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."
Eric Autenrieth, ServNet's President has experienced the vitality of the independent culture first-hand. He was trained in the auction business by his parents, Henry and Patty Stanley who founded Carolina Auto Auction and subsequently purchased Indiana Auction. Today he owns and operates both facilities in partnership with his parents.
"It's often said that life is a race," says Autenrieth. "Some people are sprinters; some are in it for the long haul like marathon runners. But 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 important in any family-owned business, and is at the heart of the many multi-generational auctions that are part of ServNet."
During his tenure as ServNet's CEO, Pons has seen the "relay" strategy in progress and observed the excellent results the ServNet auctions have achieved from methodically evolving the business from one generation to the next.
"ServNet owners understand that today's decisions impact their businesses for many years to come, well into the next generation of auction operators. That focus not only breeds a strong work ethic and culture, but it brings fluid consistency to operations and practices. Unlike our chain auction counterparts who experience a disruption every time auction management changes, ServNet's family-owned facilities stay on a steady flight path, maintaining time-honored values of commitment to the customer and dedication to superior service, while remaining nimble, with the ability to anticipate, react and respond to the demands of a changing industry and a customer's individual requirements."
Ryan Clark, a third-generation owner of Greater Rockford Auto Auction, agrees that the entrepreneurial nature of the family-owned auction and their strong connections to their customers lie at the core of ServNet's continued success.
"As independent, family business owners, we're able to respond quickly to changes and challenges in the market," says Clark. "Decision-making is consistent and quick because we don't have multiple layers of management to go through for approval. But even more importantly, because of our longevity and experience, we know what to do to get something done. We have a good feel for the right decision and can act quickly to implement it."
"Another important thing that sets us apart is that not only do our own families in the business go back generations, but many of our customers are multi-generational as well," Clark continues. "There's a history with our customers that's meaningful. Dealers who knew my grandfather have been coming to our auction for 45 years, and the next generation in their families now come to the auction as well. There's a shared experienced that is part of our culture. There's no substitute for that kind of history. For us, our customers are not just a commodity. We really do know the people we serve, and that culture runs deep at ServNet auctions all over the country."
Pons explains that dealers and commercial accounts alike know what to expect from ServNet auctions, which are not bound by unrealistic budget expectations or other businesses weighing down core auction operations.
"When I speak with ServNet owners, I never hear, It's not in the budget, or We're on travel restrictions this quarter," says Pons. "ServNet auctions prioritize people over profits, and I believe it's this focus on the day-to-day auction business and customer relationships that put ServNet auctions consistently at the top of industry awards and recognitions from year to year. ServNet owners are a group of experienced, dedicated, can-do auction operators who go to great lengths to serve their customers. That dedication and commitment has characterized ServNet auctions since the group was founded and continues to mark them as the best auctions in the country."