PPG MVP business solutions conference addresses collision industry challenges

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio, Oct. 8, 2008 – PPG Industries’ (NYSE:PPG) MVP Business Solutions team hosted a conference for North American collision center owners and managers Sept. 15-17 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The conference provided 200 attendees with guest lectures, management training and peer-to-peer exchange opportunities, all focused on improving 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 designed to keep our customers in the game.”

Highlights included guest speakers Alex Sun, president and chief executive officer of Mitchell International, Inc., and Michael Martyn, founder of SISU Consulting Group. Sun, an industry expert, shared his perspective on key economic and industry trends impacting the collision playing field. Martyn, a Lean turnaround consultant, discussed the challenges of quickly driving significant change and how to focus an organization’s attention on the critical few initiatives that make a 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 enabled attendees to customize and optimize their conference experiences. 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 could fine tune their business strategies and attend multiple seminars and discussion groups focused on gaining a competitive advantage.

Commenting on the conference, experienced Lean operator Ken Friesen of Concours Collision in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, said, “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.”

Ralph Defibaugh, owner, Spa Body Works in Clifton Park, N.Y., said, “It was a great conference. It gave me a chance to really work on my business with a planning and performance improvement focus.”

“The best-in-class shop owners and managers are the ones that attend these events,” added Ron Perretta, owner, Professionals Auto Body in Duncansville, Pa. “I am taking back a lot of golden nuggets from them to help me improve my business.”

For more on MVP Business Solutions, contact a PPG Territory Manager, call the MVP Hotline at 440-572-6199 or send e-mail to 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.




Paul Ong
PPG Automotive Refinish