Kelly, a co-founder of Openlane who also is president of KAR's Digital Services Group, said the company has "gone beyond" its initial thinking two years ago
With Upstream Reimagined, he said, "we've dialed it down to three things":
1. Investing in technologies and digital platforms.
2. Taking advantage of machine learning and data analytics
3. Making the most of all of KAR's resources.
The last item entails tapping data from the company's online and physical auctions, including its Insurance Auto Auctions subsidiary that handles salvage cars and has a rich database of how a specific form of damage to a specific nameplate can affect its value.
KAR plans to spin off Insurance Auto Auctions before March but has provided few details.
It also means drawing from KAR's four information technology units:
1. Fisher's technology department.
2. Kayne Grau's data science group, enhanced by the 2017 acquisition of analytics-rich Drivin, which runs its own data and data it buys through proprietary algorithms.
3. The Openlane staff.
4. The digital crew at TradeRev.
Grau, president of KAR's data as a service unit, started Drivin and stayed on after KAR bought it.
Altogether, KAR says it has at least 500 staffers in North America working on Upstream Reimagined.
While many of the projects underway are in their early stages, about "75 to 80 percent of our customers will benefit" in some way in the "July or summer time frame," Kelly said. Other programs will hit their stride by year end or early next year.