VERIFACTS SYMPOSIUM EXAMINES SUSTAINABILITY AND THE COLLISION REPAIR ECOSYSTEM BY JEFF SANFORD
VeriFacts Automotive runs the monthly Guild 21 conference call, but the biggest event in the company’s schedule is the VeriFacts Symposium, which brings together the brightest lights in the industry to discuss the latest trends and ideas. The latest version of this event took place in Newport Beach, California. The co-founder and CEO of Verifacts, Farzam Afshar, took some time out to talk to Collision Repair magazine about this year’s event. Titled, “All for One - - The Consumer!” this year’s event was bigger and better than ever. One of the early sessions, “Industry Ecosystem & Sustainability,” talked about how the modern consumer economy is changing in terms of the need to create a sustainable economic system. Summing up the discussion, Afshar explained that, “Henry Ford was one of the pioneers of consumerism. By paying employees at Ford a higher than average wage, workers were able to buy the products they were building.” Ford famously increased salaries with the intention of this allowing employees
Some members of the VeriFacts Symposium panel discussion on autonomous vehicles: Erick Bickett, Founder & CEO, Fix Auto USA; Mike Anderson, President of Collision Advice; Mark Olson, COO, VeriFacts Automotive and George Avery of State Farm.
to buy cars. “He thought the American people should go out and buy products,” says Afshar. “That consumerism started with Ford. And that’s a good thing. People bought things. The economic activity got America pumping. People couldn’t buy fast enough. But that was decades ago. Today, that’s not sustainable.” Today, according to Afshar, “We cannot afford to get rid of every part,” and
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continually make and buy new ones. The idea that this culture can continue to throw out partially damaged cars is not sustainable. “We can’t keep throwing out cars. They have to be designed with repairability in mind,” says Afshar. Another session included a conversation about diminished value (DV). The concept was broken down into three types of diminished value. There is the diminished