Over the last couple of years, supply chain issues and their monumental impact on the construction and transportation sectors have been well publicized. It’s been extraordinarily difficult for equipment/fleet owners to find new equipment, trucks, and parts during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, finding correct equipment parts can be difficult at the best of times. It entails searching through a variety of manuals to identify the correct part ID number, not just for equipment make and model, but for a specific serial number, then calling around to suppliers in the area to locate the very specific part you need, and then once received, receiving the service documentation to install it.
With SmartEquip, the newest member of the Ritchie Bros. family, asset-specific parts procurement and service support are about to get a whole lot easier. Earlier this month our Chief Marketing Officer, Matt Ackley, sat down with SmartEquip founder Alex Schuessler to talk about the technology and how it will fit into the new Ritchie Bros.
“I used to know Ritchie Bros. many years ago as a company that was exclusively interested in the sale of used equipment,” said Alex Schuessler. “The Ritchie Bros. of today is much more focused on the entire lifecycle—not just the moments where it changes hands, but what can we do to reduce total cost of ownership.”
How does SmartEquip help?
One of the biggest things keeping machines from operating for extended periods of time is the inordinate amount of labor that goes into finding the right parts for repairs, so SmartEquip built a network that allows manufacturers and dealers to support your equipment fleet for you.
These same dealers and manufacturers can now also support the service teams among their customers; they can maintain their item master files so that when you buy a part you actually already know what that part is given your serial number; and they could even make their back offices more efficient, because now they’re controlling the price tables and everything else everything to do with the transaction.
Who are SmartEquip customers?
Today SmartEquip has the five largest equipment rental companies in the world as customers, so they really set the standard for the industry. SmartEquip also reaches companies that have $5 million dollars of equipment or less.
On the supplier side, SmartEquip has biggest manufacturers in the world all the way down to a small manufacturers of pressure washers.
What kind of savings can customers expect?
We are generally known as a parts solution, but if you look at the savings overall, that’s just a small part of what the what the equipment owner gets in terms of benefits.
Fleet owners can save between 10 to 15% per year in terms of overall part expenditure, but if you ask people who’ve been on the system for a while they say the bigger savings are actually that service technicians can now do 40% more work and that’s a huge increase! Additionally, with equipment spending less time in the shop, it’s going to more available for work. For OEM/dealer side, they can now provide highly customized high touch support 24/7 at a much reduced cost, as they are no longer picking up the phone and are booking fewer in-person sessions to support customers.
What’s next for SmartEquip?
We are expanding quite a bit right now. In fact, we are about to release our e-commerce 2.0 platform, which will leverage all of the work that’s already been done to digitize and have electronic service support to have electronic parts procurement capability, but put it will now be on a web-based environment to really support your distribution chain, as well as your end users.