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PPG MVP Conference Highlights Fast-Paced Industry Change

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SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. April 27, 2016—The PPG MVP Conference concluded Tuesday at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz., after two days of keynote speakers and training sessions focusing on the fast-paced industry changes and challenges that lie ahead for body shop owners. 

Speakers included  four-time entrepreneur Josh Linkner, futurist Jim Carroll, and marketing and branding speaker David Avrin. Topics included aluminum, autonomous vehicles and in-vehicle technology, as well as social media and connectivity and how those topics fit into the scope of what shops should be thinking about. 

One point of note: As vehicles are getting increasingly complex, OEMs will require more certifications from shops. Vehicle technology and OEM certification are the most important trends for shop owners to pay attention to, said Domenic Brusco, senior manager of MVP Business Solutions. 

Linkner spoke in his keynote about strategies to turn shop owners into everyday innovators and find their “everyday creativity.” Some of his tips included “The Pivot,” which is applying a good idea that didn’t see a return in a new way until it sees success; and “The Borrowed Idea,” which is looking outside the industry for an innovation that could be applied to the collision repair industry. Get curious, crave what’s next, defy tradition, get scrappy, and adapt fast were Linkner’s “5 Obsessions” to become an innovator.

Carroll spoke of the fast-approaching autonomous future that shop owners should expect to see. In a live poll of the room, only 16 percent of attending shop operators felt that they were extremely well prepped for the future, and 80 percent of the room thought that the automotive industry would look completely different in 10 years. Comparing technology seen in the cartoon “The Jetsons” to real technology we have today, Carroll said “science fiction predictions are coming true faster than we expect.” 

Avrin spoke of branding and marketing in today’s connected world, pressing shop owners to think about what makes them competitive in the market place. 

“To what question are you the answer?” he asked. “What are you known for in the marketplace?”

PPG received many questions asking why there was only one MVP Conference scheduled for this year. PPG addressed the questions saying it was going to use the extra time to plan even more beneficial conferences in the future, starting up again with twice yearly conferences in 2017. 

“It's all about the customer,” Brusco said. “If we need to step back to do some more planning so [MVP Conferences] stay relevant and stay leading edge, that’s what we’ll do.”

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