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Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Attorneys to Highlight Educational Offerings at the HD Repair Forum

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The HD Repair Forum is excited to bring two collision industry veteran attorneys to next month’s event. Patrick McGuire has spent the past twenty years of his career helping collision repairers avoid wasting their time and money in court. Attendees will leave better prepared to protect their business and assets through this interactive session. Patrick will provide repairers with a series of best practices that will reduce reliability and grow their bottom line in the session, “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”.

Cory King is an expert in HR and employee related matters. As wage-hour compliance lawsuits continue to rise, is your business at risk? Cory will provide real world examples of mistakes made that were not only avoidable but preventable. Employee handbooks, hiring and firing best practices will leave attendees armed with knowledge that will undoubtedly serve them for years to come.

Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President commented, “We are fortunate to have presentations from two attorneys for this year’s conference. Their insight could save shop owners significant legal fees in the future. Patrick’s and Cory’s collective insight will provide valuable information for repair businesses.

These legal sessions fit perfectly with a robust two-day, multi-session program that includes presentations on the safe handling of EVs, dust mitigation, ADAS updates, calibration, and more. All of which lead to improved productivity and a more successful heavy-duty/medium-duty collision repair business.

To learn more about the HD Repair Forum’s upcoming conference, sign up for our e-communications or to go to: https://hdrepairforum.com/register

2022 HD Repair Forum Moving Ahead with Spring Conference

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Katy, Texas, January 26, 2022 – Plans for the 2022 HD Repair Forum’s spring conference have been confirmed. The 2022 event is scheduled for April 5th-6th at the historic Hilton in downtown Fort Worth, TexasRegistration is now open and sponsorship opportunities are already being booked. 

“The HD Repair Forum brings together the stakeholders of the heavy- & medium-duty collision repair industry to provide attendees the opportunity to discuss trends, address industry challenges, and evaluate key business strategies.” explains Brian Nessen, President of the HD Repair Forum. 

The 2021 annual event was co-located with the ATA’s Technology Maintenance Council’s fall event and helped reach an even larger group of industry influencers. With the guidance of its advisory board members and constituents, the HD Repair Forum continues to address the needs of the industry. A few highlights from the 2021 event included presentations from Daimler, Bendix, RVTI, IMMI, 3M and several others. 

Session topics for the upcoming spring event will address a myriad of industry issues such as expanding needs to repair advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including scanning and calibration, the infrastructure needs of repair facilities for repairs to electric and alternatively-fueled vehicles, insurance relations, ongoing parts challenges, staffing issues, and solutions for improvement in industry collaboration. 

Extensive networking opportunities allowing shop owners, insurers, appraisers, OEMs, paint manufacturers, information providers, and equipment and service companies to build relationships, conduct business, and solve problems are a key focus for this two-day event. 

Companies interested in having a presence at the HD Repair Forum are encouraged to book now as sponsorships are limited. More information can be found on the sponsorship page of the website. Companies interested in sponsoring, getting more involved with this industry, or even hosting a co-located event can send inquiries to Brian Nessen BrianN@hdrepalrforum.com or Jennie Lenk JennieL@hdrepairforum.com 

Visit the website for more information or contact us at 281-819-2332. 

Advisory Board Meets to Discuss 2022 Plans

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Yesterday afternoon members of the HD Repair Forum’s Advisory Board met with the event’s organizers to review the success of the HD Repair Forum’s first-ever fall event, discuss the current state of affairs within heavy- and medium-duty collision repair shops across the nation, and shed light on topics of interest for the HD Repair Forum’s upcoming spring 2022 event in Fort Worth, Texas. 

The organization’s fourth conference and first-ever fall event was held this past September in Cleveland, Ohio co-located with the American Trucking Association’s TMC 2021 event. It was a positive step for the industry post-covid to meet in person and network, discuss challenges facing the industry, and gather information on the latest trends in HD collision repair. “I really enjoyed co-locating the HD Repair Forum with TMC,” explains Dean Hancock, HDRF advisory board member and former collision repair facility owner.  “I was able to spend time on TMC’s show floor, visit with vendors, and I think we, as a collision repair industry gained exposure to important industry partners like, fleet managers and OEMs on both the vehicle and component side.“

At the 2022 event, advisory board members clearly agree that the industry needs to have more education, information, and conversations on two particular topics. First, repairers and their insurance partners need to understand how and when to properly scan, calibrate, and recalibrate vehicles equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. They also need to understand how to know where to locate these systems and how they are different. Jim Barber of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems spoke to the HD Repair Forum’s audience in both the general session and focused learning tracks in Cleveland this past fall. “The information and clarity he provided was helpful and very informative. However, some of the procedures he noted as necessary, or not necessary, differ from the other ADAS systems being used in the market. We need to hear from all of the various suppliers.” emphasized Chris Sterwerf, COO of Fairfield Truck & Auto, and long-time HD Repair Forum advisory board member.

