Latest IAA launch continues focus on tech innovation


Insurance Auto Auctions has launched IAA Fast Search, a comprehensive tool offering more than 30 vehicle search and filter options, the company said Wednesday.

The aim is for IAA Fast Search to complement the upgrades to IAA website’s Vehicle Details feature announced in late March.

This continues a company-wide emphasis on using technology to upgrade the buying process in the salvage vehicle business. 

“We have thousands of different buyers every week that come into our auctions — some live, some online. And we listen to them,” IAA president and chief executive officer John Kett said in a phone interview Wednesday.

That includes surveys as well as in-person discussions to figure out where buyer needs are most pronounced, he said.

“Search is always one that they’re interested in because it speeds up their cycle time. It helps them get to the vehicles they want to buy faster. So, it’s always an area we pay close attention to,” Kett said.

IAA said in a news release it has revealed 27 new tools and enhancements in the past seven years, as the company maintains an emphasis on technological growth.

That can be crucial as IAA runs live onsite auctions simultaneously with buyers bidding across the world, Kett said.

“That can be a complex transaction because you have got a lot of different sets of customers. So it’s important that we provide the tools that each group needs,” he said.

Understanding the needs of the buyer base is necessary in IAA’s goal to “take away the pain-points that they have and make it easy for them to do business with us,” Kett said.

And again, that can be crucial with an internationally focused business. Asked how big a slice of IAA’s business international represents, Kett said: “It’s a hard number to pin down exactly, just because we have a lot of domestic export buyers. So to us, they’re registered and licensed as a domestic buyer, but then they turn around and export. But we believe that more than 25 percent of the vehicles that we sell leave the U.S.

“And that segment continues to grow for us. We’ve done a lot of work marketing around the world to try and … identify markets that are underutilized in our space and we’ve had great success, particularly in the last couple of years, in really developing some spots to really continue to grow that international market.”

At last count, IAA was selling in 110 different countries, he said.

“It’s amazing. When you track back the buyers around the world … they’re really entrepreneurs in these countries who have figured out that they can buy vehicles, they can buy parts, they can ship it to wherever they’re at, they can repair it and provide affordable transportation, or in a lot of these emerging markets, there really is not a parts distribution network,” Kett said. “So the ability to buy vehicles they can use for parts is valuable as well, to help repair the vehicle fleet that’s in country.”

Such new search and Web capabilities can help these buyers in other parts of the world, as does the site’s multilingual capabilities, Kett said.

More details on Fast Search

IAA said Fast Search is designed to be a time-saver. It can be used on desktop and mobile devices, and allows searches to be saved and recalled quickly. It also lets users add or remove various search filters.

“We know time and efficiency are highly valued commodities for our buyers,” Jeanene O’Brien, IAA’s senior vice president of global marketing, said in a news release. “So we built them a comprehensive and intuitive search tool to help them make better informed decisions more quickly. Fast Search and our growing suite of customer tools, resources and technology help IAA deliver an unmatched buying experience.”

In the release, Kett said: “IAA is committed to continuously improving and simplifying the buyer experience. Fast Search reduces the time-intensive task of sourcing specific vehicles by enabling buyers to search with both speed and precision. This ultimately helps them bid and buy with greater knowledge, confidence and convenience.”

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