How automated auction systems help systematize business processes in 2023
Today, we cannot imagine our lives without the internet, mobile applications, and systems for automating routine processes. However, a lot of companies still rely on manual operations, which leads to costly mistakes worth millions of dollars, and simple tasks being time-consuming. This applies to both large and small companies.
Auctions remain one of the tools that businesses continue to operate manually. Selling products in such a format is a challenging task. Thus, this article aims to illustrate how auction systems can assist in automating business processes and simplify workflows for you, your clients, and your partners.
What are auction systems?
An auction is an online application designed for conducting sales using a bidding format. Typically, this process occurred offline, but it has now been digitalized. Modern companies are incorporating auction functionality into their websites, which enables customers to purchase products through an auction format.
Companies can make use of auction systems in various sectors such as:
- luxury brand clothing and accessories;
- agricultural products;
- oil, gas, and gas condensate;
- real estate, land lots;
- and more.
This tool can also be used to facilitate tenders with a reverse operation mechanism and to acquire or sell companies and startups. Each business must create a unique process logic that accounts for all the tasks, product features, protection against fraudulent users, rules & regulations, and more.
Types of auctions
Traditional offline events influenced the development of online auction types. Three popular models are typically distinguished:
- An English auction – a conventional auction model that shows the minimum price, blitz price, and starting time. The bidding goes up as participants compete to offer a higher amount.
- A reverse auction – a model where the price of a product decreases instead of increasing. This model is often used in procurement.
- The Scandinavian auction –a model in which each bid extends the duration of the auction.
Auction systems offer the functionality to upload categorized databases of goods and services, list them for auction, and allow bidders to register online, place bids, and potentially win items. The online format provides new opportunities for businesses, allowing them to optimize their operations.
Online auctions advantages and disadvantages
Auction software brings businesses a lot of benefits, but still, there are also several drawbacks worth mentioning. Let's delve deeper into these points and explore them in more detail.
The key benefits that the company gets after implementing the system include:
- Streamlining work processes.
- Reducing human errors.
- Processes transparency.
- Reduced labor costs.
- Automated task execution.
- Uninterrupted process oversight.
- Capacity to conduct multiple auctions simultaneously.
- Enlarged pool of buyers and agents
- Strengthened company credibility.
As for the drawbacks, we believe that it is more accurate to refer to these points as 'considerations that may impede the implementation of the system':
- The need to allocate time to get acquainted, discuss ideas, and collaborate with the development team to create technical specifications.
- The amount of financial investment needed to implement the tool.
- Required time to implement the system and train the team.
Initially, these points may appear to outweigh the benefits. However, automation and simplification of business processes inevitably result in even greater gains. Companies that start using new tools, rarely go back to manual processes and see significant resource savings.
Advantages of implementing online auctions into your business: UNB's experience
UNB, a private Ukrainian enterprise specializing in the extraction and trade of oil, gas, and gas condensate, actively used offline auctions in their work. To sell their products, the company had a dedicated department of managers who would call customers on a daily basis, announce new bids, receive applications, and determine the winners at the end of each day. A team of staff members dedicated their entire 8-hour workday solely to organizing and holding auctions, which resulted in a significant decrease in the company's efficiency and hindered its growth.
After cooperation with FreshTech and implementing our online auction system the company`s workflow has changed significantly:
- The role of several managers has been replaced by a single staff member who now handles the entire process of creating, monitoring, and closing trades online;
- The manager can now create multiple offers at once;
- Human error has been decreased, as all the information is now stored in one system and routine tasks are automated;
- The auction time has been reduced, as customers do not wait for the manager to call everyone, but watch the bid increase online and set the desired purchase volume;
- The system stores all the data about customers, including product purchase price, volume, and other important information in their personal accounts.
- The system handles the entire auction process, including closing trades, assigning winners, and automatically sending them a contract for signing and a current account for payment.
Innovative solutions like this have a positive impact on company performance and improve the way customers and partners interact with your business. And when it is convenient for customers and agents to use the service, all their needs are met, and they see the system transparently, then they will return to you, which directly affects the company's profit.
Ready-made auction systems or customized solutions: what to choose?
Certainly, ready-made solutions, systems, and software for conducting auctions can be found online. Although the terms of using such services may vary, the main concern is how much value they can add to your business. With ready-made solutions, you will need to optimize your trading processes to fit their conditions, adjust your own system accordingly, and allocate additional time to ensure compatibility. With individually designed solutions, you won't have to worry about these issues.
FreshTech Team specializes in creating non-standard solutions for automating your business processes. We have created one of these unique solutions for Restyleme service. This is a commission-based platform for selling luxury clothing and accessories brands. Their goal is to promote sustainability by prolonging the lifespan of high-quality branded fashion items and minimizing their impact on the environment. At the client's request, we have created a main website that presents a range of products ready for immediate purchase. Additionally, we have incorporated an auction system.
Our team includes business analysts who tailor the functional logic of the tool specifically to your project's needs. That was what we did for Restyleme. We placed significant emphasis on ensuring security. We were aware that there may be individuals attempting to bypass the rules, place false bets, and drive up the cost. However, we found a solution to this issue and successfully implemented it in the Restyleme service.
The implementation of new technology for e-commerce let the service:
- attract new customers by expanding the product line,
- develop a profitable luxury items sales model,
- build trust-based relationships with customers due to multi-level identity verification.
- automate all sales processes including bidding-up, confirmations, and auction win notifications to customers.
Online auction development stages
The process of building an auction module for your business consists of 5 stages of work:
- Getting acquainted. You leave a request on the site. The manager will get in touch with you to discuss your request and help you choose the appropriate service. Then, we assign a project manager to oversee the process, communicate with you 24/7, and arrange appointments.
- Сollaboration with the team. At this stage, we work closely with our team of business analysts, IT specialists, and designers to develop the concept of an automated auction system tailored to your business needs, while also analyzing other systems. Finally, we create a proposal with a detailed project plan
- Approval. We arrange a meeting to present our findings and recommended solutions. We agree on an action plan with you to move to the next stage.
- Development. For each project, we assign a project manager and a team of specialists. They work on internal and external components of the service. We regularly update you on all the intermediate results.
- Auction launch. Once the system is developed, we proceed with a collaborative launch, testing the tool, and training you and your team on how to effectively use it. After launch, our team is available for continued collaboration in the form of ongoing maintenance and support.
An important aspect to consider before developing the system is that you should have a dedicated staff to manage the auction system. Although the auction system operates automatically, it is still necessary to oversee it and adjust each bid.
How do I use the auction system for my business?
As previously mentioned, online auctions can be customized to fit a multitude of industries; the crucial factor is to determine the most effective business model, objectives, and structure. To achieve this, you can analyze your competitors, develop your own ideas, or seek consultation from FreshTech specialists. Leave your contacts and get tips on how to effectively use the new tool for automating business processes.