ATLANTA – To further strengthen strategic relationships through two-way dialogue, Manheim met with 30 independent partners during the 2012 National Remarketing Conference that was held in Phoenix, Ariz. With independent auction dealer sales increasing almost 50 percent year-over-year, 30 percent in total sales, and with more than 160 independent auction partners, this summit comes at a very critical time.

Sandy Schwartz, president of Manheim, kicked off the forum by discussing the ever-evolving industry, non-traditional competitors and multiplatform selling. He also reaffirmed Manheim’s dedication to the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) and all of its independent auction partners.

“It’s important to conduct this event each year and to work with our independent auction advisory board to collaboratively discuss changing industry trends, determine how to sell more cars, hear the most pressing issues and see what we can do to relieve customer pain points and strengthen the partnerships,” said Manheim’s Director of Independent Auction Relations, Glenn O’ Leary. “We are proud to support this mutually beneficial alliance, so that the NAAA and the independent auctions understand our unwavering commitment to them.”

During the open forum session, the independent partners shared their thoughts on recently released tools, including the new AutoIMS Hub, an integrated system that can be used to manage inventory on digital channels and in-lane selling venues. There was universal consensus that the Auto Auction Services Corporation (AASC) board members, owners of AutoIMS, needed to rapidly move forward and adopt the "Hub" as the central nervous system for multiplatform selling.

“Being able to offer inventory on multiple channels is becoming increasingly crucial for customers to stay competitive,” continued O’Leary. “The AutoIMS Hub makes managing different selling channels easy so dealers can focus on selling.”

In addition to discussing competitive selling techniques and new technology, attendees also received important information about inventory. Manheim’s Chief Economist, Tom Webb, announced that inventory levels would increase next year, after four declining years.

At the end of the forum, Group Vice President of Manheim Financial Services (MFS), Patrick Brennan, and President of Dealer Services Corporation (DSC), Brian Geitner, revealed the MFS and DSC integration plans.

The meeting wrapped with a reception where the independent partners met with Manheim Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Janet Barnard, and exchanged thoughts and ideas on how to take advantage of the power of the Manheim marketplace to drive business results for partners and customers.

“Having face-to-face meetings with our partners allows us to receive feedback that we can use to produce solutions that directly address their needs,” said Manheim’s Manager of Independent Auction Relations, Jeff Roberts.