Inside Business: Taylor & Martin and the Benefits of Live Auctions
Founded over 85 years ago, Taylor & Martin is an auction company headquartered in Fremont, Nebraska.
The company’s primary service is auctioning transportation equipment, both tractors and trailers. Taylor & Martin has been dedicated specifically to the trucking industry for over 55 years, accumulating equipment from various consignors, advertising and offering a location to present that equipment for inspection and sale. The company conducts an absolute public auction consisting of hundreds of pieces of equipment nearly every week of the year throughout the US. Sellers receive accurate assessments on the value of their equipment and a guarantee of payment ten banking days following the auction. Buyers have the confidence of an auction that offers volume, value and variety all in one location with equipment from late-model trucks to pre-emission and trailers of all types. Notably, Taylor & Martin has a stand-alone appraisal department that is highly respected and services many fleets and financial institutions. Whether someone needs an appraisal for lending, acquisition or any other purpose, Taylor & Martin offers a customised response to their clients’ specific appraisal needs – delivering the most accurate information possible within their deadline.
Below, we caught up with the company’s President Stacy Tracy and Director of Appraisals Andy Vering to hear about the benefits of live auctions and the company’s unique structure.
When compared to traditional valuations, auctions offer a more consumer-based valuation service, allowing people who currently may have assets they would like to liquidate to do it quickly and painlessly. Why should more people consider live auctions?
Auctions provide one of the quickest and net profitable ways to sell an item. Most people understand retail and wholesale valuations; auction values are typically in between. Yet in many situations, being first to market by use of auctions can attain higher than retail values. A seller has expense in advertising, reconditioning, bringing equipment to market and dealing with potential buyers. If you calculate the time and expense of selling an item, you would find that auctions truly return the greatest results.
Tell us about your online auctions – when did you introduce them and what prompted it?
We have had the ability to bid online for nearly two decades but just recently, due to COVID-19, we have conducted all our auctions online only with a live broadcast of the auctioneer calling the sale. The auctioneer provides information on equipment and with our technology, he can have a level of interaction with the bidder that makes them feel a part of the auction. The buyer can follow the sale on any electronic device, the ease and simplicity are proven by the attendance of those logged on. We realise that people enjoy coming to an auction and the experience of it, however, during these times we bring the next best option and that is providing the best virtual experience to them as possible.
What methodology do you use to ensure the best user experience for your customers?
We have a unique methodology that can only be described as the Taylor and Martin way. It has been created from a culture and history that extends back over 60 years. It’s forged from honesty, integrity and a desire to provide a great service and great values for both buyers and sellers.
As the financial world moves online, new platforms and payment gateways are appearing all the time. Can you tell us a bit about the platforms you use? From a finance point of view, how does it work for both you as a business and your patrons?
That is one area we are also growing in. We introduced a proprietary new design to our website this year that gives direct access to the equipment scheduled for auction and makes it easier to join the auction and bid on equipment. We allow credit card deposits for entry into our auctions and have an automatic invoicing procedure once the sale is completed. We are working on several new services we hope to have available next year that follow the trend of new platforms and gateways.
From a financial point of view, what are the benefits of being an employee-owned company?
As a financial viewpoint, it’s the people within the company. Their dedication to service, and a company they can call their own provides our customers with a higher level of care and connection than any other. All the employees benefit from our success, which makes for an engaged team.
In what ways has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your services and how have you responded to the challenges it’s presented you with?
Its effect on travel and bringing people together for an event was the greatest challenge. Fortunately, we had just completed a process of refreshing our internet bidding platform. As people learned and became more comfortable utilising digital means to conduct business, we were ready with technology. We quickly learned and created a new process in collecting information on the equipment we were selling and the timing it took to distribute that information. We created new guidelines to minimise risk, address safety concerns and build a process that allows us to continue auctions at the most professional level possible. We successfully brought the excitement of attending an auction to the online virtual platform. Customers are encouraged to come to inspect the equipment at the auction locations using social distancing. All bidding and buying is done online on our website, where we have auctioneers calling a live sale, communicating with the buyers and sharing information on the equipment.
What makes Taylor and Martin’s experience so valuable?
With experience comes knowledge. Knowing and understand the complexity of the market within the trucking industry is vital. Like all companies that rely on, or are involved in the trucking industry, we must know and understand the volatility that comes from other attributing factors. The economy has a massive impact on our business, but so does fuel, technology, employment, regulation, tax and trade cycles. Being in the business of selling trucks and trailers and not operating them, you still need to maintain the knowledge of the obstacles your customers deal with. Working with an auction company that is not embedded in and focused on the truck industry can be detrimental.
What do you think sets you apart from your competition?
Over 55 years of dedication exclusively to the trucking industry, being employee-owned with a real focus on customer service and most importantly, becoming friends with the people we serve and gaining that trust.