AUCTIONSPLUS has become a valuable asset for Australian livestock producers, but there are plans to grow the online selling platform to include more users, and enhance the experience of buyers, sellers and the wider agricultural community.
Community is at the heart of the AuctionsPlus business, according to chief executive officer Angus Street.
"People have a perception that our focus is technology and it may have been in the past, but now it's people," Mr Street said.
"Our AuctionsPlus community is what motivates and drives our purpose, day in, day out, from the buyers to the accredited assessors, sellers, agribusiness professionals, people in the supply chain and our incredibly devoted team.
"We get really excited about technology but what we're inherently passionate about is people. Our team looks to add value to agricultural businesses, which comes down to three things - saving them money, making them money and saving them time. All the digital tools that we create, evolve or establish are delivering on these three core points."
AuctionsPlus employs 29 staff, with an average age of 30.
"We've got a really young, dynamic team of individuals who are so passionate about the agricultural sector and adding value back into it," Mr Street said.
"That's what we look for with recruitment, a genuine interest in agricultural businesses and communities.
"We've also got a diverse range of personalities and cultures, and that all adds to the layers that make up AuctionsPlus."
Our team looks to add value to agricultural businesses, which comes down to three things - saving them money, making them money and saving them time. All the digital tools that we create, evolve or establish are delivering on these three core points.
AuctionsPlus partners with sellers to provide solutions for their businesses to grow and thrive, Mr Street said.
"We're continually building connections between buyers and sellers, for fast, transparent and secure experiences, but we're working on transforming the individual selling experience to help agricultural businesses achieve maximum results.
"Our community is facing a big challenge in feeding a growing population, with rising operating, input, and labour costs, unpredictable weather, and a static retail pricing environment which creates pressures along the supply chain.
"AuctionsPlus provides opportunities to add value to agricultural businesses and recent analysis of our market insights shows that EYCI (Eastern Young Cattle Indicator) type cattle achieved a 10 per cent premium over other selling platforms in the past six months, even during drought times."
Having a national marketplace which allows the seller to accurately describe livestock, including bloodlines and condition, also gives the buyer more confidence to purchase.
"Knowledge is power and with the increase in the Internet of Things and the latest digital tools and information that is readily available, that level of detail is expected," Mr Street said.
"Our goal is to make sure that the information presented is meaningful, insightful, and is going to add value to that lot being sold."
AuctionsPlus began 32 years ago with the focus on livestock, and that has remained the focus, Mr Street said. The business now has an average of 760 accredited assessors that are active each year. An average of 17,000 unique vendors are using the platform at any time and AuctionsPlus has 60,000 unique visitors every month, Mr Street said.
"It's grown 20pc year on year over the past four years in terms of volume.
"That growth was driven by producers looking for ways to extract more value out of the point of sale.
"Biosecurity and animal welfare has also became a focus, and this is a sales channel that aims to largely mitigate any of those issues."
The next step for AuctionsPlus is the development and collection of applications, tools and services that agricultural businesses can access to complete online transactions.
"Quite often one of the biggest bugbears for farmers is having 10 apps on their phone but they only use one, so I'd like to see us connect all those applications and share information for a seamless experience online.
"AuctionsPlus is already easy to use, as a buyer or seller. The buyer is able to bid anywhere, at any time, rather than having to drive for hours to see stock or buying through word of mouth.
"From a selling perspective, the vendor can set the reserve with the stock on farm, and by doing this, it makes them a price maker, not a price taker - AuctionsPlus helps our communities to manage market volatility."