Another hot topic the advisory board felt would be impactful is the preparation and precautions that need to be taken when repairing electric and alternative fuel heavy- and medium-duty vehicles. These vehicles are all quickly advancing their footprint in the market and shops need to understand how each one of these vehicles needs to be handled and repaired differently. “I have CNG and LNG vehicles rolling through the shop quite regularly, ” explains Monte Lewis, President of Monte’s Repair Shop, Inc. 

Stakeholders in the heavy- and medium-duty collision repair industry, who have topics that you think the industry should be discussing, are welcome to send suggestions to communications director, Jennie Lenk, jenniel@hdrepairforum.com

Members of the heavy- and medium-duty collision repair industry interested in making connections with important business partners and staying up-to-date on the latest trends and challenges facing this industry should make plans to attend the 2022 HD Repair Forum, being held April 5th & 6th in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Established in 2017, the HD Repair Forum aims to facilitate collaboration amongst all of the industry stakeholders within the heavy- and medium-duty collision repair industry.  This includes repairers, insurers, equipment manufacturers, service providers, and educators. “By providing industry-wide education, opportunities for growth, and extensive networking opportunities, the HD Repair Forum hopes to speed up the advancement of the industry and develop solutions to the challenges experienced by everyone,” explains Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President and Co-Founder.

Registration to the event will open next month. To receive news and updates on this event and the industry it serves, sign up for e-communication here.

Employment Issues Relating to COVID-19

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We have located a resource that we believe you will find useful in answering many of the important questions you are facing right now as an employer.

A regular speaker at our HD Repair Forum, employment attorney, Cory J. King, shares some good news – Automotive supply and repair and heavy duty collision repair in particular, is considered an “essential service,” supporting the critical transportation infrastructure in most, if not all, areas of the United States. This means that heavy duty collision repairers may continue operations while of course, complying with other federal, state, and local orders regarding social distancing, group sizes, etc.

Mr. King’s firm, FordHarrison LLP, has created a special Coronavirus Task Force to assist employers through the labyrinth of new and constantly changing laws, orders, and regulations affecting their workplace. Earlier this week, thousands of employers from around the world participated in a webinar conducted by that Task Force.

The webinar covered the main issues employers are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed best practices to help organizations mitigate the associated employment law risks.  A link to that webinar, as well as around the clock access to the firm’s extensive resources and materials, which are being updated several times a day to stay current, are designed to help employers through this pandemic and is available on the FordHarrison Coronavirus Task Force webpage.

We encourage shops to take advantage of this free online resource. If you have industry specific questions, or need further assistance related to dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace or any other employment issue, Mr. King can be reached at (858) 214-3951 or cking@fordharrison.com.

If you have any questions, are looking to connect, or would like to share information regarding additional resources that may help the industry, please contact us or reach out to the organization’s Communications Manager, Jennie Lenk.

HD Repair Forum Cancelled Amid Evolving Concerns for Health and Safety

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Katy, Texas, March 13, 2020 – The 3rd Annual HD Repair Forum, originally scheduled for March 24th-25th in Fort Worth, TX, has been postponed, due to the evolving situation with the COVID-19 outbreak and efforts associated to reduce rapid spreading of the virus. 

Organizers of the event are in the process of rescheduling the Forum to take place later in the year. Announcements for new dates and hosting venue, for the largest gathering of heavy-duty collision repair professionals, industry leaders, and executives will be made in the coming weeks. 

“We apologize for any inconvenience but, under the circumstances, this is the best decision for everyone involved. The health and safety of our attendees, their families, and their colleagues is our first priority,” stated Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President. “We look forward to hosting the event in the coming months where we will continue the networking, collaboration, and industry progress that our sponsors and attendees have grown to expect.”

