Ritchie Bros. enables data-driven management of used equipment
Ritchie Bros. RB Asset Solutions combines inventory management, data analytics, marketing tools and sales channels to provide end-to-end management and disposition of assets.
When new technologies, features or regulations are introduced, construction equipment owners tend to upgrade their machines. This trend is synonymous with global industry exhibitions such as bauma where manufacturers create interest and new markets for their latest products. While asset acquisition is the main purpose of visiting expos like bauma, a large number of buyers also seek asset management solutions for their existing inventory and markets to sell their old equipment.
It’s this need that drives equipment owners to companies such as Ritchie Bros., which offers end-to-end solutions for buying and selling used heavy equipment, trucks and other assets.
Karl Werner, president-international, Ritchie Bros., says: “With every investment in new machines, there’s an inventory of used machines waiting to be disposed. The same customer base that invests in new equipment also seeks new ways to manage their assets better and new channels to market and sell their used equipment.”
Karl Werner, president-international, Ritchie Bros.
At bauma 2019, Ritchie Bros. showcased its RB Asset Solutions, a cloud-based SaaS system to help customers manage, analyze, and sell their assets. This end-to-end asset management and disposition system combines the best tools and services from other Ritchie Bros. brands such as Mascus and IronPlanet that have been offering SaaS solutions, with close to 100 inventory management systems and 800+ branded e-commerce sites already developed for customers.
“RB Asset Solutions is designed to make asset management and disposition more efficient and data-driven than ever before. Its many tools and data analytics features help customers better understand the value of their equipment and when is the best time to sell,” says Werner.
RB Asset Solutions offers the following modules individually or as a bundled solution. Users get access to an inventory management system, data analytics and dashboards, branded e-commerce sites, and multiple external sales channels via any internet-enabled device.
Inventory management system: at the core of RB Asset Solutions is its cloud-based inventory management system, which helps users centralize and manage inventory from a single, configurable dashboard. The system provides a real-time overview of all assets, including equipment status and availability. It also enables users to create workflows to manage how assets move from one channel to another, trade assets within their network and create a community for their various dealers or branches.
Branded webshop: users can offer a selection of used equipment to buyers through a customized, fully-branded and mobile-friendly e-commerce website or webshop. Features of the webshop include support for up to 38 languages; automatic data feed from the inventory management system; payment, invoicing and shipping management; and real-time analytics and reporting. The e-commerce site can be limited to an in-house network for dealerships, or can be published externally for anyone to see.
Data insights: this module helps users make data-driven decisions by understanding the state of the market and buyer and seller trends through access to Ritchie Bros.’ global database of transactions, asset price performance and its correlation with economic cycles, price indexes, asset valuation and depreciation curves.
Inspections: users can inspect equipment and upload photos and information to the inventory management system through a mobile app or hire Ritchie Bros.’ Asset Appraisals team to do a complete inspection of their assets.
Multiple sales channels: with the click of a button, users can cascade assets to one or more disposition channels, including their branded webshop; Mascus’ global online equipment listing service; Marketplace-E’s global online equipment marketplace; IronPlanet’s weekly online auctions; and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers’ live onsite auctions with online bidding.
Marketing tools: users can market their webshops by creating Facebook pages, branded catalogues and brochures, and email campaigns.
The modules in RB Asset Solutions can be integrated with multiple ERP systems, and the pricing of the SaaS system varies according to the number of modules installed.
Since its launch in 2018, RB Asset Solutions has been adopted by OEMs such as Caterpillar, Volvo Construction Equipment, Toyota and Shell for the management and disposition of their new and used equipment. Caterpillar is one of the biggest customers of RB Asset Solutions. In 2017, Ritchie Bros. entered into a strategic alliance with Caterpillar to become Caterpillar’s preferred global partner for live onsite and online auctions for used Cat equipment. Ritchie Bros. provides Caterpillar and its dealers with access to proprietary auction platforms, software and other value-added services to enhance the exchange of information and services between Cat’s customers, dealers and suppliers.
“The biggest customers of RB Asset Solutions are OEMs, dealers and large fleet owners that benefit from the ease of listing their machines and managing their inventory at the click of a button. A major benefit of this platform for large fleets, especially global fleets, is redeployment of their assets,” says Werner.
“For example, a global supplier of equipment that has completed a project in Africa could find another market for its freed-up or surplus assets, immediately. The company could list its available machines on the RB Asset’s inventory management system and notify its other global divisions.This internal visibility and redeployment of assets could be beneficial to a project in Asia that requires additional machines. Therefore, the system facilitates the redeployment of assets from Africa to Asia through an internal procurement. The company could also run private auctions internally among its various global divisions,” explains Werner.
Werner points out that RB Asset Solutions is more relevant than ever considering that several markets are introducing regulations for non-road equipment to comply with EPA Tier 3 and Tier 4 standards.
“The introduction of emission regulations and fuel compatibility challenges have constrained the movement of used equipment in many markets worldwide. For example, Tier 4 standards being introduced in markets are limiting the export of machines from the GCC. Simultaneously, the recent construction slowdown in China has increased the supply of used equipment from the country. These trends indicate that customers will need new avenues and efficient ways to remarket and dispose their assets,” says Werner.
According to Werner, RB Asset Solutions is built for the future requirements of the used equipment industry, which will depend increasingly on data-driven decision-making.
“RB Asset Solutions is scalable to any level according to the needs of customers. We’ve integrated all our products and services on a single platform to offer customers the ability to sell on multiple channels, data of all past transactions, inspections, asset appraisals, redeployment, as well as financing. This bundled offering positions Ritchie Bros. as a trusted advisor not only during a live auction but throughout the entire disposition process. This is the future of our business,” he says.