Chad Bailey Inaugurated as NAAA President
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.
Bob McConkey Inducted into NAAA Hall of Fame
Bob McConkey has become the newest member of the National Auto Auction Association Hall of Fame. The president and chief executive officer of the McConkey Auction Group and Auction Edge board chairman was inducted at NAAA's 70th annual convention in Scottsdale, Arizona. Past NAAA President, former ServNet auction owner and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Dave Angelicchio made the presentation.
NAAA has given the honor each year since 1968, recognizing individuals whose long-term service to the auto auction industry and NAAA has contributed improvements to remarketing as a whole, have worked with the trade organization to benefit its members and have consistently followed the high standards of the association's Code of Ethics. Also named to this year's NAAA Hall of Fame was Tom Cross, who has enjoyed a long and supportive relationship with McConkey and ServNet during a 33-year career dedicated to the automotive profession. McConkey acknowledged Cross's many years of service to the industry, noting his contributions as an innovator in transportation media that includes the past decade as president of Black Book.
McConkey, who grew up in the wholesale auto auction business, received the honor for his leadership roles in the industry as ServNet's chairman of the board and Western Auto Auction Association president, along with his many years of service on NAAA's board of directors and various committees. He served as NAAA president in 2009, during which time he championed the Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR), and the establishment of a universal Electronic Condition Report, national Arbitration Policy, and Wholesale Certification Program.
Today McConkey oversees auto auctions in Spokane, Kansas City and Seattle with combined auction sales of more than 100,000 units annually, and leads the executive team in the development of relevant future strategies. Regularly calling bids on the block, McConkey is considered to be one of the finest auctioneers of autos in the West.
McConkey began his remarketing career at South Seattle Auto Auction, co-founded in 1954 by his father Robert McConkey, Sr.. He learned how to drive at age nine and spent his summer vacations doing everything around the lot until heading off to Washington State University. Shortly after beginning his freshman year in the fall of 1980, McConkey's father and older brother needed him to leave the university and return home to help run the auction, which had fallen on hard times during the recession. Five years later the family sold the now revitalized business to General Electric Capital, the first auto auction acquired by that firm. GE retained McConkey, relocating the 25-year-old and his newlywed wife, Sandy, to Los Angeles where he was to be the general manager of Southern California Auto Auction. Within three years under McConkey's management, SCAA had doubled its size, becoming the world's largest volume auto auction, selling 108,000 units in 1988.
In 1992 McConkey and Greg Mahugh, McConkey's friend, work colleague and former middle school math tutor, moved their families north and founded Dealers Auto Auction of Spokane. Within four years the five-acre, two-lane auction in eastern Washington State had grown tremendously and relocated to a newly constructed facility. Its grand opening celebration included a concert featuring the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis and launched an annual affair that has become the auction's signature Rock & Roll Sale, one of the industry's leading promotional events.
Expanding from five lanes to eight and adding wholesale detail, mechanical, auto body and paint shops on site, the auction was rebranded as DAA Northwest to more accurately represent its extended geographic market. Motorsports and RV sales were later included.
McConkey continued to develop and innovate, utilizing digital to increase his customer base, pioneering the post-sale inspection process, and being one of the first auctions to provide condition reports. In 2006 DAA Northwest formed a strategic partnership with Idaho Auto Auction and Brasher's Auto Auctions that gave birth to what is now Auction Edge, a leading provider of auction management systems and online marketplaces for independent auctions.
In 2008 McConkey became a co-owner of Kansas City Independent Auto Auction and El Paso Independent Auto Auction in 2011 (which was sold in 2016). In 2013, he and Mahugh founded another auction location in the Pacific Northwest: DAA Seattle. These auctions now comprise The McConkey Group along with its flagship auction DAA Northwest, which today occupies 90 acres and averages weekly sales of 1,700 units.
State Line Auto Auction Recognizes 20-Year Employee
Friday, November 2nd marked another personal milestone for a member of the team at State Line Auto Auction. On that day, Scott Bostwick was honored as the auction celebrated his twentieth anniversary as a State Line Employee. Prior to the auction, Scott received his brass ship's clock which is traditionally presented to State Line's Twenty Year Club members. Noteworthy is the fact that Scott started in 1998 as a reconditioning technician, and he still performs very admirably in that position today.
Jeff Barber, State Line's President, remarked: "In the many years we have been honoring twenty-year employees, Scott Bostwick stands out as reaching this milestone entirely as a reconditioning technician. Our reconditioning department is made up entirely of State Line employees, and I am confident in saying that our recon people have more experience in this vital department than those at any other auction of which I am aware."
