Auto Recyclers of Canada (ARC) shines at the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF)
On a cold winter day in Toronto, before a packed audience with the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF), the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) held centre stage among some of Canada’s brightest repairers and insurers.
The CCIF provides a forum for the collision repair industry to share information, best practices and a means to develop solutions to common national issues and challenges. Meeting quarterly across Canada, the CCIF attracts some of Canada’s best and brightest minds involved in the collision repair economy. The largest event is always held in Toronto in January, and this year was no exception – 275 delegates representing every province (plus four Americans). Collision repairers make up the biggest audience, followed by suppliers and service provides, and an impressive 10% of the participants were insurers. Our recycler numbers were down a bit with just 8 present, but our influence remains strong within the group.
And this is a group you want to influence and remain an active part of – the CCIF lives by the motto “we are not an association and have no direct lobbying status. However, we provide inspiration, influence and direction to those that do.” ARC established itself as a Silver Sponsor to the group, to ensure that recycler involvement is seen and recognized on a consistent basis.
The meeting had a green tinge to it, not only discussing the economy and the impact on the repair sector, but the environmental greening of the sector as well. ARC was asked to present its involvement in the national Mercury Switch Out recovery program. Unlike our US colleagues, Canadian auto recyclers participate in the program without direct financial compensation. That only leaves us some marketing slogans, but we decided to make the best of it. At this time ARC Members are submitting over 95% of the total switches collected and that gives us all the ammunition we need to separate ARC Members from the rest of the industry.
I presented three reasons for ARC Members to participate: 1) Its the right thing from an environmental perspective. Our Members work, live and play in their communities and have a responsibility to leave them in a better state than before; 2) participating attracts positive press and government relations opportunities for the industry and the industry associations; and 3) participating provides great local opportunities for individual Members to demonstrate their environmental commitment. I showed a video news clip of one of our Members, Logel’s Auto Parts in Kitchener Ontario, a past recipient of the CAR Member of the Year Award, hosting the federal Minister of Environment at the introduction of the Switch Out Program. The clip was featured on the national CTV network. You probably can’t put a price on a two minute ad within the national news, but that’s what we got and that’s what Logel’s received as well.
After the presentation, I had numerous businesses congratulate ARC on it progressive environmental approach to marketing (we also distributed our new Green Parts brochure and the 3rd Edition of the Canadian Auto Recycler Magazine to all delegates) and the leadership role we play within the overall collision repair industry. I even had an insurer comment that our industry should be handling all the salvage in the country – they had no idea how much we did to keep the environment clean.
If you ever get an opportunity to talk about your business or your industry to a group who knows nothing about us or who should know more – make the investment and educate as many people as you can about the great things we do. Start small with a local school or service club, and grow your confidence and ability with larger and even more challenging situations. our industry is not blessed with the advertising budgets it takes to re-educate public and government opinion of our industry, but we do have the people and the message that has never rung truer, “Auto recyclers are part of the solution.”
“The CCIF conference is one of the opportunities I have during the year to network with my primary customer group but at the same time learn what is challenging them as an industry so I can be a better business partner to them. I always walk away with a little better insight into the collision industry and invariably a new customer or two.” Benjy Katz, LKQ Dominion Auto Recycling Inc.
“The dialogue is consistently the best part of these meetings. The meetings give the attendees an opportunity to have a glimpse at the issues that affect the people they deal with every day. An empathy with the issues that affect your customers and suppliers can strengthen your relationship. Add to that the reciprocal effect which occurs when your customer or supplier knows you are actively interested in finding ways to help them.” Jeff Smith, Car-Part.com
“As a recycler, I believe that if I were aware that as many as 70 to 100 of my customers or potential customers were assembling in one room on a given day in my city, I think I would consider that a major business opportunity.” Glenn Hickey, Auto Parts Network
“After a day at CCIF you’ll feel good about your industry and be inspired to take action.” Mike Bryan, CCIF Administrator
Steve Fletcher, ARC Managing Director