Mechanical Repair Program 2018



Day 1
04 May 2018
Day 2
05 May 2018
08:30 - 09:30


Official Opening

Welcome Address by Graham Scudamore Smith, President, AAAA and Stuart Charity, Executive Director, AAAA Minister Address by The Hon Michael Sukkar MP, Federal Member for Deakin, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer
The Hon Michael Sukkar MP
Graham Scudamore-Smith
Stuart Charity

Keynote 1: Competition in the Australian Automotive Industry

The ACCC has developed a strong interest in our sector over the past 24 months; increased monitoring of anti-competitive trends, new car sales enforcement action, capped price servicing investigations, warranty enforcement undertakings and investigations into log book servicing.  In 2017, the ACCC completed the most comprehensive review of competition and consumer issues ever undertaken in the new car retailing industry including independent workshop access to dealer level repair and service information. In this presentation ACCC Chairman Rod Sims will outline how nation’s competition watchdog sees our industry, the level competitiveness of our sector and how they monitor specific areas of anti-competitive and anti-consumer behaviours.  Find out what the ACCC intends to do to ensure that the independent aftermarket can have confidence in a future in which consumers are able to exercise choice of repairer and parts, a future in which fair and open competition is monitored and enforced.
Rod Sims
11:00 - 11:30


Workshop 1 (Concurrent Option 1): Understanding Your Customer

You can never know too much about the customer and the information in this presentation will open your eyes, help you win business and grow your bottom line. This presentation – based on a survey of 1,500 Australian car owners – will provide you with a complete understanding of your customer; how do they decide which workshop to visit, what factors are critical to customer satisfaction, loyalty and recommendation, the importance of price relative to other considerations on which workshop they use, views on fixed price servicing, perceived differences between independent and dealer workshops and lots more.
Simon Edwards
Ron Klein
Richard Birks


Who is going to be fixing the cars of the future? What changes need to take place to overcome the current shortage of technicians? How do we create a culture of continuing professional development in an industry that currently “trains for life”? How do we get the right school leavers to consider a career as an automotive technician?
Jonathan Sampson
13:00 - 14:00

LUNCH – sponsored by Molnar

Keynote 2: Collaborate or Evaporate – How to Future Proof Your Auto Repair Business by thinking BIG

Do you wonder where your new customers will come from to ensure the survival of your auto repair business in the future? Do you wonder where your new customers will come from to ensure the survival of your auto repair business in the future? Join Rachael Sheldrick from The Workshop Whisperer as she shares how to attract customers that don’t even know you exist yet by leveraging the customer bases of businesses outside the Automotive Industry. Attendees will discover: 1. Why aligning with non-automotive businesses is key to future growth 2. How to establish joint ventures that are a WIN/WIN/WIN for your auto repair business, the customer, and your joint venture partner 3. How to leverage social media to turbo charge your joint venture opportunities and bring new customers to you that will pay your price.
Rachael Sheldrick

Keynote 2: “Automotive Technology and diagnostics” an interesting combination

A close look at the process required to successfully and accurately determine the cause of a symptom. The modern motor car is vastly different to the older vehicles we are accustomed to, so the process and application of diagnostics has to be vastly different too. A training session not to be missed.
Jeff Smit
15:30 - 16:00


Workshop 2 (Concurrent Option 1): Life after R134a: Working with and profiting from next-generation vehicle air-conditioning refrigerants

Automotive air-conditioning refrigerant R134a has been used for around 20 years now, but times are changing with at least two new gases – R1234yf and R744 – now adopted by global car manufacturers. You may have already noticed an acceleration in the number of brands importing vehicles using R1234yf. A handful of high-end German luxury cars now use R744, with this technology expected to soon trickle down to mainstream models sold across the globe. Business opportunities abound for early adopters of this shift. Australian dealerships and collision repairers are already relying on aftermarket specialists to diagnose, repair and re-commission R1234yf systems in late-model vehicles. Major insurance companies are also in the process of building databases of businesses equipped and trained to handle the new refrigerants. Delivered by VASA Vice President Brett Meads, the Life After R134a seminar will be your first step toward preparing for and profiting from these refrigerant changes.
Brett Meads

Workshop 2 (Concurrent Option 2): Digital Tools for Automotive Service Professionals

Maximize the use of your digital tools in order to bring a higher level of professionalism to your personal brand. This workshop will include: Simple techniques you can begin to apply immediately in order to capture much clearer images, video and digital data displayed from your PC. Photography theory and terminology review. How to quickly capture, annotate, organize and store data displayed from any PC based application including scan tools, scopes and more. Learn about applications shops today use to help increase internal communications. Once you complete this session you’ll be able to better leverage the power of your digital devices and access online resources like a pro!
Scott Brown
08:30 - 09:30