Barber continues: "State Line is the exception, rather than the rule, in that we have never sub-contracted our reconditioning. It is because of the dedication of Scott and his team that we are able to perform this critical task with our own employees. Our family feels that the advantages we gain by utilizing our own employees are immeasurable. We look at our auction as a manufacturing facility, and what we manufacture is clean cars. One thing we know for certain: If we need someone to perform an important task, and have it done correctly, we can always go to the recon shop and get it handled."
To put Scott's career in perspective, Barber calculates the number of vehicles he has helped to process during his tenure with the auction. State Line operates in an assembly line fashion, with five lanes processing vehicles on the daytime shift. In round numbers, one hundred clean cars are manufactured each day, at approximately twenty per line. Reconditioning technicians all perform other non-recon tasks on Friday, which is sale day. Therefore, Scott has been involved in the cleaning of 80 cars per week (four days) which amounts to 4,000 vehicles per year (fifty weeks). Twenty years at 4,000 cars per year means that Scott has been directly responsible for the cleaning of at least 80,000 vehicles! As mentioned, Scott has performed other important tasks on sale day, currently serving as a lane captain. It is this versatility that allows State Line to operate at the high level of service for which it is known.
Barber continues: "Scott is the most senior member of our reconditioning team, but we have many others in that department with many years of service. Our family is extremely proud of the work they accomplish. We were voted BEST RECON DEPARTMENT in an unsolicited nationwide survey a couple years ago, and our customers consistently compliment us on our finished product. It is very hard work and we have the utmost respect for Scott as we congratulate him on this important 20-year milestone."
Louisiana's 1st Choice Auto Auction: A Driving Force in the Community
For the 9th year in a row, Louisiana's 1st Choice Auto Auction partnered with customers and vendors to host another successful charity golf tournament. This year, the venue of the long time tournament was changed to Oak Knoll Country Club in Hammond, Louisiana. The auction made this change to heavily involve the local Hammond community. For the first time all three beneficiaries of the tournament were based in Hammond.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center of Hammond, Options Inc., and Child Advocacy Services were the recipients of the fund-raising effort. Fifty two golfers teed off at 10:00am on Friday, October 26, 2018, in perfect fall weather. The tournament raised $24,000 that will be split between these three worthy causes.
Auction owner John Poteet was thrilled at the overwhelming success of this year's tournament.
"The real reward is in knowing that our approach to business rings true to so many customers, employees, ven-dors and our peers," said Poteet. "Customers want to do business with us because of who we are. Employees want to work with us because we recognize that outstanding service truly does begin with outstanding people. Vendors appreciate us because we pay on time and try to include them in our processes. Finally, our peers recognize us because we are great examples to the industry of a quality driven, community centered, and successful business".
Poteet thanked all the event sponsors and participants, particularly, First Tennessee Bank, which has been the corporate sponsor for the past two golf tournaments and they have increased its sponsorship for 2019.
Lauren Reynolds, Community Outreach Director for Child Advocacy Services states, "Child Advocacy Services is proud to be chosen as a beneficiary for Louisiana's 1st Choice Auto Auction's annual charity golf tour-nament this year. The tournament was a great success and we truly appreciated having the opportunity to share our work and mission, to give voice, healing, and security to children with the many people that were in attend-ance. Thank you to the Louisiana's 1st Choice Auto Auction family for the generosity and support we've been shown over the years."
Options Inc.'s mission has stayed the same since 1973 "helping people with disabilities live and work in the community." Louisiana's 1st Choice Auto Auction is committed to helping them further their mission.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center of Hammond is easing the burden of treatment for patients in the local area.
Auction Marketing Coordinator, Rachael Younger says, "Our goal is to help our community thrive in every way possible." She notes that since its opening, the auction has raised and donated almost $640,000 to various chari-table organizations.
Akron Auto Auction Spreads Awareness in October
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and, for the fourth consecutive year, Akron Auto Auction took part in raising awareness and funds to help fight back against the disease.
Customers and employees joined together in the efforts by wearing pink clothing in the lanes and making donations during each sale of the month. Dealers made flat donations, or they request a percentage donation of all vehicles they bought or sold. T-shirts and other merchandise sporting an Akron Auto Auction Breast Cancer Awareness logo were also made available for purchase during the month.
Dealers also participated donating entire vehicles to run in the October 23rd Breast Cancer Awareness Sale. One hundred percent of those vehicles' purchase prices was donated to the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio.
"Everyone knows at least one person who is affected by this form of cancer," said Kalee Robinson, Akron Auto Auction's Registration Manager. "Hopefully, efforts such as this can offer help and support to not only the patients, but to the affected families as well."
