CEO and founder of Krank, Mark Turner is well-versed in the vagaries of the international equipment sales market. As a crane broker of twenty five years standing, based both in the UK and Dubai, Mark would frequently struggle to find a suitable platform to advertise the equipment that was on his books.
While social media channels offer a potential outlet they are not populated by the kind of specialised interest groups that would be in the market for a tower crane, nor indeed does every seller want to show their hand in terms of what they are off loading on a public forum.
“A seller can list the excavators, wheel loaders or crawler cranes that they are wishing to dispose of, but they only need to reveal their identity to the potential purchasers of their choosing. That was the Eureka moment for me – the idea that you could create a private trading network online with each of your trading partners individually.”
Crucially, they can do all that whilst also avoiding the high fees that are often associated with trading capital equipment, either regionally or internationally. So is this destined to see the demise of Mark’s previous profession?
And will the broker of capital equipment be rendered redundant? Not according to the brains behind Krank: “When I was trading in cranes many of my clients were contractors primarily and were frankly uncomfortable having to deal with the management and disposal of assets.
“Whilst Krank can cut out the middle man there is room for a broker who has permission from the seller to represent the interests of those contractors or equipment dealers or sellers on Krank.”
Rental fleet owners can advertise units for sale and rent on Krank, but only those individuals who are networked with the vendor can access those details – and who is selling or renting. A genuine buyer will be able to search for specific equipment and, once located, they will then send a request to find out more details.
At this stage the name of the rental company that’s either divesting of or hiring of that equipment remains anonymous. The seller/renter is then able to review the profile of the buyer and decide if they want to network with them. Once that request is accepted a private company to company conversation can ensue.
Krank puts users in charge of their own trading options. In order to trade, the seller can offer the item on a private basis to specifically selected customers via the ‘Network Marketplace’ tab, or the unit can be offered on an open basis via the ‘Public Marketplace’ tab.
“Krank has also developed a Dealer Listing Assignment, whereby manufacturers or any companies that work through dealer networks, will be able to appoint dealer networks and assign those dealer networks to specific listings. Any prospective buyers when enquiring on the dealer assigned listings will be able to select their local dealer from a drop down menu and send an enquiry for the listing directly.
Each company’s network of contacts and client database is secure, and the equipment listings they post can always be private, if that’s what they choose, so there is no danger of sensitive commercial information being leaked.
Clearly for Krank to be effective it needs users, and the focus has been on spreading the word, but there are also further developments on the horizon. Continues Mark: “Later in the year Krank will also feature an online auction module. There will be no sales commission or fees for seller or buyer, but they will be required to purchase the auction listings.”
“Krank is not trying to fundamentally change the way that fleet owners or sellers of equipment do business,” adds Mark. “Instead, it’s a tool for more effectively managing business relationships. Like any social media network it relies on companies embracing the platform, by inviting employees to join – and an unlimited number of colleagues can link to the network – or requesting connections to individuals from other companies.
“It’s also possible to customise your online dashboard, or post articles and blogs. It’s about building your own marketplace, and that will start with the organisations that you’re already doing business with. Not only that, but if you are already initiated into the functions of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter then Krank should be comfortable territory.”
Empire Crane Co, LLC was founded by brothers Paul & Luke Lonergan in January of 2002 and, since opening, has offering the full line of Terex Cranes. The company is also are New England’s only authorised Tadano Mantis dealer as well as being an authorised dealer of Kobelco Crawler Cranes, Shuttlelift, Manitex Boom Trucks and Wolffkran Tower Cranes and Magni Telehandlers.
“Krank is new and thinks outside the box,” declares Empire Crane CEO, Luke Lonergan. “It’s different from all other listing sites because it allows you to connect personally with the people who are interested in your listings, as well as those whom you’ve done business with for decades.”