2020 will go down in history as a tragic year. With countless people around the world losing their health or their lives in the ongoing coronavirus crisis, there is no room for rejoicing over positive business figures. Surplex mourns the loss of these people. On the other hand, we as a company were called upon to cushion the economic consequences of the pandemic the best we could.
In the spring lockdown we managed to maintain the supply chains in the used machinery market. Thanks to the willingness of all parties to cooperate, we were able to continue to deliver industrial goods to 170 countries around the world – naturally in compliance with the strictest hygiene measures. Even site visits continued to be possible, although we reduced the number of on site appointments to a minimum by using new web features, such as the virtual 3D tour of the factory floor. Surplex also offered advantages when it came to dismantling, loading and transporting large machines because we are the only European industrial auction house to organise these services from a single source. Our customers did not have to be personally on site for the dismantling of large machines or complete industrial plants.
Surplex was thus able to increase turnover by approx. 10%. With more than 600 successfully completed online auctions throughout Europe, we reached a new record in the crisis year. Around 60,000 used machines and factory equipment changed hands. Thus, after a year of pandemic, Surplex is in a stronger position than before. At the same time, we lived up to our social co-responsibility in overcoming the crisis. By providing liquidity to other companies, we helped them to come through the crisis better. On the other hand, buyers were able to acquire first-class machines at favourable prices, which increased the willingness to invest during the crisis. High-quality used machines were given a second life, which saves valuable resources. In this way, we were able to make a small contribution to stabilising industrial production in 2020. This makes us proud!
With two new locations in Austria and the Netherlands, Surplex continued its internationalisation despite the pandemic and the economic crisis. Shortly after the opening of the Dutch office, the new colleagues were able to demonstrate their capabilities in both countries. In the marketing of the former LDM B.V. (Netherlands), large foundry plants were sold by classic direct sale. Subsequently, the Dutch colleagues organised two industrial auctions with a total of more than 900 items. The office in Austria also started with two successful online auctions in which more than 1,000 high-quality machines and factory equipment for metal and plastics processing were auctioned. A furious start to a crazy year!
VALUPLEX: machine expertise redefined
The launch of the new VALUPLEX brand, which provides our clients with added value when preparing appraisals and valuations, was also successful. After their request, clients receive a binding offer within 48 hours. Unlike the generalists on the market, VALUPLEX relies on the expertise of proven industry experts. These specialists not only have an enormous amount of specialist knowledge, but also have access to a powerful database into which real sales prices of machines from the respective industry are constantly flowing. The VALUPLEX experts can therefore tell the customer more precisely what sales revenue he can expect. In individual cases, even a revenue guarantee is possible! And in the case of the sale of assets, higher valuations also lead to better purchase offers. This means more cash for the client.
Nobel Prize for Practice
Surprise at the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2020: Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson were awarded for their theory of auction formats. According to the researchers, an optimal auction result for all participants can only be achieved through maximum transparency of all relevant informations. We consistently put this principle into practice on our auction platform surplex.com in the interest of all our customers.
Family friendly & innovative
We also have good news from our Human Resources Department. In 2020, Surplex was voted one of the top 10 most family-friendly retail companies in Germany by the magazine Freundin and the applicant portal kununu.com. Flexible working hours, childcare and company pension schemes were among the criteria in which Surplex is a leader. In the category “SMEs Learning & Development (Learning Culture)” the HR team of Surplex made it to the top of the HR Excellence Awards 2020 with its training series “Brain Break: advanced trainings by & for employees”. They were honoured with the award, which is given for best performance in HR.
Setting the course for the future
But the most important event of the past year points the way to the future. Since June 2020, Ghislaine Duijmelings has been steering the fortunes of Surplex GmbH as the third managing director alongside Michael Werker and Uli Stalter. Thanks to her international profile, her knowledge of the industry and her many years of experience in managing large retail companies, the Dutch-born manager sends a strong signal for Surplex’s further expansion and growth strategy. Although Surplex is already represented in 13 European countries with its own locations, there is no end in sight. Neither for 2021 nor beyond.