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MSO Symposium Returns to NACE in Original Form

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Photo courtesy Dan Risley

After rebuilding and making significant changes to the 2014 event, the 2015 NACE/CARS Expo & Conference is back July 21–25 for a second year at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

Dan Risley, executive director of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), said the ASA board and management considered industry feedback from attendees, exhibitors and other industry constituents before making the decision.

“The response for Detroit was overwhelmingly positive. Many said this was the best event in recent memory,” says Risley. “Attendees were pleased with the education and training, and numerous exhibitors made significant sales on the show floor.”

Also back this year is the MSO Symposium, one of the show’s most popular events. The Symposium will open July 23 at noon with a private welcome and lunch before heading into the program and finishing with a private reception from 5:30–7 p.m.

Risley discussed what’s on tap for the MSO Symposium and why ASA decided to return the event to its original format.

 

Why did ASA decide to bring back the MSO Symposium this year?

We had a one-year hiatus from the MSO Symposium last year and we had titled it the ‘Collision Repair Executive Forum.’ We received feedback that the MSO Symposium was better and we quickly made some changes and the MSO Symposium is back. It will be open to single-location shops that exceed $3 million in annual sales, MSOs and representatives from the sponsoring companies. That brings in the leadership of the industry. So far this year, it has been very well received with the content we’ve put together. We’re glad to have it back.

 

How did ASA prepare for the Symposium’s return?

This year, we put together an advisory board to spearhead the event and its content. We wanted more industry input to be sure that the event reflects what MSO operators are looking for.

That was led by former Keenan Auto Body owner Mike LeVasseur, who will also preside as master of ceremonies for the event. The advisory board was comprised of Tim Adelmann of ABRA; David Byers of CARSTAR; Chris Abraham of Service King; Steve Grimshaw of Caliber Collision; Erick Bickett of Fix Auto; Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision; Tim O’Day of Gerber Collision; Dan Dutra of Sigs Collision Center; Carl Garcia of Carl’s Collision Center; Randy Stabler of Pride Auto Body; and Russell Thrall.

 

What is on the agenda for the symposium this year?

We will start with, as always, an MSO update and state-of-the-industry address from Vincent Romans of The Romans Group. He will provide a breakdown of the number of shops in the industry, dealership groups and MSOs.

Next, we will head into a panel on claims management models, which will be comprised of representatives from Canada’s government insurance, Ford, Allstate, Assured Performance Network and representatives from Australia and Asia. The panel will discuss changes in claims management in the U.S. and abroad.

That panel will lead into another panel, this time featuring representatives from the insurance industry discussing direct repair programs. Those representatives will discuss the future of DRPs, recent challenges and how insurers are adapting to changing customer expectations.

We will then wrap up the day with sessions on developing talent and retention; trends in consolidation; and how to improve and maintain your NPS and CSI scores. Maintaining high NPS and CSI scores can be challenging for growing shops with multiple locations, so we wanted to address how to maintain those scores from both leading shops and companies who do this.


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