There are multiple challenges to managing used equipment. Each task adds a layer to the “onion” that represents the complex process. Fleet managers not only face struggles selling used pieces but also need to be concerned with timing life expectancy and demand cycles to net the best return. Add in the purchasing challenges faced by today’s interested buyers, and layers seem to add to the onion rather than be peeled away.
With more than 18 years experience and a mission to offer a reliable resource for the used equipment market, industry veteran Kevin Sabourin had a vision for a solution to fleet inventory management. His vision was a new kind of online equipment marketplace; a site different from all others that focused on the many layers of the equipment management process. It would offer a platform that would incorporate the latest web design, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media opportunities to encourage and boost interaction between buyers and sellers, maximizing the potential for used equipment sales.
Sabourin’s vision came to realization when he launched the new online equipment marketplace, EquipmentSite.com. He is committed to building his clients’ enterprises; striving to make sure that each fleet manager he works with not only builds his or her company’s online presence but also sees a solid profit and return from the EquipmentSite investment.
Like other entrepreneurs, Sabourin created his company as a result of a need in the industry. With experience ranging from product and project development to national account management, Sabourin spent years working with fleet managers, learning and understanding the issues they were facing every day. EquipmentSite.com brings to reality his vision for an online equipment marketplace that addresses the common challenges experienced by fleet managers, and one that takes away the hassle of managing equipment.
“In my years spent working with the professionals in this industry, I witnessed firsthand their fleet management struggles,” he said. “I set out to find a solution, and be the one resource every fleet manager could trust for his or her equipment management disposition needs.”
Throughout his years working with fleet managers, Sabourin identified two common roadblocks to successful inventory management — an inconsistent or lack of strategy in managing current equipment, specifically disposal, and a misunderstanding of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). A key component of managing inventory is understanding the market and buyer demand, but ultimately it all comes down to moving the used equipment.
And it’s in moving used equipment where EquipmentSite.com really shines. The site was designed with SEO-optimized listing capabilities registering in top search engines, making it much easier for buyers to find a specific piece of used equipment. The integration of online tools and social media outlets was designed to drive high volumes of traffic to the site and put the equipment in front of an expanded base of potential buyers. Sabourin also wanted to further enhance listings through specific search criteria such as brand, make, model and year. Additionally, he designed the site so buyers could streamline a search by condition, location and industry. All these features were installed to enhance the usability of the site and maximize the engagement opportunities between buyer and seller. They also helped to address the final, major layer of the onion – Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
A lot of fleet managers hold on to their equipment for too long; TCO becomes very expensive when used equipment isn’t sold at the right time. Most fleet managers understand the importance of selling used equipment to get the best return, but many are at a loss for how to effectively price and move those pieces of used equipment.
Adding another layer to the onion, there is no “magic” formula when it comes to assessing TCO on a piece of equipment. There’s no clear way to understand the costs beyond the initial investment when a new piece is purchased and the final disposition when it’s “off the shelf.” Any gap in those numbers is typically written off in a vague category called “the cost of doing business”. EquipmentSite.com helps fleet managers with TCO understanding; it’s the place to offer the piece when each individual is ready to recoup the financial investment with full knowledge of the marketplace based on all the other pieces of equipment listed on the site. And it offers a proactive sales approach, by being a viable place to sell equipment at each manager’s choosing, when it’s right for his or her fleet.
Since its official launch in June of 2011, Sabourin has been pleased with the progress Equipmentsite.com has made, the help it’s providing to fleet managers, and the attention it has drawn. The traffic Equipmentsite.com has gained is also evidenced by partnerships already established with several key companies in the industry.
WorldLawn Power Equipment, a manufacturer of commercial and residential lawnmowers, recently partnered with Equipmentsite.com to drive booth traffic at last year’s GIE+EXPO tradeshow in Louisville, Ky.
Companies other than equipment manufacturers are finding value in partnering with Equipmentsite.com. U.S. Lawns, a franchisor and commercial landscape management company, also entered into a partnership with Equipmentsite.com prior to last year’s GIE+EXPO show. Vice President Paul Wolbert was driven by Equipmentsite.com’s strong focus on inventory management as it is a major issue for his company and its franchisee service providers.
“Managing fleet is one of the greatest challenges our franchisees face,” he said. “Partnering with Equipmentsite.com gives our team a market advantage. We have simplified the disposition process to keep our people focused on the priorities – providing quality lawn maintenance and staying profitable. “
Integrated Services Group (IGS), a national property management group and procurement co-op dedicated to the growth and success of small to mid-size companies, also recently partnered with Equipmentsite.com. According to Blake Stillman, supply chain services / marketing liaison, the company was chosen as a partner because of its deep understanding of IGS members and their unique needs.
“Our members and service partners have several challenges on their plates these days, and managing fleet is among the biggest,” he said. “One of the main reasons people partner with ISG is due to the breadth of strategic tools and resources we provide our members. They expect us to look out for them, and we do, so we feel providing a vehicle for used equipment sales is integral. We chose Equipmentsite.com because of Kevin’s dedication and his team’s ability to create an online marketplace that embodies collaboration. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with Equipmentsite.com.”
Looking ahead, Sabourin believes the site will continue to grow, and hopes more fleet managers will begin to use it as a solution to their inventory management process. With all the capabilities and benefits offered, jumping onboard with EquipmentSite.com is a giant step towards turning in that onion for the sweet smell of a rose.