"It's our most technologically advanced auction," ADESA CEO Stephane St-Hilaire said of ADESA Chicago. "We're launching many new technologies and tools at the same time." Those innovations will be incorporated in other ADESA sites across the country.
Grace Huang, Manheim senior vice president of inventory services, said Chicago has always been an important market, which is why Manheim has three auctions in the area within 100 miles of each other.
Manheim expects continued strong vehicle volume from commercial customers, she said.
"Now we're adding additional paving, we're improving the lanes and lot lighting," Huang said. "We thought this is a good time to highlight the things we've done and are continuing to do in the Chicagoland area, it being one of the top three automotive markets in the U.S."
St-Hilaire said ADESA Chicago's design shuns the counters typically found in auction offices for individual workspaces so dealers and auction staffers can work one on one.
ADESA Chicago has a technology lounge with a cafeteria in the middle of the eight-lane auction. The lounge's large windows allow dealers to view the auction action and use their mobile devices to participate in physical sales online or to conduct other business.
Also moving about the auction floor are ADESA lane concierges. Armed with mobile devices complete with mobile printers, the concierges can complete vehicle purchases for dealers on the spot, much like rental-car companies allow customers to pay for rentals without returning to the office.
The concierges also can handle services for dealers, such as processing requests for post-sale vehicle inspections and emailing gate passes to buyers, St-Hilaire said.
ADESA is piloting lane concierges at ADESA Cincinnati-Dayton in Franklin, Ohio, on a limited basis, "but the idea is to launch our new facility with these technology features and then roll it out to the rest of our network," he said. "Chicago is the first auction to have it full time."
The lanes at ADESA Chicago are extended, meaning more vehicles will be inside the auction building before they are offered for sale, giving dealers more opportunity to view the vehicles indoors before the vehicles reach the auction block.
"We're putting emphasis on service and customer experience," St-Hilaire said.