APEX members believe that both exemplary customer service and selling the highest quality of products will make our business partners profitable leaders in collision repair.
The Automotive Paint Exchange (APEX) started in 1994 when a group of forward thinking entrepreneurs decided that there had to be a better way to make autobody and collision repair shops more profitable while maintaining the use of high quality automotive paint and supplies.
We have met on a quarterly basis to go over new and exciting products, new thoughts on body shops, and to share the ‘out of the box’ thinking that makes our customers more efficient. We focus on understanding the hot topics in the industry so we can help others implement them.
Lean management? We’ll help tighten the belt. 6 Sigma? We’ll bring the Dojo Mats. Process Centered Environment? We have the SOPs for you! Part of why we started the APEX group was to help each other implement these same programs in our own businesses.
One of the main reasons that APEX members meet is to talk about the automotive refinish products that are on the market. We meet so we can weed out the good from the bad and match the quality of the lines we carry to the quality of our service.
Automotive coating, fillers, abrasives, polishes, and tools are put to the test and we are sure to carry the best of the best in our stores.
If you are looking for a paint supplier that will offer more to you than just the best car paint prices. Call an APEX member.
If you’re looking for a refinish supplier that offers the best lines in the automotive refinishing market. Call an APEX member.
If you are looking for a wholesaler that is willing to walk beside you and your team down the road to being the top auto body and collision repair shop in your area.
What It Means To Be An APEX Member
Automotive Paint Exchange Members value above anything else:
- Customer Service
- Quality products
- Strong working relationships with both suppliers and customers
- A love for finding the newest and best products on the market
- Actively seeking innovation in body shop management tools
- A heart rooted firmly in the refinish business
At APEX we seek to better ourselves so we can help you be the best.
What is The Automotive Paint Exchange of North America?
APEX is a business development group for privately owned distributors of automotive refinishing products. Within the automotive industry such groups are known as “Twenty Groups”. The mission of a 20 Group is to help its members grow and improve their businesses. APEX, originally known as the Masters of Quality Wholesales Group was founded in 1986 and has been meeting three times a year ever since. Several of the current members were part of that initial group, which speaks loudly about just how valuable they believe the Group has been to their success.
Who is in the Group?
While the majority of the present members sell Sikkens and other Akzo Nobel products, the group also has dual line distributors and single line PPG jobbers. Any privately owned jobber of any size can potentially become a member, however all new members must be unanimously approved by the group. The group also has a non- compete clause in its by-laws whereby members cannot be servicing the same market.
“APEX has provided me opportunities to identify and work on my weaknesses. Membership leads to friendships, and that’s important; because friends will tell you the truth, and we all need to hear the truth if we hope to improve.”
Chet Stronski Till Paint
What is the Mission of APEX?
The primary mission of APEX is to help its members be successful. As a small business owner, being successful requires skill sets in many areas: sales, finance, accounting, marketing, human resources, staffing, legal, community relations, and the list goes on. At each meeting of APEX, we include agenda items that are designed to be informative to each of these areas.
One primary focus is financial performance and to this end the Group maintains a monthly composite of their financial statements. The members have adopted the use of a single chart of accounts which allows each member to compare their performance against other members. The composite also contains many useful performance ratios and benchmarks. Each member has access to a remote desktop where they can post their numbers and view the composite.
Another mission of the Group is to provide peer support and individual motivation. Members are required to create annual business plans and then report their progress in accomplishing those goals at each meeting. Throughout the year, members also help one another by exchanging ideas and offering solutions to difficult problems.
The Meeting Schedule
The Group holds meeting three times per year; January, May, and September. Typically, the Group meets in “easy-in, easy-out” locations such as Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta. Occasionally, however the Group may pick a resort location and enjoy some relaxation and socializing.
The meeting format is arrival on a Wednesday evening, meet the entire day on Thursday, have a group dinner on Thursday evening, and meet a half day on Friday.
Who Manages the Group
“Apex sets the standard for excellence. The Apex meetings are an opportunity to exchange ideas, financial comparisons and solutions to everyday problems. APEX is my Board of Directors.”
Linda Sommerhauser Auto Body Color
What will be expected of me?
Membership comes with some responsibilities. These are:
It is expected that you will attend every meeting.
It is expected that you will use the group’s chart of accounts for your financial statements, keep your accounting records up to date and that you will post your numbers into the composite in a timely fashion.
It is expected that you will be prepared to actively participate in every meeting and provide as much information as you get.
Members who do not fulfill their responsibilities may be asked to resign from the Group