I entered the industry as an adult, and, back then, vehicles were still pretty basic. A handful of vehicles had power windows and mirrors, but most were manual. Vehicles 20 years ago may have had three different types of hardware holding a bumper on, whereas today, there might be six. Repairs were much simpler.”
And while, sure, vehicles have certainly changed—forcing the industry to change along with it—in reading Kelly’s feature, it also struck me that, in many ways, the industry remains the same. Namely, in that it continues to be full of passionate professionals dedicated to providing safe, quality repairs, running sound businesses and moving the industry, at large, forward. Vehicles have changed in the past and they will continue to change in the future, but that core mission has never changed.
For us here at FenderBender, our core mission—to provide strategies and inspiration for collision repair success—also remains steady. We’re committed to serving this industry and providing the best content possible to make the greatest impact possible. What has changed, however, are the ways in which we do that: moving from a regional periodical format, diversifying into online content, creating live events, and with this issue, expanding our distribution into Canada.
Just as you’ve sought new ways to reach your customers, we’ve sought new ways to reach you, the reader. So, let’s take this issue to reflect—both on the past 20 years, and the years ahead.