Beam Retrns to DAA/OKC with Experience Gained on Both Sides of the
Beam has returned to Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City (DAA/OKC)
as the auction's general manager, armed with the experience he has
gained from working both sides of the auction block. Beam held the
post of general manager when he left DAA/OKC in 2012 to work for
Express Credit Auto, the largest buy here-pay here operation in
return to the auction in April 2017 was hailed by auction staff and
customers alike, all of whom will reap the benefits of his five-year
stint in the retail side of the vehicle industry, which has left him
wiser and better able to build on the culture of superior service
that sets DAA/OKC apart from the competition.
to DAA/OKC is quite literally a return to the family business for
Beam. The auction's owner, Smith, is Beam's father-in-law, and
Beam's wife, Nicki, continues to work at the auction as
pull of family is strong, and I decided it was time to return to DAA/OKC,"
Beam said. "I am delighted to be back. I love the auction
industry, and consider it an honor to serve as the general manager
at a facility that is both a member of the NAAA and the ServNet
a member of ServNet is a key part of our access to National Accounts
through exposure at the corporate level and the many industry
functions that ServNet coordinates throughout the year,"
explains Beam, adding that DAA/OKC has been a member of the ServNet
auction group since 2004. "There is also tremendous value in
being able to benchmark DAA/OKC's metrics against 20 of the top
Independent auctions in the country, as well as having access to
each of those auction owners who have decades of experience in the
ServNet auction owners and executive team received the news that
Bruce Beam had returned to DAA/OKC with great enthusiasm," says
Kevin Brown, ServNet's president, who notes that Beam had previously
served as ServNet's treasurer. "We have great respect for him,
and admire his knowledge and experience. We have all benefited from
his work on behalf of ServNet in the past, and look forward to
renewing our collaboration with him."
got his start in the auction business shortly after he graduated
from Kansas State University. He responded to an ad for an officer
manager at DAA/OKC, and owner Gary Smith hired him in 1992. Beam
became assistant general manager to Smith in 1994, and was promoted
to general manager in 1998, helping to steer the auction through a
time of change.
I first got to the auction in 1992, we were moving about 45,000 cars
through the lanes," Beam remembers. "By 2004-2005, our
volume had doubled, and we were processing nearly 97,000 vehicles
with Ford, General Motors and other factory and off-lease
and technology reduced those kinds of numbers, and the auction
obviously had to do some restructuring, and we had to adjust to the
changes in the industry," Beam said. "So we worked at
improving our technology and focused on doubling our technology
left the auction in 2012 to do consulting work when he was
approached by Express Credit Auto, the largest buy here-pay here
dealership in Oklahoma with five locations.
I worked for Express Credit Auto, I had the opportunity to
experience the auction business from the other side of the auction
block, as I attended several live auctions every week," said
Beam. He notes that during his time with Express Auto Credit he
purchased vehicles at over 35 different Manheim, ADESA, and
independent online auctions in addition to hitting 5 live sales
at auction, rather than serving as the facilitator of sales between
consignor and buyer, gave Beam new insights into auction business.
"During my first year with the company, we purchased 7,000
vehicles, so it was inevitable that a purchase would need
arbitration. The number of arbitrations were low, perhaps just 20
that year, but it opened my eyes to what a dealer has to experience
during the arbitration process."
that many vehicles in its portfolio, Express Credit Auto had to
remarket its repossessions, and Beam took on responsibilities as the
auction rep at auctions in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
one thing I learned about selling cars at auction is that you have
to represent them in the lanes," Beam said. "You just have
to be there."
said he learned that what sets an auction apart from its competitors
in the marketplace boils down to customer service.
fees are off the charts, dealers will go where they are treated
well, where customer service is readily apparent, and where someone
is always available to take care of problem," he said. "If
you want to have a successful auction, you have to be the auction
where the customers want to be."
said the lessons and wisdom he gained from working on the other side
of the auction block have already played a role in how he's running
made some changes at the auction, changes in attitude and changes in
our culture," he said. "We don't want to be just a good
auction. We must be known as the auction that does the right thing.
If we have to buy a car back, we will. If we have to make repairs,
we will. We will be fair, and just do what's right."
the auction has seven functioning lanes, using six every week for
the sale. Four additional lanes (the auction has 11 total) lane are
currently being used as a condition report area. The auction sits on
125 paved acres, and includes over 135,000 square feet total in two
reconditioning centers, and a 60,000 square foot arena and office
building. The auction consigns 900+ vehicles a week, and posts a
consistent conversion rate of 55%.
in the marketplace is strong," observes Beam. "We're
seeing a lot of consolidation in the industry, and technology is
improving and changing at light speed. We have to work harder, do
more, and offer better services. We're looking at turning one of our
recon buildings into a retail facility. We want to be able maximize
the value of what we have."
said that while corporate auctions are formidable competitors, there
are ways to compete. "We have to be on our toes, adapting
quickly and adapting well," he said. "As an independent
auction we have a tremendous advantage: we can make decisions and
implement them immediately. But we have to be smart, finding out
what the competition cannot provide, and exploiting that
at 58, said he expects this to be his last move, and plans to finish
his career at Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City.
ServNet Auction Group is a network of America's best strategically
located independently-owned wholesale auto auctions. Since 1988,
ServNet member auctions have been working together to provide a full
range of remarketing services to its customers, including the best
auctioneers, inspections, reconditioning, transportation assistance
and inventory financing. The ServNet Auction Group is managed by TPC
Management with headquarters in Franklin, TN.
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