Commercial Carrier Journal interviews Jeff Jeter, President of Sales U.S.
(This article originally written and published by Commercial Carrier Journal and is reproduced with kind permission.)
Ritchie Bros. and IronPlanet, each an industry powerhouse in its own right, have joined forces to become the undisputed leader in asset disposition. For their clients, 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 clients. 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 had an excellent online model, and Ritchie Bros. had a deep legacy of live, onsite unreserved auctions. Even though the channels were slightly different, the two companies had synergies in place, particularly with respect to serving the customers' needs, and with the desire to understand clients' disposition requirements. In that, there was a shared vision. What there needed to be was the ability to have different solutions to meet those needs, and by bringing the two companies together, the customer now has the best of both worlds. Our combined sales force can now talk to clients from a consultative standpoint, and give them the solution best for them, given what they're trying to achieve. We can now be a trusted adviser, because we look at what is in the customer's best interests. That differs from what either company was able to offer before.
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 clients 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.com allows a customer to decide if they'd like to have a "buy it now price" or "make offer price," and to place a reserve on the asset. This format empowers our customer to make the decision on the selling format. Coming in October, we will introduce a new online marketplace that will provide our customers additional choice and flexibility – stay tuned for that. This flexibility works well with our buyer base, which is the largest in the world. They buy trucks and construction equipment all the time, and while they certainly enjoy the experience of buying at our live auctions, they also want the flexibility of not having to wait for a live auction event — and the ability to buy every day from many of our different channels. We're going to give our sellers those other formats.
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 clients expect us to deliver choices, and we have the capabilities to do so. We're putting that to work in ways people have traditionally not associated with our company. 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 launch for OEMs and large fleets, provides the seller the flexibility to list a single representative asset when multiple like units exists — buyers have the ability to buy these configurations in multiple quantity. It's a need we identified and a win-win for our 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 fleets – both in transportation and construction – want insights into the right time to sell. It's one thing to have the platform and choices on how to sell their assets. It's another thing when you can take data and information from the market, and then deliver insights that help them decide their disposition strategies and timing in the market, as well as the demand, which determines the supply you can put into the market. How we package that and give that back to them to make better decisions? Data is big; information is king, and we use our resources for tools and information to enable people to make better decisions. It differentiates us in the marketplace in a significant way and allows us to deliver something meaningful to our customers. Through a partnership with Ritchie Bros., clients not only can take advantage of their one-stop shop capabilities, but reduce the uncertainty traditionally associated with asset disposition. Using our powerful tools, data and information, the company's clients are firmly in control. That's what Delivering Choices is all about.
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Jeff Jeter, president of sales U.S. for Ritchie Bros., oversees the strategic accounts and regional sales teams supporting national, regional and local customers.
*Article courtesy of Commercial Carrier Journal and used with permission.