Find out how you could maximize your ROI working with specialized sales and marketing partners who bring the best of technology, online marketing, and boots on the ground expertise to your IR department.

As the investment recovery sector becomes more complex and sophisticated, so do the means of asset disposition. Oh sure, you might have some dog-eared Rolodex cards sitting on your desk of those local scrappers who would haul away anything. But at what price – and lost revenue opportunities? Today, an IR professional must have the marketing tools and savvy to get top dollar for those idle ‘big ticket’ assets.

Turning big wheel assets into bigger dollar signs

How does surplus sales and marketing relate to your business?  IR folks oversee the whole gamut of end-of-life materials, and it’s amazing the sheer amount of responsibility they oversee. At FLD, we are strictly focused on helping companies dispose of their vehicle and equipment assets. That’s why we are in the surplus sales and marketing in the fleet and equipment niche – assisting IR managers to maximize their revenue on big-ticket items like trucks, passenger vehicles, trailers, forklifts, landscaping equipment, etc.

What is the biggest challenge facing IR managers with their fleet and equipment disposition?

Working for a highly decentralized company – with numerous branches around the country. Here is a very common scenario they share: One branch wants to sell a truck, so they might post it on a site like CraigsList or eBay or do an email blast to a buyers list. Unfortunately, those options don’t allow for the kind of asset information needed to get high offers from prospective buyers.

If I’m in Dallas and want to get rid of a vehicle in Seattle, what’s the solution if my company doesn’t have a dedicated fleet department?

If you can partner with the right company – and there are many that offer the same services as us – the key is to have ‘boots on the ground’ for a full inspection and ideally try to get the vehicle running if it is inoperable. This is the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck. So, if the IR manager is sitting in Dallas and has a vehicle asset in Seattle, your partner company can go there and provide a full inspection with photo documentation and send it back to the IR Manager. From there, he/she can see what they are selling and the condition it’s in. That forms the basis for a profitable and fair market value sale of an asset.

But isn’t a VIN, mileage and some photos enough to get an offer?

The two critical pieces of information that must go into the marketing message are on-site documentation with quality photographs and an inspection report detailing the mechanical condition. Without them, it’s like buying a house just by looking at the outside.

What are the most common FAQs from IR Managers?

“How did we come up with that price?” We subscribe to several different valuation tools that provide daily reporting of vehicle sales nationwide. Those resale values will fluctuate depending on where those vehicles are in the country as the weather in the Northeast takes its toll on a truck versus one in Arizona. We also have our own internal sales data, as we purchase several thousand vehicles annually. “How are you different from an auction house?” The biggest difference is that we’re taking all the risk as we are the direct buyer.  If we buy a truck from you for $5,000 dollars and end up selling it for $2,000 – we lose. Your risk is that if you go with an auction, there’s risk a vehicle could be sold far below market value or it could take several months to sell.

What are some common mistakes IR managers make?

Not acquiring quality photo documentation and mechanical condition of the assets. Buyers will always pay more if they know exactly what they are buying. Failing to complete the required paperwork and documentation with the respective state DMV’s once sold to release all liability. Not removing company logos or branding from a vehicle. For example, a company never took their logos off their truck prior to it being released to the buyer after it was sold. A year later it was on the front cover of the NY Post being used by a terrorist group in the middle east complete with masked gunmen—with their company name in full view.  Make sure logos are removed prior to the release to the buyer or incorporate the logo removal into your sale agreement.

Are there any innovations or best practices in your area? To solve some of the issues already discussed, we have developed a mobile app that other companies like ours already have or will soon be offering that allows anyone in the field to collect the critical data points that both sellers and buyers need when an asset is up for disposition. The app ensures that quality information with photographs is collected which leads to a higher return on those assets as ultimately the buyer is always going to pay more if they know exactly what’s inside the house.

   

Harnessing your data power in surplus sales and marketing

Hmmm…a data service for surplus sales & marketing for IR – what is it?

In a nutshell, we answer the question “How do both corporate and dealer IR folks use data processing to control their operations, save on costs and do web-based marketing?” A company such as ours provides data service to IR professionals to help them leverage their data processing for optimizing and integrating their operations. This would include inventory management, sales promotion, and internal redeployment to cut costs and increase revenue. As a web services provider to many different companies,  a specialized data service provider can deliver technologies that wouldn’t make sense financially for in-house programming staffs or vendors of packaged software. We handle a company’s IR data processing on our servers in the cloud, allowing them to inventory, redeploy to one site and then broadcast an email promotion for their surplus assets.

How is a data service provider different from a web-based broker, auctioneer or reseller?

They work on a commission-based system and are great channels for traditional asset disposition. We’re a SaaS (software as a service) option preferred by larger because they can streamline their asset disposition both internally and externally under their own names in a cost-saving, profit gaining solution.

Explain the differences between internal and external marketing

Surplus sales and marketing really ought to be directed at two very different markets—internal and external—especially for larger organizations.  Savvy IR managers know that before you sell something on the outside, you really should be marketing it to the inside. And that makes perfect business sense because a redeployed asset can displace capital expenditures for new equipment—pure and simple.

How can you support that two-pronged marketing of idle assets?

In order to support two types of marketing efficiently and effectively, the ‘what’ to be marketed and the ‘how’ it is promoted should be handled in one place—in one data processing system. This is where IR in lose time and money —the “what and the “how” come from different sources to market to different markets. For example, some companies email spreadsheets from one location to all other locations of the assets for sell. They manage those spreadsheets in a completely different way from how they use a website to market to external buyers. And that’s duplicate work. What’s more, spreadsheets don’t allow you to insert pictures and specs buyers need to make an informed decision.  So, an effective surplus sales and marketing strategy should capture valuable buyer-centric info in one place and then use it through key channels.

Can’t ERP systems be leveraged for internal redeployment?

Many companies try to do marketing with information from their ERP systems like SAP. Those systems are really focused on accounting for the value and location of the equipment, but they don’t contain marketing content the buyer needs.

What FAQs do you hear from IR managers?

“What is the reliability and security associated with having data processing support from a remote location?” Always verify that your technology partners only use hosting companies with extremely secure physical facilities and high-reliability network maintenance. Also, who are their clients? That’s a big clue as to who you can trust.

What are the different ways a data service can help an IR Manager market?”

One big way is through very sophisticated list management and broadcast email capacity that can reap multiple benefits. For example, it can automatically grow prospect lists based on income and past inquiries without any effort needed to add names to those lists.

And another big advantage is the ability to promote new items, price reductions or asset categories with just a few clicks.

What kinds of assets are best suited to an integrated data system?

Asset ‘suitability’ is the wrong question. Asset ‘findability’ is absolutely critical. Anything you want to market in today’s world—must be described on-demand on the web…and findable on the web. Many companies have fairly primitive websites for their IR units, fed with non-marketing or ERP data. They depend on a small group of buyers who know them and will visit their website. This is not ideal for growing any business. Without SEO (search engine optimized) content, their hope of bringing in outside traffic is non-existent. That’s why a data service partner can provide no-cost multiple public exposures on the web for our clients’ assets to be sold.

What are some key takeaways about your area of surplus sales and marketing expertise?

• The need for internal re-deployment promotion as well as external promotion

• The need to have an integrated process including data processing systems for both internal and external promotion

• The strategy of making it cheap, easy and fast—for broadcast email and promotions

• The approach of multiple exposures on the web to funnel traffic