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23 December 2020

2020 Year End Review

An overview of the year at Kingfisher Systems

As we approach Christmas, I would like take the opportunity to reflect on the last twelve months at Kingfisher Systems. The team has achieved a huge amount in 2020 despite the challenges we have all faced during this period. Our online solutions have provided crucial sales channels allowing our auction customers to continue to trade despite the restrictions and challenges presented by the pandemic.

Key highlights over the course of the year include:

  • AIMS: Our next generation cloud based auction management system played a pivotal role as Manheim Auctions transitioned to an online only auction model following the national lockdown at the end of March. We continue to develop and extend the system's functionality with over 300,000 vehicles processed during the course of the year.
  • Auction Manager: A new partnership with Dealer Auction allows vehicles to be offered online while being prepared for physical auction ensuring vendors' vehicles are available to a larger number of potential buyers across multiple sales channels. Additionally, Auction Manager now allows auction houses to electronically process stock funding requests via V12 Vehicle Finance further enhancing the product's online capabilities.
  • Drive: New Drive websites for a number of customers including Leominster Car Auctions, Commercial Vehicle Auctions and Eastbourne Car Auctions, with the system providing enhanced stock locator and Bid & Buy Now 'eBay' style  timed auction functionality.
  • Gate Entry App: A new addition to our product portfollio, the Android app allows vehicles to be gated in and out of stock facilitating better stock management and enhanced operational KPI reporting.
  • Inspection System: The system now integrates seamlessly with Epyx 1Link facilitating automatic upload of vehicle appraisals for all 1Link vendors. 
  • Live Bid: We have successfully implemented and deployed a Web RTC audio / video solution to replace the previous Flash technology. This investment ensures that Live Bid's audio and video can now be viewed on mobile and desktop devices without the need to first download an app. The new solution features sub second latency and reinforces Live Bid's position as the leading online bidding platform for the vehicle auction industry in the UK and Ireland.
  • Manheim Canada: We continue to work with our colleagues in Canada supporting them on their digital transformation journey. One of the highlights was the launch of Simulcast at Manheim Edmonton in Q4.

The work we have done over the course of this year has yielded our strongest ever portfolio of products. And so to 2021! January sees The Autos 2021 where we have been shortlisted in two categories: Carly Crawford for the Rising Star Award and the Kingfisher team are again finalists in the Collaboration Award - the third time we have been shortlisted in this category.

It is now over thirty years since I joined Kingfisher as a summer intern. The company has transformed beyond my wildest dreams in the intervening period, driven by a dedicated and talented team of people. As we continue to grow and evolve within the Cox Automotive family of companies, the future has never been brighter!

Merry Christmas.

Ian Fisher