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Digital Transformation in the Auction Market

Construction equipment works hard and, eventually, wears out. Replacing expensive gear can be stressful for all concerned. In uncertain times, buying new might be even more stressful so the good used and surplus equipment market beckons. For example, used equipment and truck prices reached unprecedented levels in 2021.

With its January 2022 Market Trends Report, Ritchie Bros. looked closely at earthmoving and aerial equipment sales last year, with in-depth charts outlining volumes, median pricing, and more by asset category. All told, they sold 3,888 excavators in the United States last year with a median price approximately $57,500, up 15% year over year (for the three months ending December 31, 2022).

Indeed, Richie Bros. had a record number of bidders in 2021, resulting in the strongest equipment pricing ever. Truck tractor pricing over the last three months of 2021 was up 65% year over year in the United States, while medium earthmoving, vocational trucks, and aerial equipment prices were up 45%, 44%, and 41% respectively. It’s a seller’s market and consignors around the world are taking advantage by turning their surplus assets into cash.

Ritchie Bros. knows this market. It is a global asset management and disposition company, offering customers end-to-end solutions for buying and selling used heavy equipment, trucks, and other assets. Operating in several sectors, including construction, transportation, energy, mining, and forestry, the company’s selling channels include Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the world’s largest industrial auctioneer offering live auction events with online bidding.

As the field evolves into online and on-site auctions, digitalization become a necessity. To start down that path, Richie Bros. has turned to Thoughtworks, a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design, and engineering to drive digital innovation. A multi-year agreement with Thoughtworks will accelerate its modernization and digitization as it transitions to a trusted marketplace for multiple services.

Ritchie Bros. has a clear vision how to implement a modern architecture to help drive business growth and scale, and is embarking on a rapid test-driven development approach, agile enough to support its future development and new business models. Together, the Thoughtworks and Ritchie Bros.’ engineering teams will design and build the capabilities of the digital marketplace ecosystem using software-development life-cycle best practices, methodologies, processes, CI/CD tools, and documentation.

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