Auto Service World
News   March 17, 2022   by Adam Malik

CARS Executive Outlook: J.F. Champagne

CARS reached out to leaders and executives in the automotive repair sector and asked them their thoughts on how business will change for shops in the year ahead, what the biggest challenge for the industry is moving forward and what they see as the top opportunity in 2022. We will present their answers in alphabetical order over the coming weeks…

You can view the full feature in our February 2022 issue.

J.F. Champagne, President, Automotive Industries Association Of Canada

The impact of COVID restrictions, supply chain disruption and labour challenges will continue to accelerate the changes we have seen emerging at the shop level for a few years already. This means improvements in the digital experience for consumers such as online booking, e-diagnostic reports and contact-free experience. Like many other businesses, shops will have to choose particular segments/customer types to service to ensure they have the parts and technicians to do the jobs. I expect business owners who were contemplating retirement in the short- to mid-term to move up their plans which will further contribute to the consolidation of the industry.

There are certainly a few important challenges ahead for the repair sector. Supply chain issues will be top of mind. This will require continued efforts to source the right replacement parts at the right time for the right price. Making better use of scheduling and planning, and leveraging relationships — old and new — to ensure access to parts are some of the ingredients for success. Again, shops will win by prioritizing loyal customers and the types of work that are core to the business.

It’s difficult to pick the best opportunity for shop owners and technicians as it will depend on the long-term plans for the shop owners and technicians. Some will see opportunities to double-down to accelerate their businesses and careers while others will wind down. Certainly, investing in skills and technology will be key for those looking for growth.

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