Color Compass leads the automotive refinish and specialty market distribution industries by providing sustainable and profitable business solutions.

International Speakers Headline Manitoba’s Conference and Trade Show

The Automotive Trades Association of Manitoba (ATA) hosted its second conference and trade show in nearly 40 years.

by Theresa Jachnycky, director, ATA Executive Committee

Building on the success of its 2019 event, the association’s first since 1985, the ATA championed the theme, Paving The Road To Success, this fall. The combined trade show and conference was aimed at providing attendees with a chance to socialize, network, and learn about vendors’ new products and services. Attendees also learned what success means relative to their business and on a personal level. Several renown speakers from across Canada and the United States headlined the event.

What is a successful business? The answer is not always as obvious as it might first appear. Successful businesses are defined by their ability to make money and be profitable; yet success is more than that. Sometimes, success can breed failure, so understanding what hinders success is as important as understanding what fuels it.

According to Nash and Stevenson, everlasting success depends on four elements: 

  • happiness (feelings of pleasure or contentment about one’s life);
  • achievement (accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for);
  • significance (the sense that one has made a positive impact on people one cares about); and,
  • legacy (a way of establishing values or accomplishments to help others find future success).1

Even if all of the above criteria is met, there is no guarantee that success will be everlasting. Many of us have heard of someone or something having “fleeting” success, meaning the success lasted for a short or brief time.  Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

So, how do businesses achieve and retain success? In short, through continuous learning, be it learning from a failed venture or initiative, or by avoiding obstacles to learning. Then what prevents successful people and business from continuing to learn? Gino and Pisano suggest there are three reasons—overconfidence bias, failing to ask why, and crediting success exclusively to one’s own efforts and decisions without due consideration to external factors outside their control.2

Keynote speaker Dave Luehr, co-author of The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops, pointed out that it is not an accident that the shops in his book remain successful. They continue to be successful because they understand about focusing on things that matter, working smarter rather than harder. Luehr also shared how personal failure followed by learning and feedback helped shape his success.

To stay on top, the successful shops he writes about pay attention to certain KPIs (breakeven, budget, and daily financial progress) and share the results with their team. These successful shops also foster a company culture where employees have a sense of belonging, feel safe to express concerns, and make suggestions. Such employees also receive clear communication about roles and expectations for results from their leaders. Successful shops also keep an eye on the company’s vision and long-term goals, ensuring that all employees are aware of them too. His presentation offered practical tools for attendees to apply in monitoring these key metrics.

Glen Daman was the conference opener. As a Manitoba entrepreneur with a humble beginning who made it big, Daman assured attendees that if one follows the steps outlined in Master Your Life to the 10th Degree, then one will have the tools to understand life and live it to the fullest. His inspiring presentation spoke to all four elements for everlasting success. For Daman, the essence of success is rooted in mastering the physical, mental, emotional, and professional relationships in one’s life. 

Physical mastery simply requires one to get in shape. Mental mastery is about getting one’s mind functioning for the day ahead. Emotional mastery is about focusing on all the positives in your life, holding the line, and temporarily stepping back from stressful situations until one can think it through. Professional mastery is about choosing the right attitude; and relationship mastery is about using the tools to create great relationships with everyone you meet every single day.

While Daman did not guarantee that followers of the 10th Degree will achieve wealth beyond one’s wildest dreams, he did guarantee a life of happiness and success. He is living proof of his word. 

Frank Terlap’s presentation was a wake-up call to the industry about advanced driver-assistance system-related (ADAS-related) opportunities and threats. Citing ADAS and calibration services as the biggest opportunity the collision repair industry has seen in over 20 years, Terlap offered a cautionary explanation for shops’ future survival if they fail to learn to service and perform ADAS calibrations properly, including validation and documentation, which are compulsory for self and sublets.

Finally, Mike Gilliland from AutoHouse Technologies and Tanya Scheidl from I-CAR Canada rounded out the event, providing information about their respective value-added services and programs.

There was a lot of value and great opportunities at this year’s conference and trade show. Kudos to the ATA’s organizing team for an excellent event!

While the conference and trade show event was the highlight of the fall, there have been no shortage of undertakings handled by the ATA’s volunteer board and executive director, who continue to work with Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to ensure an open dialogue. MPI’s consultative process is delivering the promised communications and transparency through its three committees (Technical and Parts, Glass, and Program and Accreditation) and first town hall since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. 

Three town halls—in Winnipeg, Brandon, and one held virtually—offered participants the chance to learn and comment on the information presented. Topics covered included accredited shop counts, training support, physical damage and glass trends, severity, estimating options, industry concerns and MPI’s actions, committee collaborations and achievements, and what’s next for 2023.

1 Nash, L. and Stevenson, H. (February 2004). “Success that Lasts.” Harvard Business Review.

2 Gino, F. and Pisano, G. P. (Summer 2022). “Why Leaders Don’t Learn from Success: Failures get a post mortem. Why not triumphs?” Harvard Business Review, Special Issue.