Why do I like Linkedin? Merely because it is the only place on the web you could communicate with fellow colleagues from any industry in the world without any geographical boundaries. As business owner, I am wondering what will be the next big thing in automotive refinishing industry? So, why not to get opinions of the most competent people, those involved in the industry itslef?
I was surprised by the number of the comments, actually it was a dialogue, not separate postings. Dozens of the professionals found time to share with us their views on the future. This is why I just want to summarize below the main points from this discussion. I appologize in advance for not mentioning any names, for simple reason, not to distinguish anyone unintentionally.
1. A number of colleagues mentioned UV-curing products as the next “big thing” in the industry. Indeed UV-cured primers and clearcoats are already present, and time saving is undisputable. Just imagine the whole UV-curing line of paint products available at reasonable price. Productivity will sky rocket, profits will grow and everyone is happy. Yet, until now we have mainly seen UV systems for spot repair jobs. Who knows, maybe the break through is just behind the corner.
2. Second group of people (including myself) had a little pessimistic opinion. Our industry will disappear. Non-paint systems, where plastics, composites and protective wraps of all kinds would simply replace the old good basecoat-clearcoat system. Well, fortunately, up to now we don’t see anything of real threat, but who knows.
3. Next group of colleagues see the future big change in the advanced, new, high-tech equipment. UV-led spray gun, which will simultaniously spray paint and cure it, and automatic paint mixing machine, which would minimize human mistakes, where put on the table of the innovation.
4. Finally, there were people, who believe that the big change will not come from products or equipment, but rather from the service provided to body shop professional. From simply delivering good quality products, future suppliers will compete with their training, knowhow and efficiency education. This may not sound revolutionary, but I strongly believe that it would not be enough to provide good product anymore. Proper training and overall experience with particular paint system will be the major differentiator.
To conclude, we can hardly forsee now what will make the big bum in automotive paint industry in the coming years, like nobody could predict 25 years ago that mobile phone would become our hand’s extention. Nevertheless, it is us who make the change in our industry, so let’s dream, and sooner or later our dreams may come true.