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Akzo Nobel creates Unique Learning Opportunities for North American ITEC dealerships

Published on 2005-09-07. Author : SpecialChem

Sassenheim/Norcross -- Akzo Nobel Car Refinishes is currently working with International Truck and Engine Company (ITEC) to enable them to discover hidden opportunities within their North American operations.

Representatives from ITEC dealers in Canada and the United States joined Collision Repair Industry leaders at the August 2005 Akzo Nobel Profitability Conference held in San Francisco, California to share knowledge and discuss methods of reducing expenses and increasing profits.

"Akzo Nobel assembled quite a thorough program showing us how to focus on the numbers that are going to bring dollars to our bottom line," said newly appointed ITEC 20 Group Chairman Bob Harris, Body Shop Manager, Five Star International, Harrisburg, PA. "Akzo Nobel not only shows you whether you are making money or not, but also helps you focus on why there's money or why there isn't by comparing our businesses to other dealers and drawing on those dealers' strong points."

The program from Akzo Nobel focused on numerous aspects of the collision side of the business. The importance of ITEC and other OEM partnerships around the world, employee recruiting and retention, new developments in product, color and business services for commercial collision repair were discussed.

"We want to share valuable insights that are critical to running and maintaining a successful collision repair facility, as well as supply great paint products," said Paul Flora, Manager, Marketing & Product Management for Akzo Nobel Commercial Vehicles. "We are able to leverage our global position in doing that."

Worldwide, Akzo Nobel offers a number of services allowing a company to benchmark performance either against competition or by comparing different units of the same company. For each opportunity for improvement there is a service available. In most countries these services are offered under the Sikkens® Acoat Selected® brand.

"In the dealership industry we do have other 20 group opportunities, but they pertain to dealership principals and are not for the body shop side," explained ITEC group member John Frank, Service Manager, Carrier Truck Centers, Brantford, Ontario. "Bringing this into the shop and involving shop managers who have the same challenges, where geography doesn't seem to make a difference, is cutting edge. The team that Akzo Nobel assembled to help us and guide us is second to none. They have experience not only in the paint and body repair business, but also possess knowledge on the business management side that can help us. This program is giving us insight on how to best use the employees that we have, recognizing what they are best at and learning how to organize our shops to be more efficient."

Because of the success of this ITEC 20 Group meeting, the group anticipates it will add more groups in the future.

"Continuing education is a big plus. Classes like Time Management, Networking, Delegating, Organization and Benevolence Programs are a real benefit. We will come back with great ideas and implement positive change. Any dealership could benefit from this experience because of the shared knowledge among other dealers and also all that Akzo brings with their management knowledge," added Harris.

Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings and chemicals. Consolidated revenues for 2004 totaled EUR 12.9 billion. The Company currently employs some 62,000 people in more than 80 countries. The financial results for the third quarter will be published on October 19, 2005.

Akzo Nobel Car Refinishes supplies paint, services and software for car repair, commercial vehicle and automotive markets. The main brands include Sikkens® and Lesonal® in car repair, and Sikkens Autocoat® BT in commercial vehicles. Automotive plastic interior and exterior components customers are also served under Akzo Nobel Car Refinishes.

Source: Akzo Nobel Car Refinishes

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