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CD Salvage Auctions: Digital transformation opens up new ways of working

Graham Howes, Commercial of CD Salvage Auctions, a leading re-marketers of nearly new damaged vehicles, provides us with his view on why they embrace new technologies and why it is important for those in the vehicle salvage industry to also adopt this too.


CD Salvage Auctions: Digital transformation opens up new ways of working f one re
Graham Howes

The salvage sector has adapted to the challenges thrown at it by the pandemic. Like the wider automotive industry, it has embraced new ways of working and new technologies to keep business moving.

The last decade has seen digital transformation impact all areas of business and our personal lives. The way we can connect through digital channels has changed the way we work forever.

According to a recent McKinsey & Company study, businesses have implemented changes at speed and with great success in response to COVID-19. On average, digital offerings have leapfrogged seven years of progress in a matter of months.

Consumers and business people are seeing a boom in eCommerce for everything, from grocery shopping to financial transactions, and salvage vehicles.

CD Salvage Auction has always had a digital-first strategy and was well placed to support both vendors and buyers throughout 2020. Investment in new technology allows vehicles to be booked in, appraised and imaged in a singular process. It enabled substantial efficiency gains and meant that buyers could view the latest vehicles in stock within hours of them arriving on-site.

The use of video has also driven digital sales with buyers becoming more comfortable with the online purchase process thanks to detailed images. It’s an approach that helped meet rising demand in 2020 and into the third lockdown.

Demand drove higher prices across the board, while the LCV sector is noteworthy. It became clear that the growth of online shopping created an unprecedented market for all levels of LCV. The shift to online retail is driving structural changes to the LCV market that are unlikely to return to the old normal when the pandemic ends.

CD Salvage Auctions: Digital transformation opens up new ways of working feat one

CD Salvage Auction recently reported that average salvage values increased by 32% over the last six months of 2020 against the same period in 2019. Demand drove more bids per lot and higher sale values across passenger vehicles and LCVs. Values of both Category B and S vehicles increased by 33%, and Category N rose by 41%.

The main demand drivers came due to Covid-19 and multiple lockdowns creating shortages of stock due to fewer road traffic accidents and concerns around Brexit saw companies seek to stockpile parts.

CD Salvage Auction remarkets nearly new damaged vehicles for the UK’s major rental and leasing companies and corporates. An online-only bidding system serves bidders from across the United Kingdom.

An app-based receive and inspect system which uses the CitNow HD video capture system has helped CD Salvage to drive efficiency through the process. Perhaps most importantly, the decision to improve the sales presentation of all salvage vehicles resulted in a more consistent presentation and has led to a 50% reduction in physical viewing of vehicles in the months preceding the pandemic.

The pace of digital change is accelerating, but it’s not just about the technology. Over the coming years, it will be companies that can build a team that can rapidly adapt while maintaining the values that make successful business such a focus on customer service.

While COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation, the salvage industry can be reassured that it has the skills and adaptability to thrive in an increasingly digital ecosystem.

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