Exciting Start to 2020!

The Autos 2020 went off with a bang at St George’s Park on Thursday 16th January, as 200 team members from across Cox Automotive came together to celebrate the achievements and successes of our people over the last 12 months.

The night was a double celebration for the AIMS team, with Karen Raybould winning the Autos Hidden Hero Award, while the wider team could reflect on the successful completion of the rollout of the AIMS platform to the Manheim Auctions and Vehicle Solutions network. The final branch to be deployed, Manheim Birmingham, held their first sale event using AIMS on Monday 20th January.

Click here to watch the highlights of The Autos 2020!

Ian Fisher, MD of Kingfisher states "It is just over four years since we started working on the Auction Information Management System (AIMS) and it has been quite a journey. There have been some testing moments along the way, but everyone involved in the development and delivery of AIMS has worked tirelessly to reach this milestone. This is a testament to the Spirit and People that make Cox Automotive the organisation it is.".

With the rollout complete, the AIMS team will continue to focus on building new features and functionality that will allow the wider business to further leverage the technological and operational efficiences that the platform offers.

AIMS: Fifteen in Fifteen

October 3rd saw the deployment of the Auction Information Management System (AIMS) to Manheim Bruntingthorpe and Dealer Auction Bruntingthorpe. The AIMS deployment team has now rolled the product out to fifteen locations in little over fifteen months since the initial launch of AIMS at Manheim Shotts in Lanarkshire. Ian Fisher, MD of Kingfisher Systems, states 'The summer has seen the deployment of AIMS into Manheim's largest auction centres at Bristol, Leeds and Colchester. With Dealer Auction coming on to the platform, AIMS will now be managing virtual auctions as well as physical. We have five more branches to deploy to in 2019 at which point the product roll out will be complete, almost four years after its inception.'

In other news, Kingfisher was delighted to enter a team at the annual Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland Charity Golf Day at Gleneagles on Tuesday 1st October. 'We have supported SBH, and the great work they do, for over ten years. On the day, the sun shone down on the Queen's Course and everyone had a great time, with over £11,000 raised for the charity'.




Manheim's Auction Information Management System (AIMS) is now live at Leeds! The system was this week installed at Manheim Auctions Leeds and Vehicle Solutions Leeds, bringing the number of sites running the solution to twelve.

Ian Fisher, Managing Director of Kingfisher Systems, states "We are now fourteen months on from the initial launch of AIMS at Manheim Auctions Shotts. The AIMS project team has done a huge amount of work both from a development and deployment perspective since the initial go live. The installations at Leeds were the smoothest yet, which is a tribute to the planning and implementation strategy the team has refined during the ongoing roll out of AIMS in 2019. The aim is to have tranisitioned all remaining Manheim Auction and Vehicle Solution branches by the end of the year which will be a tremedous achievement by all concerned.".

As the AIMS roll out progresses, the development of the product continues at a pace with new features being released to production every three weeks. This additional functionality will drive further operational efficiencies across both Manheim Auctions and Vehicle Solutions.







New Shoreham Vehicle Auctions Website

Kingfisher Systems has completed the design and delivery of www.shorehamvehicleauctions.com. Developed using the latest web technologies, and utilising Kingfisher's Drive website engine, the result is a fully responsive, state of the art solution.

The development team have collaborated with Shoreham Vehicles Auctions from the outset of the project to ensure the website meets the requirements of both the auction and its clients. Featuring online bidding and 'Buy Now' functionality, along with integration with Live Bid and IMS, Shoreham now have a fully digital sales channel to compliment their existing physical auction services.

In preparation for the launch of the new website, Shoreham also implemented the latest version of the Kingfisher Vehicle Inspection App. Developed using the Kotlin programming language, the Android app allows a vehicle to be fully inspected, damage identified and captured, and high definition 'beauty shots' of the vehicle to be taken. The PDF inspection and supporting images are then automatically uploaded to the website providing both vendors and buyers with detailed online information on all available inventory at Shoreham Vehicle Auctions.



Kingfisher Systems debuts on CA:TV

February 2019 saw the launch of CA:TV, Cox Automotive UK's new media channel.

In this month's new episode, hosted by Cox Automotive UK CEO Martin Forbes...

  • We look at how Kingfisher System's partnership with Glasgow University has given two talented developers the opportunity to work on some significant  projects in the auction world;
  • We go behind-the-scenes on a sales day at Manheim Bruntingthorpe to show how everyone works together to deliver great customer service;
  • and Paul Humphreys, Retail Solutions MD, makes his CA:TV debut to fill us in on performance.

Click here to watch the second episode!



AIMS Team wins Collaboration Award at The Auto's 2019

The Auto's 2019 awards evening was held at St George's Park on Thursday 17th January. Nominated in two categories, the AIMS project team won the Collaboration Award in recognition of all the work done in 2018 to successfully deliver the product into the Manhiem Auctions network. Ian Fisher, MD of Kingfisher Systems, states "The AIMS team has worked incredibly hard over the last year to complete the development of the solution and then successfully roll it out across the auction business. It is great to see their efforts being recognised with this award. Additionally, this is the second time in four years that we have won the Collaboration Award."

