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2008 News

PPG’S MVP Busness Solutions Conference Addresses Collision Industry Challenges

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – October 8, 2008 – PPG’s MVP Business Solutions team recently hosted a major conference for collision center owners and managers from across North America. The conference, held September 15 – 17, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, provided the 200 attendees with a powerful combination of guest lectures, management training and peer-to-peer exchange, all focused on improved shop performance and competitiveness in today’s changing collision industry.

According to Jim Berkey, director of MVP Business Solutions for PPG Automotive Refinish, the timing of the conference was critical. “Right now, the collision repair business is facing what could be considered a perfect storm of challenges, with fewer repair opportunities, increasing performance demands, shrinking profits and higher operating costs. This conference was intended to support and educate our customers on how to gain a competitive edge and succeed in this changing climate. The conference is just one element within a comprehensive set of value-added programs, all designed to keep our customers in the game.”

Highlights of the conference included guest speakers Alex Sun, president and CEO of Mitchell International, Inc., and Michael Martyn, founder of SISU Consulting Group. Sun, regarded as an industry expert, offered an excellent perspective on key economic and industry trends that continue to impact the collision playing field. Martyn, a Lean turn-around consultant, discussed the challenges of driving significant change quickly and how to focus the organization’s attention on the critical few initiatives that make the performance difference.

A special program tailored to the refinishing industry by The Disney Institute provided PPG customers with a unique opportunity to get a “behind the scenes” look at Disney and then translate what they saw and learned to current collision Industry challenges.

Breakout sessions and peer-to-peer discussion groups held during the three-day event gave attendees the chance to customize and optimize their conference experience. Topics ranged from Throughput Performance principles and the practical application of Lean Six Sigma for collision repair to fundamental best practices for estimating, repair planning, marketing and goal setting. Attending owners and managers were able to fine tune their business strategy, and attend multiple seminars and discussion groups, all focused on gaining a competitive advantage.

Commenting on his perspective of the conference, experienced Lean operator Ken Friesen of Concours Collision in Calgary, AB, stated, “We have been on the Lean journey for some time and it was great to have the opportunity to work and learn with so many sharp owners and managers.”

Additional collision center attendees also commented. “It was a great conference. It gave me a chance to really work on my business with a planning and performance improvement focus,” said Ralph Defibaugh, owner, Spa Body Works in Clifton Park, NY. “The best-in-class shop owners and managers are the ones that attend these events. I am taking back a lot of golden nuggets from them to help me improve my business,” added Ron Perretta, owner, Professionals Auto Body in Duncansville, PA.

For more information on MVP Business Solutions, contact your PPG Territory Manager, call the MVP Hotline at 440-572-6199 or email MVPmailbox@ppg.com.

about ppg

Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.