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This article was published 2/11/2017 (1698 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A U.S. firm that provides technology solutions to help simplify and speed up the handling of automobile collision repair claims has chosen Winnipeg as the site for its new Canadian head office.
San Diego-based Mitchell International Inc. processes tens of millions of electronic transactions per month for more than 300 insurance companies and more than 30,000 collision repair centres in North America and Europe.
Although it has been working with Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and its accredited collision repair centres for more than 25 years, the company has never had an office here or in any of the other Canadian province.
But on Thursday, the company’s president and CEO, Alex Sun, was in Winnipeg to announce the firm is setting up a new Canadian headquarters in leased space in the MPI building at 420 Pembina Hwy.
"We chose to establish our offices in Winnipeg to leverage the strong collaboration between Mitchell and Manitoba Public Insurance in developing new solutions to support the rapid advancements in vehicle technology," Sun said.
"Their strategic location and the strong economy means we can provide increased services to customers in Manitoba and across other growing Canadian regions as well."
He said the Winnipeg office will start with a staff "in the mid teens," with the initial plan to grow that to about 23 employees as its Canadian business volumes grow.
He said it’s difficult to predict how quickly the workforce will grow, or how big it ultimately could get.
"It’s very dynamic, but I imagine it will grow quite a bit over the next three to five years. And given the partnership we have with MPI and the great geographic location of Winnipeg in Canada... I would say the bulk of them (the new Canadian jobs) will be here," he said
He said most of the hires so far are from Manitoba, and he expects that also will be the case going forward. The kinds of people hired so far include customer service and sales engineers, training personnel and project managers.
The kinds of software solutions Mitchell provides include the types of repairs needed, how the repairs should be done and cost estimates. It also provides software to speed up the processing of personal injury claims arising from auto accidents or workplace mishaps.
MPI president and CEO Dan Guimond said having a physical presence in Winnipeg will enable Mitchell to provide more timely support to MPI and local collision repair shops. He noted vehicles are becoming increasingly complex in terms of how they’re built and the technologies they use.
"Having you working so closely with us on these important issues will benefit both of our organizations as well as our customers," he said.
Manitoba Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen said Mitchell’s decision to locate its Canadian headquarters in Winnipeg is a show of faith in Manitoba as a place to invest and to grow a business.
"I hope this will be a good place for you to seek alternative business through our neighbours to the east and west and to the south as well," he said.