The team are now fully focused on the ongoing roll out of AIMS with the product now live at Manheim Gloucester.

Danny Healey, General Manager said: "I'd like to thank everyone in my team, as well as those from the AIMS project team for their help and support while we've been preparing for the launch of AIMS at Manheim Gloucester. We're now looking forward to the benefits that the new system will bring to us as a team and for our customers."




AIMing for change

The Auction Information Management System (AIMS) has made its commercial vehicle debut at Manheim Shepshed and the team is preparing for the first sale on Monday 10 December.

Colleagues from Business Improvement and IT were on hand to support the Shepshed team as they learned the new system.

Pete Bell, MD for Manheim, said: "I'd like to thank the project team and everyone at Manheim Shepshed for their fantastic input in the run up to the launch, and their continued support.

"As you know, AIMS remains a vital part of our strategy for Manheim. As we continue to roll it out across our business, I am confident that we will soon see the benefits of the proactive customer service this modern and efficient system provides."

MCOE live in Montreal

November 1st sees the deployment of the Manheim Canada Operatiing Engine (MCOE) at Manheim Auctions in Montreal, Quebec. Developed by Kingfisher Systems, MCOE is Manheim Canada's new auction operating system which promises to streamline processes and provide operational efficiencies across Manheim Canada's auction centres.

The rollout of MCOE began in Halifax, Nova Scotia in mid August. This was followed by deployments in Edmonton, Moncton, Vancouver and Toronto, with Montreal completing the delivery of the MCOE transport module functionality. The product has been launched in conjunction with the ReadyConnect transport management system.

Stephanie Turner, Senior Manager, Business Development & Strategy, Cox Automotive Canada, states "Our MCOE and ReadyConnect rollouts have been successful across the country, and the collaboration between Manheim, the Ready Logistics team, and our MCOE team members has been nothing short of superb."

Across Canada, the Manheim team - who have been very engaged and committed to the launch - have processed a large volume of transport orders each successfully managed through ReadyConnect and MCOE.

"We're confident in the new system and have already received positive feedback that will help us to continue to make improvements." said Turner. "In offering increased visibility to our transport and auction teams, we are supporting effiencies for Manheim, along with the growth and expansion of Ready Logistics."

The successful delivery of MCOE respresents another important milestone for Kingfisher Systems in 2018. It follows on from the successful launch of AIMS for Manheim in the UK earlier in the year, with both products set for further development and deployment in 2019 and beyond. 





AIMS arrives at Manhem Plymouth

Manheim's new Auction Information Management System (AIMS) is preparing to go live at Plymouth this week.

Manheim Plymouth is the second centre to implement the system, and preparations are well underway for the first auction on Tuesday.

Ian Nicholls, Area General Manager, said: "We're really looking forward to getting our second auction centre up and running on the new system. We learnt a lot from our first launch at Shotts, and we've adapted our launch plans based on what went well, and what we could do better. I'd like to say a huge thank you to the team at Plymouth for all their support in the run up to going live."

Kingfisher Systems has a long established relationship with the car auction at Plymouth. In 2003, we supplied our Auction Manager solution to the then independent Saltash Car Auctions Ltd, which would later become Manheim Plymouth. Fifteen years later, it is exciting to be deploying our latest auction management solution to the branch, further progressing the ongoing replacement of Manheim's legacy auction system MBOS.

Introducing the Auction Information Management System (AIMS)


"Monday morning, eigtheen years of dawning..."

Monday 25th June 2018 sees the launch of the Auction Information Management System (AIMS) at Manheim Shotts in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The product of over two and a half years development, AIMS is a next generation web application providing inventory, financial and process management services for the vehicle auction industry.  Built using Microsoft .Net Core and React JS, and hosted in Microsoft Azure, the product benefits from the latest software technologies, implemented in line with industry best practice and design principles. 

Ian Fisher, MD of Kingfisher Systems states ‘The first Kingfisher auction management system was developed by my father in the mid 1980’s using a database language called Foxbase and hosted on a local SCO Xenix server. The next incarnation, Auction Manager, was installed at Shotts Motor Auctions in June 2000, almost eigtheen years ago to the day. AIMS thus represents the culmination of a 30 year’ journey that has seen Kingfisher grow from offering a single ‘on premise’ product to become a global supplier of cloud based software solutions to the vehicle auction sector. The AIMS project team’s primary focus has been to ensure that AIMS is designed and developed in a structured and considered manner. The result is the most complex, functionally rich solution that the company has developed to date, and is quite simply the best auction management system in existence today providing unrivalled functionality and ease of use.’

The AIMS rollout to other branches of Manheim Auctions and Vehicle Solutions will continue through 2018 and into early 2019, and will eventually see 20 individual centres operating the solution, while collectively processing in excess of 400,000 vehicles per year. The product supercedes Manheim's legacy auction system MBOS. 

The AIMS project team will now move on to the next phase of development which will result in new functionality and features that will continue to help drive efficiencies and operational improvements within the Manheim Group.

As a footnote, in the late 1990’s, Kingfisher developed the Aftermarket Information Management System for Land Rover UK, a product that was also known as AIMS. The more things change, the more they stay the same…