ServNet auctions continue to develop and implement new technologies to enhance the vehicle remarketing process for both dealers and commercial accounts, reports ServNet's President Eric Autenrieth. The most recent is the launch of Turn Auctions, a mobile-based auction platform with enhanced buyer protections. Developed by Ryan Clark, owner of Greater Rockford Auto Auction, Turn Auctions was launched at Rockford Auto Auction last fall, and is due to roll out this spring at other ServNet auctions, including Akron Auto Auction, Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City, Greenville Auto Auction and Louisiana's 1st Choice Auto Auction.
In an increasingly competitive business environment, ServNet auctions remain steadfastly committed to the core values that have been the hallmarks of their operations since the beginning -- a beginning that spans decades, and in many cases, multi-generations of ownership. Years of collective experience, skill, solid relationships and the flexibility to meet the demands of the market have marked ServNet auctions as leaders and continue to produce superior results for their customers.
"ServNet's continued success and strength lies in the group's commitment to maintain consistency through transition," says Pierre Pons, ServNet's CEO who has led ServNet's corporate staff for the past decade. "ServNet was founded in 1988 by a group of strong, visionary leaders who knew that their independently-owned auctions offered a level of service to their customers that was unmatched in the industry. The values and focus of those founding auctions have been part of ServNet's culture ever since and continues to set ServNet auctions apart from the competition, as that culture has been passed along to next generation owners who continue the pattern set by their parents in building the family business."
ServNet has announced the opening of its 2019 Scholarship Program, designed to help ServNet auction employees and their families pursue the dream of higher education. The ServNet Scholarship program assists full-time ServNet auction employees, their children, stepchildren and grandchildren who plan to pursue education in college or vocational school programs.
Up to 10 awards totaling $20,000 are available for aspiring undergraduate students in 2019. The awards will be given in increments of five awards of $2,500 to students attending a four-year college or university, and five awards of $1,500 for students attending a two-year college or are pursuing an auto-related degree at a vocational-technical school.
In his year-end message to the auction industry, Eric Autenrieth, ServNet's President, surveys the group's 30th anniversary year, highlighted by the addition of its 23rd auction location and business solutions that will carry forward into 2019.
Another year draws to a close. As we all pause to take stock of the past 12 months, to straighten our desks in preparation for a break from the flow of traffic through our auction lanes to enjoy the holidays, I look back on a great year in business, topped by 30 years of growth and success among our group of ServNet auctions.
As I reported earlier this year, the market has continued to be interesting, though positive. Tax time took hold early and never really stopped, with the dip we generally expect to see following the arrival of refund checks not really materializing until late in the fall. While dealer inventory was lighter than in years past, our auctions made up for that in institutional business: repossessions, off-lease units and rental returns. Dealers who reported shortages in inventory looked for cars on all platforms, which has resulted in strong pricing and strong conversions.
Along with a dynamic market, customers enjoyed an exceptional customer exeperience at ServNet auctions across the country in 2018.
ServNet wraps up its 30th Anniversary Year with another upswing in growth, adding FastLane Auto Exchange as its 23rd auction location.
"The ServNet auction owners welcome yet another new facility to our ranks," said ServNet President Eric Autenrieth. "Led by owner/operator Greg Price, an industry veteran who comes from second-generation family lineage in the industry, FastLane Auto Exchange is taking the industry by storm, recording exponential growth over the past two years. Greg is a colleague with great experience and talent, and we are pleased to expand ServNet's geographic footprint into the all-important upper Midwest region."
Located just north of Flint Michigan in Mount Morris, FastLane Auto Exchange has been in operation since 1978, and was purchased by a group led by Greg Price in January of 2017. Under Price's leadership, the auction has undergone a staggering transformation, expanding in less than 2 years from an evening sale running 100+ vehicles a week on one lane to a Wednesday afternoon auction featuring 700+ vehicles on 8 lanes.
Chad Bailey, President of Akron Auto Auction, was inaugurated as NAAA President in early November during the 2018 Conference in Arizona. Among the past presidents of the NAAA are several of ServNet's own who have set a precedent for involved, active leadership: Henry Stanley (Carolina and Indiana Auctions), Raymond Nichols (BSC America), and Bob McConkey (the McConkey Auction Group).
As he spends the upcoming year at the helm of the NAAA, he will be joined by a number of ServNet auction owners, who serve in various capacities with the national association to nurture the health and growth of the industry, lending their expertise and voices to establish policy, explore solutions to common challenges, and consider the innovations that will benefit the wholesale buying and selling process.
Bailey heads a family business founded by his grandfather in 1973. Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, he earned a B.S. in Mass Communications at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and went on to received his MBA at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. After college, he returned to Ohio, working for one uncle at the auto auction by day, and for another uncle as a restaurant bartender by night. Out of the blue he received an offer from Hilton Las Vegas to take over its marketing department, an opportunity he declined, realizing that he enjoyed the auction business. It was a decision that fit. He soon became the auction's general manager, then a minority partner, and acquired majority ownership of the company in 2011.
Early in his auction career Bailey saw the benefits of active industry involvement, which helped him gain leadership skills as well as find solutions to challenges he faced in operating his business.
Two ServNet auction owners have been tapped to serve on the group's Board of Directors, announces Eric Autenrieth, ServNet's President. Ryan Clark, Director of Greater Rockford Auto Auction, and Matt Fetter, President of Clark County Auto Auction, were elected to the Board at a recent ServNet Owners' Meeting, held in October in Chicago. The pair replace outgoing Board members Steve DeLuca of Auto Auction of New England and Ashley Dietze of the W. Walker Auction Group, both of whom completed two-year terms.
"We are delighted to announce the addition of Ryan Clark and Matt Fetter to ServNet's Board of Directors and look forward to working with them," said Autenrieth. He explains that the change is part of a planned rotation in governance, with all members of the Board serving regular two-year terms. "By the same token, we are grateful for the contributions made by Ashley Dietze and Steve DeLuca during their tenure and express our appreciation for their hard work on our behalf."
The summer of 2018 saw the return of the industry's most notable mega-sales hosted at ServNet auctions and made a lasting impression on the market, reports ServNet's President Eric Autenrieth. The excitement and activity continues into the fall, as ServNet auctions bring customers together for special events marking special seasonal events, anniversary sales and celebrations of autumn's bounty. Throughout the summer and into the fall, ServNet auctions are building consignments from dealers and national remarketers, positioning their inventory to take advantage of the biggest auction events in the country.
In a mid-year assessment of market conditions, ServNet's President, Eric Aurenrieth, observes a continued healthy market and a sales environment that continues to thrive thanks to the active involvement of ServNet's auction owners in their own businesses and the industry at large.
Reports Autenrieth: "The economy is performing well, and we are seeing higher conversion percentages across the board. In addition, volumes are stable: while dealer inventory is a bit light, we're making up for that in institutional business which is keeping the lanes full of vehicles. Dealers who report that they're short on supply are looking for cars on all platforms, which has resulted in strong pricing and strong conversions."
As leaders of some of the best independent auto auctions in the country, ServNet's auction owners play vital roles in the daily operations and ongoing success of their businesses. With feet on the ground, in the lanes and on the block, they manage operations, set the bar for customer service, and produce results for buyers and sellers across the country. But for many of these owners, their work in the business of vehicle remarketing extends far beyond their own auction arenas. Many give their time and attention to their communities and the industry beyond.
Leading the charge is Chad Bailey, president and third-generation owner of Akron Auto Auction, who is currently President-elect of the National Auto Auction Association. When he takes on the post of NAAA President in the Fall, he joins a distinguished group of industry leaders who have directed the activities of the NAAA.