Keynote 3: Supporting Consumer Choice of Repairer and Parts – A Global Scorecard

Choice of repairer, choice of parts, capped price service programs, consumers’ rights to warranty repairs and access to technical information. These issues are not restricted to the Australian industry. Aftermarket parts producers, distributors and repairers have been working together globally to advocate for fair and open competition. In this session, Aaron Lowe (Autocare Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs) and Lesley Yates (Government Relations and Advocacy – Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association) will provide a scorecard on the Global efforts to support consumer choice and fair competition in the Automotive Aftermarket. Aaron and Lesley will provide an update of international achievements and host a discussion on the tactics that are currently employed to deny independents the right to repair and deny consumers the right to choose. Every market is different and the tactics are unique to each country. But all dysfunctional markets share some common elements of misleading consumers and denying information and data to small business. What are the strategies and tactics that aftermarket parts producers, independent repairers and consumers can use to effect change? What are the best ways to engage in campaigning and achieving fair and open competition in our industry?
Lesley Yates
Aaron Lowe
11:00 - 11:30


Workshop 3 (Concurrent Option 1): Driving Business Performance

This one hour presentation highlights the VITAL key business topics that owners need to embrace and implement day by day to “Rejuvenate” their business. Indicators – Looking at both operational and strategic indicators for business health check Productivity – Understanding the systems that boost dollar productive activity Efficiency – Learning how to make the most of the manpower The Concept of Workshop Capacity – Learn how to manage & maximise the capacity of the workshop The Key P% Figures – The benchmarks of a successful workshop and how to achieve them NOW This presentation will ensure business owners understand the basics or at least get them thinking “hmmm I need to ask some questions here if I’m going to improve my business”. In his experience as an Automotive Business coach, Duncan knows these topics are often misunderstood at best, and overlooked at worst!
Duncan Boyle

Workshop 3 (Concurrent Option 2): Reading Smoke Signals

It’s common knowledge that a diesel combustion engine runs differently to a petrol combustion engine. EGR valves work opposite to that on a petrol engine. Air induction and exhaust systems are as important as the fuel being injected from the common rail system. That itself is where mechanics are struggling to read the signals. I’m going to break down my 3 hour ‘It’s not just about fuel’ course down to focus on how to correctly diagnose these 3 smoke signals commonly misdiagnosed on a diesel. White, black and blue smoke can be easily misdiagnosed as a fuel problem when they’re not. Learn techniques using a scan tool and your own senses to avoid replacing unnecessary and expensive components. Understand what data the fault code is reading and why.
Clinton Brett
13:00 - 14:00

LUNCH – sponsored by Molnar

Keynote 4: Today’s Automotive Diagnostician

In this presentation Scott will recount his journey as he entered the automotive trade, and the technology revolution that surfaced shortly after. The history of the automobile and emission controls has had a direct impact in the adoption of electronic systems and controls. In the United States, Federal regulations continue to demand more and more from the automobile in regards to fuel efficiency, emissions, safety and security. These demands can only be met though the adoption and implementation of technology. The ever-increasing complexity of these vehicle systems will significantly raise the bar in regards to service-ready requirements of the service technician of tomorrow. Communication will be key in providing success for the independent sectors you serve. Scott will share his observations, knowledge and tips on how automotive technicians and business owners can adapt and prosper in this technology driven, service orientated industry of the future.
Scott Brown
15:00 - 15:30


Workshop 4 (Concurrent Option 1): Surviving the Tech Shortage

Those workshops recently on the lookout for new staff members will no doubt be very aware that there is currently a major shortage of automotive technicians. A new report titled “Directions In Australia’s Automotive Industry 2017” produced by the VACC in partnership with Motor Trades Associations indicated that there currently over 27,000 jobs in a variety of fields waiting to be filled. This is the highest ever recorded and this figure is expected to rise to 35,000 within a year. It follows that with more workshops competing for fewer good technicians there will be upward pressure on wage rates. This is basic economics; it’s demand exceeding supply. The focus of this session will be on practical tips on how to survive the technician shortage. Areas covered will include: • Analysing key labour metric ratios • Securing existing staff • Attracting new staff
Geoff Mutton

Workshop 4 (Concurrent Option 2): Catalyst Efficiency

As part of this session there will be an introduction to basic operation of 3-way and 2-way catalysts and the vehicle applications which form part of complex exhaust after-treatments. The main focus for this session will be the 3-way catalyst, as fitted to Gasoline engines. We will discuss the concept of Oxygen in the exhaust system after combustion, and how it is measured. We will look at the basic requirements of a catalyst including the oxidisation and reduction process, and what this means for us as technicians. There will be an introduction to the concept of Oxygen storage capacity within a Catalyst, and how this is measured – including ECU strategies. And finish off with practical advice on how Oxygen Storage Capacity looks when measured with an Oscilloscope, and what to expect. This will include live case examples and tips on how to test and evaluate Catalyst Efficiency.
Scott Thomas

Closing Address

Introduction by Paul Marinelli, Managing Director, Marinelli PR Closing Address by Stuart Charity, Executive Director, Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association
Paul Marinelli
Stuart Charity

Program subject to change.  Tickets non-refundable.