Ritchie Bros. Asset Solutions tackles used equipment inventory management, with integrated pricing data

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix

Ritchie Bros Asset Solutions

The largest global seller of used equipment is now offering a broader suite of services centered around asset disposition.

Ritchie Bros. Asset Solutions provides a suite of collaborative tools to give users real-time control over their inventory and optimize their sales of used equipment, the company says. This includes a cloud-based inventory management system, inspection app, personalized ecommerce sites, data analytics and valuation tools.

“We give our customers access to what is the largest real transaction marketplace data set in the world,” says Matt Ackley, chief marketing officer, GM platform business, senior vice president product management for Ritchie. “It’s a full suite of software, data and services that helps companies manage the disposal of used equipment.”

Features include:

  • An inventory management system that allows a company’s inventory to be managed in one place. It is also easily integrated with existing systems, according to Ritchie. Users can choose to trade within a network or sell to the public.
  • Using its summarized auction activity, users get insights on current market prices, volumes and conditions, equipment age and usage. Users can also track trends as assets age and receive input into Fair Market Values and Forced Liquidation Values.
  • Access to multiple sales channels, both within the Ritchie divisions and third-party vendors. Ritchie also offers branded e-commerce websites, which can be either public or private. “We now power over a thousand dealer websites around the world, including catused.cat.com,” Ackley says.
  • Users can capture and publish detailed inspections with photos using a mobile device. They can also request a Ritchie machine inspection.

Scope increases

Launched in late 2018, RB Asset Solutions has been honing its offering by working with large customers in a number of sectors, including rental, dealers, oil and gas, agriculture, construction, transportation and government.

While its focus to date has been on larger clients, the division will start to broaden their attention to smaller entities this year. “You’re seeing everyone become more sophisticated about the use of data and the tools they need to manage their equipment,” Ackley says. “Between all of our services we’ve sold more used equipment online and offline than anyone else and we want to make that expertise available to others, whether they decide to sell it with us or sell it on their own.”

Ackley says he hopes users are lured away from their present-day spreadsheets now employed to manage assets. The RB Asset Solutions system easily integrates with a client’s existing system, he says, and can be used with internal workflow protocols. “We offer a solution that can be easily set up within a client’s workflow and they can have all of their pricing information and machine photos in one place,” Ackley says. “And when it comes time to sell it, they can use the platform to send it to the marketplace of their choice, whether it’s RB or a third-party marketplace.”

An example of one present user is Quanta Services, a global utility, pipeline, energy and communications contractor that signed up for the RB Asset Solution’s inventory management system.  Explains David Meisel, executive vice president, operations: “At any given time, we have thousands of pieces of equipment on jobs all over North America. We can now easily redeploy assets across jobs and subsidiaries before we go looking outside our company to purchase new equipment.” The result, says Meisel, is enhanced efficiencies and increased fleet utilization.

 

What’s your equipment worth?

“Everyone wants to know that their equipment is worth, and how to incorporate the latest pricing information directly into their inventory management system,” Ackley says. “We’re working on incorporating more pricing information at the equipment level. If you look at a particular asset, you’ll get pricing information on it.” One goal in the coming year is to take RB’s data set and incorporate machine learning algorithms to better predict the price a machine can attain at a certain time.

The platform can be customized to accept internal system and data. “It allows you to import your own third-party pricing data so that you can see a range of retail and auction prices,” Ackley says. “We want to be their trusted advisor; we just give them the information and the tools and let them make the decisions.”

RB Asset Solutions announced in December that the division now includes RB Inspection Services, an evolution of the former IronPlanet IronClad Assurance equipment inspection service, acquired when Ritchie bought IronPlanet in 2016. In 2019 Ritchie says it inspected more than 215,000 items, taking 7.5 million photos and analyzing approximately 30,000 oil samples. It now has more than 300 fulltime and contract inspectors.

RB Inspection Services are offered to third parties. “Even if you’re selling the item yourself, you can use our inspector network to do an IronPlanet-type inspection and then use that report to sell it,” Ackley says.