Making Trax: new site tipped to boost machinery turnover

FORMER Blue Machinery (Scotland) general manager Allan Kane is launching a new online global marketplace for new and used machinery.

TraxTrader has already generated interest from people in over 50 countries around the world involved in buying and selling equipment.

Allan believes the site will stand out thanks to its simple user-friendly design, while his own combination of marketing and industry experience makes him the ideal figurehead to drive the project forward.

He initially devised a business plan for the site six years ago after realising how critical the turnover of used equipment is for everyone in the industry.

Allan explained, “It is a problem for everyone, whether you’re an end user, an OEM or a dealer. Used equipment is an issue, and it’s an issue we’re all looking for a solution for.

“There’s an opening there to connect buyers and sellers globally. There are people already offering this type of service, however there’s a niche there where we can offer a simpler user experience and make it easier to upload by utilising the latest technology.

“For larger-scale users who have extensive inventories, we will offer a fully integrated solution which communicates directly with their existing websites. For individual users, we’re going to make it mobile-friendly so they can upload videos and photographs from their phones.

“People in this industry are becoming much more accustomed to using technology now whereas maybe ten years ago they weren’t.

“Already we’ve got over 50 countries signed up to upload machines. We see huge potential with this globally. Another factor, which is a key point for me, is that we’ve seen so many highs and lows in the sector over the past ten years in the UK, so a big appeal of TraxTrader globally is that there will always be somewhere that’s buoyant. There will always be fluctuations with politics, legislations, currency changes and natural demand so different markets will appeal to different people at different times.

“The timing is right now; there’s an opening there at the minute. I’m at the stage of my life where I’ve developed enough experience now to go and run a business.”

Allan added that there is “extensive” marketing experience behind the scenes and the platform will benefit from the latest ideas and technology.

“I’m delighted with Limegreentangerine, the agency involved in the brand and development of the website,” Allan added. “I had worked closely with them in my Blue days.”

He explained that the site will run in a similar fashion to the likes of eBay and Gumtree, where it becomes almost a “faceless” operation. At the time of interview, he said he was in the process of recruiting someone to drive it from a business development perspective and also be on hand to deal with day-to-day queries from users.

“The feedback so far has really been incredible,” Allan added. “I’ve been blown away by the uptake. We haven’t gone live yet so users have only seen the holding page and mock-ups but they’ve been really impressed. Ease of use is the principle.”

Given that TraxTrader will function almost automatically once it’s up and running, Allan has enough time on his hands to take on a new job. He’s set to embark on a major life change by moving to Cleveland, Ohio to take up the role of VP of Operations at Ecoverse, the Doppstadt dealer for the USA.

Allan is already familiar with the Doppstadt brand from his time at Blue and says he’s “hugely excited” by the challenge of working in the American market.

“America is a huge market for Doppstadt and there’s continuity for me with supplier and product,” he revealed. “I’ll hopefully be out there at the start of May with my family. I’ve always liked America as a country and enjoy their way of life.

“There is no doubt it’s a big challenge and it has been a huge decision to move the family away.

“I just think there are lots of opportunities out there for all of us. I’m confident in the company, Doppstadt equipment and the people I’m going to work for.”

When asked about the differences between the UK and US markets, Allan said we should come back and ask the question again in six months time. One thing he has picked up, however, from past visits to the States is that the UK is seen as being an industry leader.

“They look at the UK as pioneers,” Allan said. “The biggest difference really is the space. They have space; we don’t.

“Legislation varies massively from state to state and you’ve even got nuances within the respective states so it’s a bit of a minefield.

“Going forward, legislation is going to drive change in the States to ensure improved recovery of recyclables.

“Therefore I feel I’m going in at the right time with a great product that I know and have huge confidence in.”

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