Perspectives

Innovating Auction Channels to Meet the Customers’ Needs

Published September 6, 2018 - Written by John Bean


Summary

IAA remains focused on providing the industry leading auction model by continuing to listen to our selling and buying customers. John Bean, VP of Centralized Operations, discusses how IAA has innovated its auction model into a multi-channel selling platform giving choice, convenience and efficiency to our buyers.

The automotive auction model debate is one that is age-old.  On what platform, or through what channel, do you sell cars for the most competitive returns?  Do you offer one channel or one platform? On the other hand, do you provide multiple channels?  In the end, your goal largely depends on the needs of your customer – how the seller wants to sell, and how the buyer wants to buy.

From a buying perspective, you have to take into account buyer behavior and feedback, general shopping and purchasing trends. On the selling side, you should consider speed or cycle time of sale, the desire for continuous exposure of an asset, and offering the most competitive environment. Essentially, you work to meet the needs and wants of both parties.

At IAA, we know from continued research that buyers want choice in when, how, and where they bid and buy. Additionally, we know that cycle time is a critical measurement for our insurance customers in total loss claims. Cycle time has proven to be a driver of policyholder satisfaction as well as vehicle sale performance. When you couple the unique needs of our sellers and global buyers, it is only logical that a multi-channel selling method is the best approach.

Just about a year ago, IAA continued innovating our auction method and provided even more choices to our selling and buying clients. In September of 2017 and we were in the midst of managing the increased volume from both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. While IAA has always offered both flexibility and choice of selling and buying channels, we keenly understood that given two major catastrophes we needed to quickly process vehicles effectively for the ready buyer base and with the highest economic return for the seller.

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As a result of our innovative practices, our solutions are geared towards our clients’ needs and IAA now supports six auction channels (see graphic).  While our multi-channel model is unique to our industry, utilization of more than one auction method is common and core to the success of nearly all auction businesses. In the whole car world, vehicles are offered through multiple channels live, online, mobile and remote. Even auction firms selling antiques to firms managing intellectual property and assets utilize multiple methods to best meet the needs of sellers and buyers. Essentially, the auction business is not “one size fits all.”

Focus on the needs of our buyers continues to be a core component of IAA’s business strategy.  We have invested in, and launched, nearly 30 new and innovative solutions to our clients. For our buyers we have provided new technology and features that make purchasing vehicles easier including IAA Buyer App, Integrated Hollander Interchange Part Numbers, enhanced Vehicle Details Page, expanded Fast Search Tool, and High Resolution Images just to name a few.

IAA remains focused on providing the industry leading auction model by continuing to listen to our selling and buying customers.  We know that by understanding their needs, and strengthening our auction model to meet them, we can continue to offer the most competitive marketplace to buy and sell vehicles.