The HD Repair Forum will continue to provide industry information through the monthly HD Repair newsletter, the organization’s social channels, and its website, www.hdrepairfourm.com

For questions, please reach out to the organization’s Communications Manager, Jennie Lenk.

HD Repair Forum Releases Details for 3rd Annual Event, March 24th-25th

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The HD Repair Forum announced the release of its’ educational program and agenda for this years’ installment of the only event dedicated to the heavy-duty collision repair market. The two-day event is filled with a fast-paced agenda, with speakers from industry leading companies and individuals driving change in the industry. Some of the topics include:

  • Frame, Cab, and Trailer Repair
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Scanning, and Diagnostics
  • Business Strategy and Employee Relations
  • Steering, braking, and other key repair knowledge
     

The speakers and content for this program are a derivative of the work, input, and direction of the HD Repair Forum Advisory board www.hdrepairforum.com/advisory-board

HD Repair Forum Advisory board member, James Svasaand of Penske Truck Leasing states, “What makes the HD Repair Forum unique is that we have direct input on the content, speakers, and direction of the conference. As a result, it’s an event created for the people, but more importantly by the people in the industry.” 

The HD Repair Forum continues its goal to expand and include other industry stakeholder groups. For the first time, a bus manufacturer (Prevost) will be presenting at the conference. HD Repair Forum Advisory board member, Mark Polzin of Budget Truck & Auto added, “We repair cars, trucks, RVs, and buses. I’m thankful Prevost will be at the event. Their participation will shed light on some areas the industry can clearly benefit from, as it relates to the availability of parts information and repairability.” 

To see a complete list of speakers, content, and education programs visit: www.hdrepairforum.com/agenda

Online registration information for the event can be found at www.hdrepairforum.com/register

Any questions or comments can be directed to Brian Nessen and Jennie Lenk.  

HD Repair Forum Announces Formation of Committees to Address Collision Industry Setbacks

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HD Repair Forum, the collision industry’s largest gathering of heavy-duty repair executives and leaders, is proud to announce the creation of four committees: Education, Technology, Parts, and OEM Repair Standards.

These committees have been established to address the macro-level issues found throughout the heavy-duty collision repair industry and are co-chaired by leaders from various segments of the market. Insight on the direction of each of these committees will be presented during the 2020 HD Repair Forum being held March 24th – 25th in Fort Worth, Texas.

“The purpose of these committees is to address challenges and solve problems throughout the year, not just during the HD Repair Forum. The key to the success of these committees is strong leaders who share a passion to drive change and a vision for a path that improves the industry for all stakeholders.” Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President and co-founder shares. “We are fortunate to have this diverse group of leaders pave the way for a brighter future.”

Education Committee Co-Chairs
Doug Schlueter – I-CAR
Brandon Eckenrode – CREF

OEM Repair Standards Committee Co-Chairs
Kevin Clary – Daimler Truck North America
Rohit Mathew – Carlisle & Co.

Parts Committee Co-Chairs
T.J. O’Hanlon – Navistar
Mark Polzin – Budget Truck & Auto

Technology Committee Co-Chairs
Chuck Olsen – AirPro Diagnostics
Aaron Polzin – Budget Truck & Auto

A complete list of committee members and mission statements are available on the committee pages of the HD Repair Forum’s website.

Collision repairers, shop owners and management, fleet repairers, OEM/manufacturers, insurance professionals and appraisers, equipment/service/technology companies, and any others serving the heavy-duty collision repair industry are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in learning more about the committees or contributing, you may send your inquiries to Jennie Lenk. As evidenced by the diverse cross section of companies and individuals currently serving on committees, all industry stakeholders are welcome to participate.

Registration Opens for the 3rd Annual HD Repair Forum

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Registration for the HD Repair Forum is now open. Last year’s event experienced a forty percent increase in attendance and has quickly established itself as the can’t-miss event for the heavy-duty collision repair industry. 

The third annual conference is set to take place Tuesday and Wednesday, March 24th & 25th, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel. The program will follow a similar format as last year’s event, spanning two days with presentations from OEMs, insurers, and other industry leaders during each morning’s general sessions. 

