Best of Both Worlds
Ritchie Bros. and IronPlanet, each an industry leader in its own right, have joined forces to become the undisputed leader in asset disposition. For their customers, achieving the next level of excellence means much more than just becoming the biggest and the best. It’s an across-the-board approach that includes delivering a range of asset disposition choices, offering a one-stop shop approach to customers, and using their combined considerable resources to allow the company to serve as a partner and trusted adviser to customers. Jeff Jeter, president of sales U.S., answers questions about their new mission.
Q: Before Ritchie Bros. acquired IronPlanet, both companies were industry leaders with their own vision. How have the companies come together to form a single cohesive mission?
A: IronPlanet has an excellent online model and Ritchie Bros. has a deep legacy of live, onsite unreserved auctions. Even though the channels were slightly different, the two companies had common goals, particularly with respect to serving customers’ needs and to understanding their disposition requirements. In that, we had a shared vision, and by bringing the two companies together, we are able to offer customers different solutions to meet their needs. Our combined sales force uses a consultative approach, working to first understand customer needs. Once those needs are understood, we recommend what is in the customer’s interest, working to become their Trusted Advisor.
Q: Historically, when thinking of either IronPlanet or Ritchie Bros., the first word that comes to mind is “auction.” In fact, auctions are just one of the asset disposition options available to customers now. As part of delivering more choices to customers, what are some of the other solutions?
A: In our role as a partner, we look for ways to help customers think of disposition before their assets go to auction, and we now have solutions that are “upstream” to auction. In fact, auction as a percentage of the total of asset disposition is small – and today, it’s one of many channels available to our consignors. We now have solutions in place that allow customers to sell assets all the time, not just at auction.
For example, our online marketplace Truckplanet allows customers flexibility to set a pricing alternative based on their needs including using a fixed “Buy Now” price, a negotiable “Make Offer” price or a reserve auction starting price. These pricing alternatives work well for our global buying audience. They buy trucks and construction equipment all the time and while they enjoy the experience of buying at Ritchie Bros. live auctions, they also need the flexibility to buy every day using one of our multiple channels. In early November, we will be introducing a new online marketplace that provides customers additional flexibility and choice – we look forward to telling you more about that in about six weeks.
Q: Customers have more tools and options than ever before. How can they leverage their relationship with Ritchie Bros. to take advantage of these features?
A: Our customers benefit from the disposition choices our combined company now offers – a newly combined company and a new way to think about Ritchie Bros. We’ll continue to offer onsite live unreserved auctions and weekly online auctions, because many customers prefer to manage their assets in those ways. However, we’ll use our considerable technology to continue to offer customers both flexibility and control, such as with TruckPlanet, and with TruckLocator. TruckLocator, a recent product introduction for OEMs and large fleet owners, provides sellers the flexibility to list a single representative asset when multiple like units exist — then, buyers may purchase configurations in the quantity they need. This is another one of our products that is a win-win for buyers and sellers.
Q: How will merging the synergies between the technology of IronPlanet and the operational excellence of Ritchie Bros. impact serving fleets?
A: Large fleet owners – both in transportation and construction – want insight into the right time to sell. It’s one thing to have the platform and choices on how to sell their assets; it is another when you are able to use proprietary market data to help customers determine their disposition strategy and timing, and base it on existing market supply and buyer demand. We are constantly thinking about ways to package and use our data to help customers make better disposition decisions.
By partnering with Ritchie Bros., customers can take advantage of its one-stop shop capabilities and also feel confident they are getting the insights into right channel and right time to sell. We use our data, information and tools to make sure customers and potential customers are firmly in control, delivering value and Delivering Choice.
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