At a special media event in Asheville, N.C., attended by Rock Products, IronDirect unveiled its brand and business model to the aggregates, mining and construction industries. IronDirect is “a first-of-its-kind platform for buyers of heavy construction equipment and parts,” according to the company, and can “reduce equipment costs by up to 50 percent.”
IronDirect, a subsidiary of Washington, D.C.-based Liquidity Services, described its business model as “a revolutionary and safe way to purchase, operate and resell the machines, attachments and parts needed to maximize uptime, productivity and working capital. We do this by offering our customers a convenient online platform for purchasing and selling equipment, attachments, parts and services; a suite of innovative support and service programs and technologies that reduce the risk of ownership across a machine’s lifetime; and a safe way to buy, operate and resell value-priced products from proven global manufacturers.”
The company said it will offer “only the highest-quality equipment direct from emerging global manufacturers, complemented by superior after-sales support to maximize fleet utilization and recovery.” This equipment includes Lonking wheel loaders and excavators, and Shantui bulldozers. Equipment will be co-branded with the IronDirect name for sale in the United States.
Current products include:
- Excavators: 6- to 48-metric ton models.
- Wheel loaders: 3- to 4-cu.-yd. models.
- Bulldozers: 80- to 520-hp models.
- Telehandler: 60- to 127-ft. reach models.
- Pipelayers: 25- to 90-metric ton models.
IronDirect senior management includes Tim Frank, president; Andy Clevenger, vice president, operations; Wes Lee, vice president of key accounts; Kendall Delp, service director; and Kevin Tanner, engineering manager. All members of the company’s management team has experience working for construction-machinery manufacturers.
“Liquidity Services has zero debt and available cash to help us grow this business,” Frank said. “This e-commerce launch is based on the concept that purchase, management and liquidation of a piece of equipment should be more convenient for the buyer.”
IronDirect touts the low purchase price of its machinery. They attribute this to cutting out the middle man. “Lack of traditional vendor overhead keeps prices lower without sacrificing customer support solutions for fast and efficient service,” Frank said.
The purchase of a piece of equipment is as easy as browsing the company’s website at www.irondirect.com. Manufacturers are selected based on “quality, value, market leadership and reliability,” according to the company.
An experienced engineering and product testing team inspects all designs and equipment to ensure quality, durability and safety. Machines are customized with major components from Cummins, Kawasaki, Grammer, ZF, Rexroth and Dana. All machines are EPA compliant, IronDirect said.
“These are emerging brands,” Frank said. “These manufacturers are strong in their respective markets, but currently not represented in the United States.” Frank said the company is currently in discussion with 18 additional companies to further extend the IronDirect product line.
Customers are invited to test equipment at the IronDirect Customer Center in Asheville, N.C. It is the former Volvo Construction Equipment demonstration site. Customers can also ask for and receive a customized demonstration of the machinery via drone.
Service Your Way is a unique, flexible program that offers IronDirect customers three options for keeping equipment up and running. The first option is complete self-service, which allows qualifying customers to perform warranty work at their own facilities. IronDirect will reimburse them for the cost of labor and parts at full MSRP.
The second option is for the customer’s preferred service provider to perform the warranty work. IronDirect will reimburse the service provider at 110 percent of their normal retail labor rates.
The third option is for any one of IronDirect’s pre-authorized, full-service partners located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to service the equipment. Applications to become IronDirect authorized service providers are available online at irondirect.com.
IronDirect will feature a robust parts replacement program. Customers may place orders by phone, online, or via the DirectAssist smartphone app directly with its depot, a 450,000 sq.-ft. warehouse and distribution center in Columbus, Ohio, where the company maintains a comprehensive standing inventory of original parts directly from the manufacturer. IronDirect guarantees the delivery of replacement parts for machine-down situations within 48 hours, shipping same-day via FedEx, UPS, DHL, LTL and FTL to ensure maximum uptime and productivity. If the part is not received within that timeframe, IronDirect will reimburse the owner for the cost of renting a comparable machine until delivery occurs.
IronDirect employs a team of more than 45 highly-trained customer service agents in Shanghai, London, Garland (Texas), and Scottsdale (Ariz.), who offer IronDirect customers the most accessible and responsive phone and chat support in the industry. Agents are multi-lingual in English, Spanish, French, German and Chinese and provide 24-hour “follow the sun” global coverage.
DirecTrac is IronDirect’s proprietary telematics system built into every IronDirect machine. This technology monitors, tracks, reports and analyzes real-time equipment and operator usage, enabling data-driven asset management decisions. The system is free for the first three years of ownership.
Each IronDirect machine comes with its own QR codes located on the inside door frame of the vehicle cab. Machine owners and technicians can scan the codes to instantly access vital equipment data including:
- Machine birth certificate including all main component model and serial numbers.
- Original quality assurance report for your specific machine.
- Key specifications.
- Comprehensive machine walk-around video.
The Iron Edge loyalty rewards program is an exclusive membership that offers discounted commission rates and mutually agreed-upon expense budgets for the end-of-life resale of IronDirect equipment through its e-commerce channels.
Customers are automatically enrolled in Iron Edge as Gold Members upon their first purchase. As they purchase additional equipment, membership is upgraded – when cumulative purchases reach $3 million, they become Platinum members. At $10 million they become Diamond Members.
As Iron Edge members resell equipment, their commission decreases from 8 percent for Gold Members, to 6 percent for Platinum Members and 4 percent for Diamond Members. Benefits for all achievement levels are good for a lifetime and purchase levels never reset.
“This is a game-changing platform for aggregates producers who want to purchase high-quality equipment for less,” Frank said.
The official debut of IronDirect will coincide with the launch of its website on Sept. 15.