Attendees will gain valuable insight into industry trends allowing them to make better business decisions today and in the future. Afternoon break-out sessions will provide attendees an opportunity to choose classes that best address their individual or business needs. These sessions are geared towards executives, shop owners, managers, and company leaders. 

Throughout the two days, there will be extensive networking opportunities allowing shop owners, insurers, appraisers, OEMs, paint manufacturers, information providers and equipment and service companies to build relationships, conduct business, and solve problems.

To register for early bird rates and gain unique access to equipment suppliers, break-out sessions, and networking opportunities dedicated to the commercial vehicle collision repair industry, follow this link: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/hdrf2020

For additional information, please visit www.hdrepairforum.com or contact us at: www.hdrepairforum.com/contact-us

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are now available. Reach out to Brian Nessen or Jennie Lenk.

About HD Repair Group

HD Repair Group offers a dedicated source of focused information for those involved in collision repair work for heavy-duty/commercial vehicles, primarily in classes 5, 6, 7, and 8. This community is where shop owners, executives, managers, technicians, estimators, and other industry stakeholders will find the latest news, tips, tactics, trends and best practices in the heavy-duty collision repair industry. The HD Repair Group offers numerous ways of delivering this information including an annual conference, a monthly e-newsletter, webinars, videos, and social channels for networking. 

Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Gaining Attention and Support

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Collision repair is a segment of the transportation industry that does not get a lot of attention. Historically, there has been a lack of training, information, and support. For many similar collision repair industries, including automotive, emergency, commercial, and recreational vehicles this has been the case. Why?

Collision repair is usually an afterthought. Energy and investment is placed on developing new vehicle technology. There is a never-ending race to make vehicles lighter, stronger, safer, and more fuel efficient. Recently the term ADAS was nothing more than some jumbled letters on a Scrabble game board. Today you can’t go to a trade show or read an article without being exposed to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and electric vehicles. Another important trend in this industry; Autonomous vehicles.

While all of this technology is absolutely necessary and part of the evolution of the industry, at some point, these vehicles will need to be repaired. The industry has done a great job ensuring that technicians (mechanics) are prepared to service and maintain trucks. Keeping these vehicles on the road and operating is vital to our economy and to those that rely upon this industry to make a living. A truck sitting in a service bay is costing someone money.

Understanding that a vehicle out of service is lost revenue, more attention needs to be placed on the truck sitting in a collision repair facility awaiting parts. And what about the truck that has tens of thousands of dollars in collision damage awaiting repair from a technician that does not have any information on how to properly repair it?

As vehicles become equipped with more safety features, such as ADAS, or newer substrates that are lighter and stronger, information and training has never been more critical. In today’s collision repair facility, it’s a daily struggle to find and order parts and identify proper repair procedures. An independent collision shop could wait several days just to obtain parts prices. If you talk to insurance companies, they will tell you that the single biggest concern they have for their insureds is cycle time. Cycle time is defined as the number of days it takes for the vehicle owner to get his/her truck back on the road. For those that have had their vehicles in a collision shop, it would not be uncommon for a truck to be down for weeks. In some extreme examples it could be months.

As an industry, we need to work together to address these issues. We should be seeking solutions to reduce cycle time and put vehicles safely back on the road. We should continually be looking for solutions that ensure technicians have the knowledge and equipment needed to properly repair vehicles.    

In the spring of 2017, a dedicated source of focused information for the heavy-duty collision repair industry, the HD Repair Forum, was established to address these challenges. The HD Repair Forum’s purpose is to improve the narrative for repairers, insurers, OEM’s, paint manufacturers, parts suppliers, dealers and other industry stakeholders via a website, newsletter, conference, and other information tools.

The first HD Repair conference was held in April 2018 and featured technical and management training from some of the most well-respected companies and presenters in the industry. Executives from Navistar and Peterbilt discussed their new vehicle technology and the challenges repairers will face in the future. Co-located meetings, such as AkzoNobel’s 20 Group, were held during the same week and brought in some of the best repairers from the United States and Canada. The vendor expo gave high visibility to organizations committed to serving and improving the industry.

“Our goal is simple,” states Brian Nessen, President of the HD Repair Forum. “Provide the heavy-duty collision repair industry with an avenue for obtaining information and encourage collaboration. We want to facilitate safe, proper, and efficient repairs of all vehicles, and help the industry prepare for the future.”

