Dear Auction Partners,
It is truly exciting to think that 2019 is already here. It seems that only weeks ago, we were gathered for NAAA. As we look back across 2018, it is important to remember how much we have accomplished as a group in an industry full of change. As you will recall, ‘18 was the year when the disruptors dominated the news. Despite their headlines and sales volume gains, the independents remain healthy, growing and very optimistic about their future.
Through our engagement with you, we learned that our auctions continue to invest, perhaps like never before, in modernizing and expanding their offering to meet the growing needs of an increasingly varied buyer and seller base. Most of you shared real insight into your needs through your participation in our 2018 Owners Survey, or our future focused one to one discussions, our Forums, EDGE Stakeholders and our annual NAAA Customer Summit. You shared by voice and your vote, the ranking of the technology and tools you need to continue to meet the current and emerging challenges head on, grow your business and better serve your customers.
We heard you and made your input the foundation of our roadmap for 2019. In this edition of EDGE Today, I invite you to review the Summit results, share in a bit of celebration of the many accomplishments of the last year and most importantly inform your plan for the new year!
--Dan Diedrich, CEO, Auction Edge
Across the auction industry, the independent auctions continue to take on the challenges, lead, and inspire generations of industry and auction individuals through the power of their entrepreneurial spirit. Our very own Bob McConkey was inducted into the NAAA Auto Auction Hall of Fame, while our own Chad Bailey took the mantle of NAAA President for the coming year. Chad will be followed by another independent auction stand-out, Laura Taylor as NAAA President-Elect.
On the Edge side of the house, 2018 will be characterized simply as a year of business building -- building up our core products, expanding our team, strengthening our offering, streamlining our support, and creating stronger connections with you and the many industry partners you rely upon to compete at the highest level- reducing risk, enabling growth and improving outcomes.
Building Greater Engagement
During the 2018 NAAA, many of our independent auction partners participated in the second annual Auction Edge Customer Summit. Our goal was to briefly share the state of our industry, Auction Edge but most importantly to bring our auctions voice and vote into our planning for coming year. See the results of 76 auctions partners who cast their votes during our Customer Summit.
Summit Game Results
Building the Team
With 21 independent auctions added to the Auction Edge Family, and many more adding Auction Edge products to complete their line-up, we continue to be the largest single provider of auction technology industry wide. Our team is now comprised of over 80 full time auction, industry and technology experts.
Strengthening the Core
The core products and services provided by AE to our over 240 auctions are on a path of continuous modernization and improvement. We are strengthening the core, enhancing and improving our products, expanding our services and increasing vital integrations across the automotive landscape-from our AMS’ to Pipeline, Lookout, Edge Simulcast and Multi-List.
New Products and Services
Beyond strengthening our core, Auction Edge announced the launch of two new product offerings; EDGE Spark and EDGE Assist. EDGE Spark, a cloud based platform, unveiled at NAAA will soon provide auctions the ability to run the auction from anywhere, at any time from their phone or tablet. The Spark platform is complemented with the first of the Spark addons, Spark BI a business intelligence and analytics tool. While EDGE Assist provides our auctions with a team of Assistants to help drive auction efficiency, grow online sales, and deliver a greatly improved online customer experience.
Leveraging New Technologies
Technology keeps presenting new opportunities for auctions. You’ve expressed interest in many of these in conversations at the Customer Summit. We’re working on numerous partnerships for 2019 to help you best leverage tools and technology that’s out there.
The first one of these is with a company called Cognosos. They offer a product called RadioTrax which delivers real-time inventory location services. It’s already in use at auctions like the McConkey Auction Group, Metro Auto Auction of Phoenix and Dallas and San Antonio Auction. It is helping auctions save money. It saves yard personnel time locating vehicles and getting them in the right place. It helps buyers and haulers quickly find cars. They’re also offering various operational intelligence type reports showing you car flow and improving the information available to make decisions on operating your lots. If you are interested in learning more about RadioTrax, contact us here!
We’ve got a number of other exciting partnerships in the works for 2019. Many are centered around better vehicle information and imaging to help enable and drive your ability to capitalize on digital channels. We can’t wait to share news about them as they become available!
Congrats to Bob!
Congrats to Auction Edge board chairman Bob McConkey on becoming the newest member of the National Auto Auction Association Hall of Fame! The president and chief executive officer of the McConkey Auction Group and Auction Edge board chairman was inducted at NAAA's 70th annual convention in Scottsdale, Arizona, in November of 2018. Read more about Bob’s accomplishments here!