Debbie Fox, commercial director, epyx.
The last year has probably been the most fast-changing and challenging time that any of us have lived through – a fact that seems to have been doubly true in the remarketing sector.
In a matter of months, dealers have been forced to close, allowed to open, permitted to trade online-only; auction halls have shut; vehicle logistics became very difficult thanks to the potential for infection; sales have gone through periods of boom and bust; values have risen dramatically and then reduced a little; and much more. There has simply been a lot going on and emerging from this tumult into the new normal, we find a remarketing landscape that is much changed.
Among all of these many developments, probably the single most noticeable is a marked acceleration in use of technology, affecting not just dealers but almost everyone else in the supply chain, partially as a result of necessity through the pandemic but also in recognition that this was a moment when we perhaps seem to reached some kind of digital tipping point within remarketing. A colleague recently observed to me that online remarketing had advanced five years in the last 12 months.
For epyx, as the operators of 1link Disposal Network, it is this drive towards digitisation that has been the most interesting trend. In addition to our long-established customer base, we have seen a marked increase in the number of leasing companies and motor manufacturers using us to vend stock – including some of the UK’s biggest fleets – while the number and size of traders using us to acquire it has also risen noticeably at franchise, supermarket and independent level. We have posted sales months that are very close to record levels.
A key element of this growth is the flexibility of the platform. Throughout a 20 year history, it has been designed around the core value of providing users with complete control over their remarketing, no matter what channels they use. For us, in 2021 and beyond, this agnosticism is, we believe, more important than ever. No-one really knows where the market will head but 1link Disposal Network will enable vendors to have the ability to go wherever they need.
On one level, this adaptability could mean making a choice between traditional auctions and digital but, with the developments we have seen in the latter, also switching between myriad different online sales options with just a few clicks in a matter of moments. As you would expect, all of this is supported by account management that provides meaningful, effective and timely advice.
At a time when it is probable that identifying the right sales options will mean genuine differences to the residual values achieved, the approach embodied by 1link Disposal Network can have a real impact on overall corporate profitability. While the final shape of the new normal is very much in flux, we believe that the remarketing approach it embodies – an effective, agnostic, proven platform offering vendors to manage their remarketing in real-time – is very much right for the times.