In the best-run municipal departments across the country, every minute and dollar go where they can make the biggest impact. Achieving that can be difficult in the face of challenging tasks, including the disposal of vehicles that have outlived their usefulness. What seems manageable at first can quickly become a resource-draining exercise that could be avoided with help from a carefully chosen auction partner.
There are plenty of automotive auction companies looking to team up with organizations that can provide them a steady stream of vehicles. But the right company — the right partner — gives your needs equal importance and meets those needs with a handful of characteristics we’ll call “the four Es”:
- Easy access
A closer look at each will show why so many government agencies opt for an auction partnership and why it pays to do your homework before entering into one.
First and foremost, you need a partner who knows what they’re doing and is prepared for any situation — someone capable of managing the auction process in unique circumstances as well as they do under ordinary ones. So when you’re vetting potential candidates, find out if they can:
- Handle every type of vehicle. They should know their way around motorcycles, construction equipment and everything in between.
- Secure the necessary paperwork. Titles can be problematic, so look for a partner with a department dedicated to that important document.
- Reach the right audience. By knowing who’s interested in your particular vehicles, they’ll be able to stir up interest and ensure the best sale price.
- Keep up with the latest technology. If their auction isn’t accessible on the Web and via mobile device, that’s fewer people bidding on your items.
There are few better ways to gain the necessary knowledge than simply doing the job every day. The right auction partner has extensive experience on their side and, as a result, is ready for every situation because they’ve seen every situation a thousand times. That’s not the only benefit of aligning yourself with an experienced company. You also get the confidence that accompanies a proven track record. Short-term success is easy to find but hard to trust. Hold out for an established leader in the industry, and you’ll be 100 percent comfortable handing over your vehicles to them.
Depending on how you dispose of your vehicles currently, you may already know how challenging the auction process can be. With the right partner, however, you’ll have the option of reducing your list of responsibilities to two items:
- Contacting your partner to let them know you have vehicles ready for sale.
- Depositing the check they send you.
Obviously, there are a lot of steps in between. But it’s your partner’s responsibility to ensure the process goes smoothly after they take possession of your vehicles, not yours. With the right company handling that process, revenue increases while cycle times drop. That leaves your focus where it should be: using your newly available resources in a way that serves your community to the best of your ability.
This particular characteristic is important for two participants in the process: you and the person who ultimately buys your vehicle. Earlier, I mentioned how technology brings in more potential buyers by letting them choose how they view and purchase your inventory. But access is just as crucial to you, albeit in different ways.
For starters, you should have a readily accessible point of contact. Whether you’re reaching out to assign vehicles for sale or checking in at any point throughout the process for updates, you need someone you can touch base with quickly and easily.
You should also consider how easy it is to access your partner’s actual locations. When your vehicles leave your facilities, where do they go? Are they crossing state lines? How much time does it take them to reach their ultimate destination? The longer the journey, the longer it takes for the sale process to wrap up. Keep things simple by selecting a partner with enough physical locations to make vehicle transport as easy as possible.
That’s all fine in theory. But how does it work in reality? The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles found out when it decided to take a closer look at how it disposed of its vehicles.
The motivation behind its analysis was a steady growth in the state’s vehicle population, and a concurrent rise in the number of vehicles impounded and subsequently abandoned. The higher volume resulted in a greater need for the disposal process to be as efficient as possible, so the division turned to an industry expert with more than three decades in the field: Insurance Auto Auctions.
Up to that point, Utah performed its own vehicle auctions, but IAA’s analysis revealed potential for improvement. Both parties pored over the results and decided to forge a mutually beneficial partnership. After the agreement is finalized, the Utah DMV will have the means to reallocate its resources and better serve the state’s residents, and IAA will have a steady source of vehicles for its 165-plus locations in North America and customers in more than 110 countries.
“With all of our municipal partners, we have two goals: speed up their process and increase their revenue stream,” explained Ron Walters, IAA’s director of field sales. “The Utah DMV came to us because they knew we had the infrastructure already in place to handle the increased workload they were seeing. We helped with the considerable number of tasks involved — securing titles, preparing the vehicles, marketing them — and provided access to a literal world of buyers that ensured results everyone was happy with.”
To learn more about IAA and the services it offers its partners, visit IAA-Auctions.com.