Following a highly successful 2011, SMA is already well on track to deliver further growth in 2012 as its business model evolves to provide a wider proposition that focuses upon speed and quality.

Reacting to a series of Customer Insight Forums held by the business in 2011, SMA is evolving to enhance its scope, in the way it works with both vendors and buyers.

  • 2012 has begun with record levels of sales growth across the Group, both at the SMA auction centre network and on-line
  • SMA Technical Services has expanded to accommodate new contracts agreed with both PDI and de-fleet services
  • The newly launched SMA Support Services division is already recruiting additional personnel to cope with demand, notably from vendors

The outlook has been further strengthened by the reaction of vendors to SMA's leadership and investment, with a number of high profile organisations actively engaged in tender discussions with the business.

Managing Director Bob Anderson observes;

"We are extremely positive about the year ahead.  2011, provided remarketing organisations with a series of challenges, including the impact of the tsunami in Japan, which created an unexpected level of demand for high quality stock, which in turn artificially created a boost in used car values. At the same time, the UK's economic situation created another level of demand for slightly older stock.

In both cases, the demand for quality stock coincided perfectly with our UK-wide investment in SMA Technical Services.  Prepared as we were with our network of on-site state-of-the-art refurbishment facilities, we were quickly operating at capacity.  Now approaching the end of the first quarter of 2012, where we might have expected to have seen a fall in demand, the opposite has in fact been true. Across the business over the past two months, SMA have witnessed record growth, spanning sales, new vendor activity and refurbishment work, as new customers have enjoyed our fresh approach to remarketing".

Following the Customer Insight Forums across 2011, new vendors and buyers experienced the SMA facilities and approach, on-line and at physical auctions.  With a strongly personal touch central to the SMA way of working, many were encouraged to take part in continuous customer feedback and forum activities that are designed to shape the business' on-going proposition, and that is exactly what is happening.  Key outcomes from the feedback sessions were:

  • Speed is vital - featured very strongly for buyers and vendors, with both highlighting concerns with vehicles historically held up for too long in the refurbishment process
  • Refurbishment - cost/value must be as transparent as possible, all parties will pay for added value where it can be demonstrated
  • Logistics support for vendors is increasingly important in transportation at the end of life and in the delivery and management support available for stock
  • On-line access is important to identify stock, but must provide high quality detail (the unique SMA guarantee and 360 video technology scored very strongly as the type of initiative that is vital to online buyer confidence)

Since the final quarter of 2011, SMA has launched a series of initiatives to support these 'calls for action' and the feedback process is now established as a key element of the product development process business-wide, as Bob concludes;

'"Buyers and sellers are both seeking more innovation and support, a higher quality of service, swifter access to stock and the type of entrepreneurial approach that we are fast making a hallmark of the way SMA works".

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Our grading system is changing

NAMA grading has been developed to provide a long awaited industry standard grading scheme to be used across all auctions within the UK.

We have now introduced NAMA grading across our sites, and over the coming weeks you will notice more vehicles being offered for sale displaying a NAMA grade. These grades are easy to identify as they are 1,2,3,4,5 and U in place of the SMA grades A,B,C,D and E.

Please make sure you have familiarised yourself with the grades. We will still produce condition reports providing additional information for each vehicle as we always have.