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Technology supported by process improves efficiency

COMMENTARY: Physical auto auctions change for better

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Article Highlights

  1. As of late September, more than half of Manheim’s auctions (including Manheim Atlanta) had been upgraded with ... enhancements, which include, for instance, centralized technology that would allow the administrative office at this Atlanta-area auction to complete title work for the Orlando location.
  2. Another piece of efficiency you might notice at Manheim Atlanta is what’s known as Lean Daily Management. It’s a concept founded by Toyota as a manufacturing improvement, but adopted by other business sectors, including the likes of the New England Patriots.
  3. “Technology in and of itself is great, but you have to have the processes and the foundational pieces to underpin it, to really maximize technology and technology investments to really bring it to life for our clients,” said Grace Huang, president of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions, in an interview at Manheim Atlanta.

The first thing you might have noticed at Manheim Atlanta earlier this year was a countdown and buttons worn by employees that notified sale attendees that “a change is coming.”

That change they were specifically referring to was Manheim’s investment in a widespread technology update and redesign of some of its auction processes, a change the company called its largest ever.

But that “change” could also describe the broader approach by the auto auction industry as a whole to become more efficient and technologically swifter at its brick-and-mortar locations.

That’s evident everywhere from Atlanta to Chicago, North Carolina to Arizona and all points in between, as changing ways of buying and selling wholesale vehicles are met by an evolving industry striving to adapt.

That includes a Manheim mobile auction in Wilmington, N.C., transitioning to a permanent, two-lane location and a new Bel Air Auto Auction site that Ray Nichols, chief executive of parent company BSC America, says “will be able to accommodate continued growth in the marketplace and allow us to serve better our customers’ needs with ease and efficiency in a state of the art auction facility.”

East and west, corporate and independent — change is here in the auction business.

More efficient, leaner ops at Manheim
As of late September, more than half of Manheim’s auctions (including Manheim Atlanta) had been upgraded with the aforementioned enhancements, which include, for instance, centralized technology that would allow the administrative office at this Atlanta-area auction to complete title work for the Orlando location.

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