HGR’s internal departments buy and sell industrial surplus


How it all happens:

  1. The inbound lead-generation process to find items to buy starts with the Call Center in Austin, Texas, which makes an average of 155 cold calls per person per day from leads in our database and lists that we purchase. Sometimes, a customer will call HGR’s Buy Department or a lead will come in through our website, a vendor or a referral.
  2. The qualified leads go to the buyers who contact the customer to set up an inspection (in person or via photos).
  3. The buyer then decides whether to offer a bid to the customer or pass on the item(s).
  4. If the buyer decides to offer, he puts the photos and write up into a folder for the Buy Department. That team types up the deal and composes an offer.
  5. The bidding supervisor in the Buy Department looks for similar items in our system or online then assigns a retail price and a bid price at 1/3 retail to allow for shipping and profit margin. In addition, this person adds notes with a best- or worst-case retail price range.
  6. The buyer can change these numbers based on his knowledge of the customer then completes the bid and sends an email to the customer.
  7. Bid negotiations ensue. If the offer is accepted, the Buy Department creates a P.O. The goal is $38,000-40,000/day in P.O.s. Accounting will cut the check the same day and send it out via UPS.
  8. The Shipping Department will schedule the transportation of the item to HGR’s showroom.
  9. When it arrives, the Receiving Department unloads the trucks, lines up the items, unwraps/unpackages/uncrates the item, cleans it and puts it on a pallet if one is needed. Then, Receiving moves the item to the new arrivals area.
  10. The item(s) then go to the Pricing and Inventory group within the Buy Department. That team prices, photographs, tags, labels and gathers information about the item. The information is entered by a clerk and data entry into the website. At this point, the item is live and available for purchase. Some items are purchased online immediately and never make it onto the showroom floor.
  11. The Showroom Department organizes the showroom floor and makes room for incoming items then moves the items from the new arrivals area to the proper aisle on the showroom floor. An item usually does not spend more than an average of six months on the floor before being sold or marked for scrap, but it depends on the cost of the item, the specialty/desirability and the current cost of scrap. Showroom also pulls orders and loads the items for the customers or takes them to Shipping after they have been purchased. Showroom also unloads returned items.
  12. From the day an item is sold, the customer has 30 days to pay and 45 days to move it. Our Shipping Department also can schedule pickup and delivery of purchased items for the customer.
  13. Some items never make it to the showroom, not because they are sold as soon as they are listed, but because HGR’s eBay Department takes the items to list. They sell approximately 45-50 items per day at an average of $120/item. All items are listed with a starting bid of $3.99 and must weigh under 150 pounds. Of the items listed, only about five per week do not sell.
  14. Approximately 12 salespeople work in the Sales Department. They are responsible for 85 percent of HGR’s sales. They handle phoned-in inquiries, walk-ins and website purchase requests. For seven days after the item is received, they are not able to discount the item, but they can document an offer and set a task to call the customer back when we are able to meet his/her price. Since we do not have an accounts receivable department, Sales is responsible for collecting payment on sold items. The salespeople continue to follow up with the customer to encourage pickup. Many of our customers are dealers who repair and resell equipment, and 15 to 20 percent of our customers are outside of the U.S.
  15. Items from Receiving, Ebay or Showroom that do not sell become the property of the Scrap Department. This team will break them down (aluminum, stainless, gold leaf, sheet metal, copper, circuit boards, etc.), drain the oil and clean the items in order to get more money from the scrapyards. When the items are stripped, they are taken to bins outside the loading bays to await removal.
  16. Other individuals and departments support this buy-and-sell pipeline. Through the efforts of Marketing, additional leads are generated, and brand is enhanced. Human Resources brings in and supports the employees who get the work done. Maintenance takes care of the team’s building, grounds and physical needs. Safety ensures we meet federal and state requirements by minimizing the risk of accident and injury to employees and customers. The CFO, controller and finance team handle leases, loans, investments, taxes, ERP Systems, technology, reporting, vendor management and many of the back-office ops that keep us running like a well-oiled machine.


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