The auctioneer’s acquisition of IronPlanet has opened doors to more data and more options for its customer base

Ritchie Bros.’ acquisition of IronPlanet has allowed the auction company to ensure its customers are better informed, as equipment buyers’ and sellers’ needs continue to evolve.

On May 31, Ritchie Bros. finalized the acquisition of IronPlanet, an online auctioneer, after announcing the deal the previous summer. Alongside expanding Ritchie Bros. online market reach, the acquisition has also armed the company with new data streams for its consumer base and a world-class equipment inspection service.

“Customers big and small rely a lot more on data to make business decisions and decisions around fleet management and equipment repositioning and dispositioning,” said Brian Glenn, senior vice president of Ritchie Bros. “We’re better armed with a bigger array of data to make better decisions, and at the same time, provide a better window for our customers, based on what we’re seeing in different markets.”

IronPlanet’s data collection abilities highlight pricing trends, equipment population based on location and market changing events.

“We’re better prepared today to use data to help and determine the best solutions for our customers,” Glenn said. “Equipment is mobile, there’s many instances where customers in Canada or the United States have shopped around the world and brought equipment home, or vice versa.”

Ritchie Bros.’ Marketplace E

Later this year, Ritchie Bros. will combine its online EquipmentOne brand with the IronPlanet DailyMarketplace. The merged platform will create a harmonized brand called Marketplace E, providing sellers increased control over the selling price and process. With the new marketplace, sellers will have the choice of selling their assets at a fixed price, negotiating offers, or setting a minimum starting price.

Mascus, Kruse Energy and GovPlanet will continue to remain as standalone businesses with dedicated sales teams, as they serve specialized customer segments.

“IronPlanet had established itself as one of the main disposal channels for the US government and agencies, whether military or state and federal,” Glenn said. “The ease of access and self-service model is appealing to many of those large entities.”          

One-stop shop

Since announcing the acquisition in August 2016, the two companies have worked behind the scenes on integration planning.

“We got to work with them directly on some of the pre-planning. It was encouraging to see, that despite their online presence versus our bricks and mortar approach, the mindset of serving customers was the same,” Glenn said. 

Branded as Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and IronPlanet, the company’s sales force now offers both approaches to equipment auctions, creating a one-stop, multi-channel experience.

“Our salesforce is on the ground across the globe selling both solutions, so essentially acting as advisors, your one salesperson,” Glenn said. “They meet with a customer to determine what their needs are and provide them with what we believe is the best solution.”

While the Ritchie Bros.’ brick and mortar auction model is favourable to many industrial-based companies, IronPlanet is opening new doors to equipment sellers that prefer an online stage for their surplus items. For example, Glenn said the online auction may be more favourable to an equipment owner in a remote location.

“With a channel like IronPlanet, every day is a selling day. Every day there are people around the world looking to buy equipment,” he said. “It has opened new doors for Ritchie Bros. and legacy IronPlanet customers.”