Pickles Auctions

Australia's auction leader

Pickles Auctions is the largest privately-owned auction company in Australia. Established in 1964, the company has 23 branches nationally and employs more than 600 staff. Last financial year, Pickles Auctions sold more than 200,000 motor vehicles as well as trucks and machinery, with a gross turnover exceeding A$1.5 billion.

Pickles Auctions major clients include the Australian Government, state governments, local councils, fleet and lease companies, insurance companies, financial institutions and not-for-profit organisations.

A need to streamline 

Previously the vehicle inspection teams used a paper-based system to record and comment on vehicles. The need to automate and streamline the process was paramount for future growth, improved productivity and consistency. The paper based system was a laborious two-step process requiring vehicle inspectors to record details and inspection notes onto paper before passing these reports onto back-office staff for data entering into Pickles Auctions’ core system.

Phil MacGuinness (Pickles Auctions’ Regional Operations Manager for South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania) says the biggest issue with paper-based inspections was inconsistencies with the information collected during the inspection process. “There was always a risk with someone translating someone else’s notes. How one person records something and how someone else interprets those notes can sometimes be very different.”

With around 800 vehicles per day inspected nationally across Australia, the inconsistencies in the information recorded were an ongoing problem he says. “Another major issue with a paper form is that it was common to have incomplete inspections often with critical information missing”.

Introducing automation

Pickles Auctions implemented AutoCheck from Netresult in 2004 and use it for the onsite inspections of motor vehicles and salvage vehicles. The company also conducts offsite and remote inspections for end-of-lease vehicles.

Approximately 16,000 vehicles per month are inspected using AutoCheck across all motor vehicle product lines.

Phil says, “AutoCheck has made us more efficient with greater consistency in the information we’re providing to our clients.” “We have the ability to do changes en masse to every user with the click of a button and every time they sync their PDA they get the latest version of AutoCheck. The efficiencies gained from keeping our inspections current to our vendors needs are massive.”

“AutoCheck is very user friendly, easy to train people on and it’s reliable.”

Realising their vision

With AutoCheck, Netresult gives Pickles Auctions the tools to realise their vision, says Phil. “We give Netresult a dream or an idea of what we need and they come back to us with the application or the technology to achieve this.”

“Autocheck makes you follow a set process for vehicle inspections so you can’t miss things. We get consistent, full-completed inspections – you can’t take a shortcut and miss something like you could do on paper. It ensures all inspections are completed fully and we get more detailed/comprehensive inspection reports than we did before.”

Phil says Autocheck has reduced the amount of data entry Pickles Auctions back-office staff have to process. “With paper, it needed to be filed, could be lost – and we required a lot of storage for all that paper. It has reduced our back-office staff across the country and reduced our filing and paper storage. We actually don’t need data entry staff anymore and we were able to deploy those people into other areas of the business.”

AutoCheck gives Pickles Auctions a good platform for growth, says Phil and they are currently in the final stages of testing the inspection system on Apple iPhones and iPads (IOS platform). Having all the tools in one device, from recording data to taking photos is where everything is heading, “completing all tasks as required on one device in one simple process not only makes sense but the improvement in speed, accuracy and simplicity is immeasurable.”

Netresult, being automotive industry specialists is also a real benefit, Phil says. “Netresult know our business well and have a great understanding of what we do, often recommending enhancements that we may not have thought about. Their timeliness in responding to our requests is very good and always in a professional and friendly manner”.

Project details

Category Case Studies
Client name Pickles Auctions
Business Issues A labour-intensive manual paper-based inspection process
Solution AutoCheck - Netresult's mobile vehicle inspection solution
Outcome A consistent and efficient inspection process across the country