ServNet auctions continue their tradition of superior performance, receiving accolades from the remarketing community for exemplary service and industry leadership. In assessing auction results for 2018, national remarketers have recognized ServNet auctions in both national and regional standings, with scores based on operations, customer service and retentions.
ServNet Auctions have joined with remarketing partner Flexco Fleet Services in support of The Hourglass Foundation. ServNet's President Eric Autenrieth explains that the group's efforts will center on raising funds for the foundation's scholarship program, which benefits students pursuing their education in mechanical fields at community colleges and technical schools.
Autenrieth reports that ServNet's participation will be two-fold. ServNet auction locations across the U.S. will make cash donations to the scholarship program for every Flexco vehicle sold at auction. In addition, representatives from the local auctions will reach out to area high schools, two-year colleges and trade schools in their communities to make students aware of the scholarship program along with opportunities for workplace experience at the auction.
ServNet has announced the 2019 recipients of the group's scholarship program during its Spring Owners' Meeting, held in April. Now in its fourth year, the scholarship program was established in 2016 as an ongoing initiative 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.
"As the leaders of of family-owned businesses ourselves, we ServNet owners take a deep personal interest in our employees," explained Ryan Clark, owner of Greater Rockford Auto Auction and a member of ServNet's Board of Directors, overseeing the Scholarship Program. "ServNet's scholarship program is a great way for us to encourage the members of our auction families and to help lay the groundwork for the next generation that follows."
Ryan reports that the group awarded a total of $18,000 in scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year. The awards will be given in increments of six awards of $2,500 to students attending a four-year college or university, and two awards of $1,500 for students attending a two-year college.
Thousands of auto dealers all over the country attend ServNet auctions each week to buy the best inventory available in the wholesale marketplace. Having established strong relationships with their local ServNet auctions that go back years, even generations, franchise and independent auto dealers rely on the personal attention and superior services that have made ServNet auctions consistent leaders in the marketplace.
In today's remarketing world, however, dealers are looking farther afield for the right vehicles to buy, making use of the many digital tools available to them to search for and purchase inventory from areas far beyond their geographic base. The number of vehicles selling online continues to grow at a rapid pace, with some in the industry projecting that upwards of 50% of vehicles at auction will sell in a digital environment in the near future. As dealers add online buying to their arsenal of purchasing tools, they are realizing more than ever before the benefits of doing business with ServNet auctions.
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.