ServNet Marks 30th Anniversary Year ServNet celebrates a collective milestone in 2018 -- 30 years as the industry's "premier network of independent auto auctions cooperating together to strengthen and build relationships." What began as small group of independent auction owners wanting to share marketing strategies has undergone tremendous growth and change over three decades, evolving into a major force in the remarketing industry, setting the standard for service, efficiency and innovation in the auction selling environment.
ServNet was conceived in 1988, when eight independent auction owners developed the idea for forming a cooperative marketing network while participating in a Performance Group sponsored by the National Auto Auction Association. They talked of forming an alliance to share ideas and to promote their auctions on a national level.
"We discussed the advantages of working together with other independent auctions which shared the same philosophy and offered the same level of service," remembers Jeff Barber, owner of State Line Auto Auction in Waverly, New York and one of ServNet's founding members. "We talked about pooling our resources and promoting ourselves collectively, and in 1988 ServNet was born."
Pierre Pons, ServNet's CEO, recalls the mood of the industry when ServNet was created in 1988. "I clearly remember independent auction owners voicing their concerns that the corporate auction chains would take a commanding position with institutional accounts by virtue of their ability to support national sales and marketing campaigns. ServNet provided the first viable response by the independent auction community to fight the chains on their own turf."
ServNet Launched with Emphasis on Personal Service
At its beginning in 1988, ServNet included eight auctions, all independent members of the NAAA Performance Group where the discussions had started. Today, ServNet includes 22 auctions, and carries its message into the offices of virtually every manufacturer, fleet manager and institutional consignor in the country.
"Our initial aim was to increase the visibility of our independent auctions and to stress the advantages of the personal service we offer," explains Barber. "We have come a long way since then, as we have responded to the rapidly changing requirements of our industry, and I can honestly say that the advantages of participating in ServNet are more valuable now than ever before."
Group Emphasizes Best Practices
Over the course of three decades, ServNet has evolved in both scope and breadth, establishing itself as a network of the nation's top auctions, setting standards for best practices, building effective partnerships with auction customers, and facilitating a level of communication that benefits both the member auctions and consignors from coast to coast.
"The ServNet name is recognized by the remarketing community as representing the best of the best among independent auctions," remarks Bruce Beam, General Manager of Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City and ServNet's Vice President. "Our participation in ServNet provides me with the opportunity to learn processes and operational standards from the best operators in the business, bar none!"
Kevin Brown, General Manager of Missouri Auto Auction and ServNet's Chairman of the Board agrees. "Our affiliation with ServNet allows our auction more exposure to the national accounts because they know that our standards and expectations are so high," says Brown. "I derive an immeasurable benefit from being surrounded by the best owners in the industry. It is a group that includes people like Bob McConkey, Henry and Patty Stanley, and Jeff Barber who have a passion for the work, knowledge that's unmatched, and a lifelong commitment to their businesses and the industry."
Cutting-Edge Technology Marks ServNet's Growth
At the urging of the group's owners, ServNet has been on the cutting edge of some of the industry's most progressive technology. ServNet's initiatives fueled the development of AutoIMS (in partnership with ADESA, ADT, Manheim and the independent auctions), pioneered internet-based auction selling and developed AuctionPipeline, known today as AuctionEDGE, a powerful internet tool through which auction customers are able to source inventory, collect real-time market data and transact business online at any of the participating auctions.
"ServNet Auctions represent some of the very best auto auctions serving the vehicle remarketing industry today," observes Eric Autenrieth, President of ServNet and co-owner of the Carolina and Indiana Auto Auctions. "Over the course of thirty years, the ServNet auctions have shown a progressive spirit when it comes to innovative ideas and practices. With locations from coast to coast, active and involved owners, and progressive technology, ServNet Auctions provide both auto dealers and institutional accounts with a complete remarketing platform."
ServNet Faces Future with Energy and Commitment
As ServNet looks toward the future, it draws on the lessons learned and the expertise demonstrated by its founding members over three decades which have been marked by growth and challenge and change in the auction industry. Those lessons are being passed along to ServNet's next generation of auction owners who are building on the legacy established by ServNet's founders. The next generation of ServNet auction owners are as committed and as innovative as their predecessors, and their dedication to their businesses and ServNet will ensure the vitality, longevity and strength of ServNet in the years ahead.
"It is often said that life is a race," says Autenrieth, who has followed his parents Henry and Patty Stanley into the auction business. "Some people are sprinters; some are in it for the long haul like marathon runners. But as a ServNet auction owner, I look at life in this business as a relay, with traditions, experiences and knowledge being passed from one generation to the next. That kind of process is at the heart of the many multi-generational auctions that are part of ServNet, and will play an important role in shaping ServNet's continued success."
The 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, Tennessee.