What recent developments have there been in the auction market that have been particularly valuable to fleet managers?
Probably the most significant recent developments in auction which provide the greatest benefits to fleet sellers are those which have been facilitated by the use of technology.
It is the investment in systems and general IT infrastructure, which really does drive the modern auction process and differentiates the leading auction companies from the smaller ones.
Typically this might include:
• CRM systems to drive the huge marketing programmes and effectively target the thousands of buyers, with the right vehicles being promoted to the relevant audience.
• Hand-held inspection technology to capture vehicle condition details in a robust process and send that information quickly to central databases for instant visibility by the fleet operator. Combined with an ‘inspect and collect’ service this provides further major advantages to fleet owners.
• Highly functional websites which not only provide comprehensive information on general services but also access to the online sales channels and vehicle pricing data.
• The pure electronic auctions and online stock locators which allow vehicles to be offered to audiences other than those who attend the physical sales. Perhaps the most notable development in this area is the introduction of web-based bidding into the live auction halls, providing the best of both worlds. This is the ultimate way of maximising buying power for fleets.
• Online stock management systems which allow the fleet operator to view the status of all their vehicles in the auction process, plus a suite of comprehensive reporting tools detailing the sales performance of their own stock.
• Regular online market reports providing vital intelligence on the state of the market and influencing those key decisions which face all fleet operators.
Source: Managing Your Company Car, Expert Opinion, by Colin Tourick. Contributor: Rob Barr, Manheim.