"We want to thank our dealers for joining us in this effort to spread awareness again this year," continued Robinson. "Each donation will make a difference and provide hope towards finding a cure."
Akron A/A was able to reach its 2018 fundraising goal by raising over $7,000, which will go towards cancer research and providing critical services to women and men in need, including transportation, housing, and emergency assistance.
Greater Rockford Auto Auction Expands Mechanical Facility
The Greater Rockford Auto Auction (GRAA) announces the expansion and upgrade of its onsite mechanical facility. The facility has been upgraded to a 5,600 square foot building to help better serve all of its customers. The new facility features four new lifts and will allow for more mechanical repairs and inspections to be made before and after the sale.
"We are proud to announce the expansion of our mechanical facility as we continue to enhance the level of service for our customers. Reconditioning and mechanical improvements in a timely and efficient manner are important to all of our customers and our enhanced mechanical building supports our efforts to provide the highest possible level of service to our customers," stated Chad Anderson, General Manager for the Greater Rockford Auto Auction.
McConkey Auctions on Track with Cognosos RadioTrax™
The McConkey Auction Group's (MAG's) Spokane, Kansas City and Seattle auctions are utilizing Cognosos' vehicle tracking software to improve customer service while increasing operational efficiency.
"DAA Northwest led the group, installing the Cognosos RadioTrax™ at its 90-acre Spokane, Washington campus last July. Prior to the installation, auction staff and dealers alike occasionally spent hours searching for vehicles that had been test-driven and not returned to their allocated spots. With RadioTrax, we locate vehicles in seconds," says David Pendergraft, General Manager.
"We did a soft launch of the app in conjunction with our 5,000-unit Rock & Roll Sale last summer. Both dealers and employees were immediately amazed by the time it saved them," he adds.
DAA Northwest has experienced increased efficiency throughout its auction operations due to the Cognosos solution. "It was surprising to see the impact it had across all departments. Not only outside operations, but also fleet and dealer sales, arbitration and management," says Pendergraft. RadioTrax has enabled MAG's dealers to inspect more vehicles, and has also allowed transport companies to pull and remove vehicles more quickly, leading to faster dealership deliveries.
Kansas City and Seattle General Managers Doug Doll and Dave Blake echo Pendergraft's comments. Blake notes that "RadioTrax gives us the chance to deliver radical customer service to our dealers, corporate accounts, vendors and staff."
Both KCI and DAA Seattle recently added acres of paved consignment parking, so integrating RadioTrax at all three MAG locations was a logical next step. Incorporating the game-changing tool was seamless. Cognosos technical support staff was on-site before, during and after the app went live at each McConkey Auction Group location.
"There were no disturbances -- only improvements to the auctions' service levels," says McConkey Auction Group President & CEO Bob McConkey.
"MAG has been a great partner throughout this process," adds Steve Robb, CEO of Cognosos. He included, "We have enjoyed and appreciated working with an organization that is willing to apply innovative technology."
Cognosos' free RadioTrax app is available for Android devices at GooglePlay and for iOS devices in the Apple App Store.
Bel Air Auto Auction's Clayton Station Facility Recognized by Enterprise
Bel Air Auto Auction's Clayton Station Facility has announced that it has received an Auction Achievement Award from Enterprise Holdings. Cited by Enterprise for "strategic, collaboration, operational success and exceptional service", Clayton Station hosted representatives from Enterprise who attended the sale on October 25th to make the award presentation.
"It is with great appreciation that we accept this award from Enterprise," said Tommy Rogers, general manager of the Clayton Station facility. "This award not only recognizes the sales success achieved by Enterprise at our auction, but also acknowledges the contributions made by every member of our auction team. It is their consistent attention to detail and dedication to service that distinguishes us as an award-winning facility, and we're thrilled to receive this award from Enterprise."
Rogers notes that Clayton Station has been handling scratch and dental rental units and inop units for Enterprise Holdings since 2008, with volumes steadily increasing year to year. Currently Clayton Station handles approximately 3,000 vehicles annually for Enterprise.
Clayton Station is located in Edgewood, Maryland, and sells Run & Drive/Scratch & Dent rental vehicles, inop and salvage dealer and fleet units, and donations each Thursday morning. The Clayton Station Auction Center is also home to BSC America's Specialty Division, which includes Power Sports, Boats and RV's, and monthly Truck & Equipment Auctions. Clayton Station's 5,000-plus square-foot auction arena features state-of-the art blocks and accommodates theater-like seating for customers as they bid on vehicles. Located at 1300 Business Center Way in Edgewood, Maryland, Clayton Station is just a few miles away from Bel Air Auto Auction's main auction campus and includes more than 15 acres for storage.