The HD Repair Forum provides individuals and companies an opportunity to meet others, share experiences and best practices, and gain knowledge from manufacturers, trainers, and educators. The 2019 conference was held last April and experienced a 40% attendance increase, and brought in increased support and participation from several OEM’s including Daimler Trucks North America, Volvo, Navistar, and Peterbilt.

The 2020 conference returns to Fort Worth on March 24th & 25th. Companies like Axalta Coating Systems and AkzoNobel will also be co-hosting their spring Business Council and 20-Group meetings that same week.

To stay up to date on participation opportunities as an attendee, vendor, or consultant, sign-up to receive the organization’s monthly e-newsletter here

NPO Dedicated to Increasing Women’s Presence in the Trucking Industry Hits Conference Attendance Record

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Companies and individuals from across the trucking industry gathered in Dallas, TX in early October for the Women in Trucking’s ever-growing Accelerate! conference. 

Over the course of three days, more than 1,000 women and men gathered in the downtown Dallas, Sheraton hotel to educate themselves on how to push the gender gap forward for females throughout the trucking industry. Topics related to leadership, professional development, HR/talent management, operations, sales and marketing, and even professional driver strategies were available to attendees. 

The purpose of the organization and its annual event is “to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry.” General sessions brought the audience motivational and insightful perspectives on the various paths one can walk along the path to success in this industry.

The focus of the event is teaching others how to increase the presence of women within the industry. General sessions and break out sessions alike focused in on understanding and overcoming gender bias, breaking down advancement ceilings facing women, and providing strategies for transitioning perceptions.

Taking the stage during the opening presentations were three women with decades of experience in the trucking industry. They highlighted the need for anyone who wants to be successful in their career to be flexible with new opportunities, be intentional and verbal with their goals and aspirations, and be bold enough to build relationships with those who can help them in achieving their goals.  

Ramona Hood, current Vice President of Operations, Planning & Strategy, FedEx Custom Critical shared her path to this position and strongly encouraged the audience to focus on three things when looking to take their career to the next level. “Be comfortable with the uncomfortable; share your goals and career aspirations with others, and find a mentor.” She noted how critical it was to have someone who knows your  work and is willing to cosign for you, when you are not in the room.

Recipient of the “Most Influential Woman in Trucking” in 2018, Angela Eliacostas, President & Founder of AGT Logistics addressed the audience following Hood. Her path in trucking began as a little girl and encompassed driving her dad’s truck around back and fueling it up for his weeks-long trips. A plight of a single mother of four boys didn’t keep her from being brave. She took a “leap of faith”, as she explained it, and started her own trucking company “All Girls Transportation (AGT),” highlighting the woman owned nature of the company. The Organization has since evolved to AGT Global Logistics, a 3rd party logistics firm.  

The event’s 3rd and final opening presenter was Ellen Voie. Ellen is the president and co-founder of Women in Trucking (WIT). Ellen briefed the audience on her dream to see more women grow and be active in the industry. WIT as an organization has been around for 12 years and has grown its membership numbers at both the corporate and individual levels. “This is only the 5th year we have held the Accelerate! Conference. I can’t believe I’m speaking to 1,000 people in the audience right now. I’m going to set a goal for the 2020 conference; Let’s get to 1500!” The audience erupted in show of their support. 

The remainder of the 3-day conference encompassed more than 60 sessions of motivational and mind-transformational discussions on topics like: gender diversity, leadership, professional development, HR/talent management, operations, sales and marketing, and professional drivers. Check back on the HD Repair Forum website for more stories detailing some of those sessions. 

If interested in taking part in the 2020 conference, save the dates for a trip to Dallas, Texas, September 23-25, 2020. 

About Women in Trucking
The Women In Trucking Association is a non-profit organization focused on the transportation and logistics industry. Our mission? To encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.

About HD Repair Forum
HD Repair Group offers a dedicated source of focused information for those involved in collision repair work for heavy-duty/commercial vehicles, primarily in classes 5, 6, 7, and 8. This community is where shop owners, executives, managers, technicians, estimators, and other industry stakeholders will find the latest news, tips, tactics, trends and best practices in the heavy-duty collision repair industry. The HD Repair Group offers numerous ways of delivering this information including an annual conference, a monthly e-newsletter, webinars, videos, and social channels for networking.