ATLANTA – Manheim has reported that its global automotive remarketing innovation center, Manheim DRIVE, has surpassed expectations for customer acceptance and research and development breakthroughs since opening one year ago.
The 145,000-square-foot research and development facility is a test and concept center for new technologies and processes. It also serves as an event venue for the industry and creates a forum to inspire collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking.
“Our goal is to support the growth initiatives of Manheim and our customers with this facility,” said Lynn Morgan, executive director, Manheim DRIVE. “While it’s rewarding to see how much we’ve accomplished in our first year, our energies are focused on the possibilities for the future.
More than 10,000 guests attended more than 600 events during Manheim DRIVE’s first year, including two industry conferences/events, nine live sales, 166 training classes, and 270 employee and customer meetings.
In its initial year, Manheim DRIVE served as the testing grounds for various technologies, including RFID (radio frequency identification), biometric registration and checkout, electronic marshaling and a cinema-style bidding theater.
The 180-seat bidding theater allows buyers the ability to view vehicle images on cinema screens and individual touch-screen computers in a climate-controlled virtual showroom. Zoom technology enables buyers to view vehicle details, and the interactive bidding software automatically tracks the bidding process during the live auction.
Two technologies, an automated photo booth and DVR digital image storage, have successfully passed proof of concept and are now being field tested.
Manheim DRIVE’s automated photography process utilizes a precise, controlled photo booth environment to produce high-resolution digital vehicle images. The process captures six images per vehicle, names them, and posts them to Web servers within approximately one minute. The goal is to have this system image up to 800 vehicles per day and automatically post the photos online, making them available for viewing with presale listings. The photo booth will be beta tested at the Atlanta Auto Auction later this month.
Manheim DRIVE’s digital video recording system monitors the lot, shops, interior common areas, and sales theater. The feed from each camera is captured and stored in a digital recording system, enabling security to investigate incidents such as where damage occurred to a vehicle. Management can review the bidding sequence for a vehicle sold in the theater and facilitators can review a class or brainstorming session. This system is currently being used at Bishop Brothers Auto Auction in Atlanta for lane monitoring, arbitrations, and security.
Proprietary brainstorming and ideation sessions called DRIVE Dives are giving Manheim customers the opportunity to develop new strategies. Recent DRIVE Dives have included predicting change that will affect automotive remarketing in the next 10 years, raising the value of vehicles at auction, increasing retentions while reducing turn time, and accelerating customer service initiatives.Manheim DRIVE is also unveiling a new Web site, www.manheimdrive.com, featuring a virtual tour of the facility, information on technologies being tested at DRIVE, and an idea exchange blog.