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Focus on Customers, Employees and Multi-Channel Solutions Helps Keep Ritchie Bros. on Top

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Ritchie Bros., a Canadian-headquartered global asset management and disposition company, is the world’s largest heavy equipment auctioneer and end-to-end services provider, known for their live, unreserved public auctions hosted at more than 40 permanent auction sites and temporary locations worldwide. In 2017, Ritchie Bros. acquired online-only auction company IronPlanet, allowing them to offer customers even more options for buying, selling and listing equipment 

Ritchie Bros. CEO and Director of the Board Ravi Saligram said the acquisition is part of their effort to transform the company into a heavy equipment multi-channel solutions powerhouse. 

“The company’s future is really about multi-channels,” he said. “Since buying IronPlanet, we’ve added weekly online auctions, so there are multiple auction models. With IronPlanet’s Marketplace E, there are even ‘Buy It Now’ and ‘Make an Offer’ options. It’s a very different format for us, so it’s very exciting.”
 
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Ritchie Bros.’ new IronPlanet online weekly auctions and Marketplace E formats also allow sellers to set a reserve price for their equipment and sell items without transporting them to a centralized location. Buyers can purchase items with the same confidence they would at any Ritchie Bros. live auction, thanks to IronPlanet’s world-class inspection service.

Though it was already the largest seller of used equipment in the world, Ritchie Bros. was facing a bit of stagnation when Saligram, an executive with an impressive resume – and experience with turnarounds – was recruited to join the company in July 2014. Three and a half years later, business is booming.
“Our team has done a great job of satisfying shareholders,” Saligram said. “Providing value to stakeholders is what allows you to provide shareholder value. As a public company CEO, you have several considerations: customers, employees and shareholders that make up a triangle of people you’re trying to represent. The job of a CEO is to harmonize things and make sure there’s balance and all are satisfied, driving shareholder and stakeholder value.”

According to Saligram, employees play a big role in Ritchie Bros.’ success.
“Seeing our employees develop, grow and flourish – as a CEO, that’s the greatest satisfaction. Our employees are the greatest assets in this company.”

Saligram isn’t wrong. After all, first-class customer service is part of what keeps Ritchie Bros. customers coming back again and again.

“Why do customers prefer Ritchie Bros.? We’re in the business of connecting buyers and sellers, and we have probably the biggest connections for buyers and sellers around the world,” Saligram said. “We also leverage customer-friendly technology and, since I’ve joined the company, we’ve had an emphasis on data analytics. There’s our global reach and sales, but, ultimately, it’s our relationship with customers. They’re our anchor, and wanting to serve them is what makes us tick. We’re passionate about delighting our customers and building great relationships with them because we believe in the old saying, ‘Make a customer a friend and they’ll be a customer for life.’”

Ritchie Bros. is a longtime AED member and sponsors the live auction at the annual AED Foundation Fundraising Gala that takes place at Summit.

“Ritchie Bros. has been an AED member for at least 30 years and we’ve done the annual live fundraising auction for them for many years,” Saligram said. “We’re very proud of our association with AED. They’ve been a great vehicle for us and they provide great chances to network with customers.”
When he’s not busy serving as Ritchie Bros. CEO and Director of the Board, Saligram enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. His next globe-trotting adventure will be a New Zealand wine tour for collectors of unique wines.

“It’s important to be grounded and recharge your batteries,” he said. “I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughters. I also love music, traveling, and am an audiophile and videophile.”

For more information on Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, visit www.rbauction.com or connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google+.

Ritchie Bros. Auction Tops List of Successes

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Ritchie Bros.’ Orlando auction, held February 19-24, became the most lucrative auction in the company’s 60 year history.

Over the six days of the event, over 12,500 equipment items were sold, generating more than $278 million in sales. That represented a 24% jump over last year’s combined gross transactional value for Ritchie, which specializes in facilitating the purchase and sale of used heavy equipment and trucks, and IronPlanet, which was acquired by Ritchie Bros. in 2017.

In a statement, Ritchie Bros. CEO Ravi Saligram called the auction “a monumental event for the used heavy equipment and transportation sectors,” adding that “we consider this to be a barometer of both end user demand as well as superb execution of our sales, marketing and operations team.”  Jeff Jeter, Ritchie Bros.’ President of U.S. Sales, says the prices of most types of equipment sold during the auction were “strong.”  The price per lot rose 11% versus the “combined Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and IronPlanet Orlando auctions last February,” he reported.

Online bidders bought more than $123 million of equipment at the auction, representing about 44% of the auction’s total gross transactional value. During the event, Ritchie Bros. allowed buyers and sellers to utilize a virtual consignment option. Under this system, sellers did not have to bring their items to the auction, and buyers were able to view pictures of the products that were not present at the site. 

Additionally, buyers were able to obtain information about those pieces of equipment online, and Ritchie Bros offered its IronClad Assurance guarantee on items that were not actually at the auction. The IronClad Assurance Policy states that one of Ritchie’s inspectors has examined the equipment, and that the equipment will conform to the pictures and descriptions outlined in the inspector’s report.

“(Heavy equipment) contractors are busy and equipment supply is tight,” Jeter explained, adding that Ritchie Bros expects those trends to persist going forward. In the wake of these supply/demand dynamics, Ritchie Bros. is “just not seeing as much quantity as we have seen in past years because OEM production is fighting to catch up with demand, due to the amount of work available for contractors,” Jeter reported.

Ritchie Bros. is trying to boost its supply by having its sales team constantly calling on customers and by diversifying into different industries that are less supply constrained, said Jeter. Despite the tight supply, Ritchie Bros. was able to sell more than 382,500 items last year, he noted, adding that the strong demand and tight supply is resulting in “strong” prices for “good quality used equipment.” Moreover, at the Orlando auction, the selection included 760+ excavators, 525 compactors, 470+ skid steers, 455+ truck tractors, 380+ loaders, 365+ boom & scissor lifts, 295+ dozers, 165+ articulated dump trucks, 155+ cranes, and 125+ loader backhoes, Jeter said.
 
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