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Auction Insights with Artisio

Dive into our blog for expert insights, tips, and the latest trends in the auction industry. Let Artisio guide your journey in the dynamic world of auctions.

210 years and counting: Venduehuis der Notarissen continues to lead the way in auction-house innovation
February 8, 2023
5 Min read

210 years and counting: Venduehuis der Notarissen continues to lead the way in auction-house innovation

Auction Technology

Venduehuis der Notarissen is one of the world’s most highly respected auction houses. Based at The Hague in the Netherlands, it has been responsible for the sale of some of art’s most famous and important pieces over the course of its 210 year history. Whether it is the sale of the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer in 1881 or the spectacular Panorama Mesdag by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Venduehuis has been the stage for art and collectors to come together.

Founded during the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte when the Kingdom of Holland was subject to French law, the institution has endured for more than two centuries. Today, it remains the only auction house in The Netherlands still owned by the local association of notaries. However, its clientele stretches far beyond The Hague with a range of national and international clients regularly bidding from across 80 countries – through both live and online auctions.

Innovation, excellence and a new auction management software solution

Steeped in history, Venduehuis der Notarissen is nevertheless an institution that is forward-thinking and moves with the times. Indeed, it recently posted this to social media during the celebration of its 210th year:

“We are proud to be a modern auction house that attributes its success not only to the consistent high quality of art objects on offer, but also to our strong eagerness to innovate, the expertise of our knowledgeable art specialists, and the trusting relationships with our clients.”

Nowhere is this progressive approach clearer than in the auction house’s latest digital project with Artisio AMS.

In September 2022, Venduehuis identified the need for a new front-to-back auction management software to replace its existing legacy system. In an increasingly digital world, the team at Venduehuis recognised that an integrated software solution was essential to provide a seamless user journey for their clients. From initial engagement to sale registration to transfer of funds, every step of the auction process has to be intuitive and easy, in order to meet the needs of online collectors and buyers.

From this brief the Artisio AMS team has set about building and configuring a solution designed to manage front-to-back sales management processes, handle online payments and manage inventory. In addition, the new auction management software solution must have the capabilities to support the hosting of webcasts and timed auctions, as well as integrate 3rd party accounting systems and marketing tools.

The completed solution is set for completion and delivery in early 2023, incorporating all of Venduehuis’s historical data and imagery as a valuable archive of assets.

Ready to build an auction management solution fit for the future?

Artisio AMS can help you transform the way you do business and develop a solution that is perfectly tailored to your needs.

Find out more by booking a demo today.

The Social Impact Achieved Through Nurturing The Circular Economy
December 9, 2022
5 Min read

The Social Impact Achieved Through Nurturing The Circular Economy

Circular Economy

The circular economy is, finally, booming. Over the past two decades, the detrimental buy-use-discard process has hit our planet – and our economy – hard. Yet, with huge campaigns to raise awareness of the perils of this process everywhere we look, it’s quite reassuring to see the positive effects this is having on our buying habits, all in an effort to create both a more sustainable economy and world.

What Is The Circular Economy?

The circular economy was created as a sustainable economic model that deals with creating less waste by helping people understand the value of what they have and are able to pass onto others. This means that by purchasing things second-hand and at auction, you are doing your bit to create a more sustainable world.

The Circular Economy Model

There are so many services, websites and apps around nowadays that encourage the purchase of second-hand items, and choosing to buy at auction is a pivotal method in which collectors can help eliminate the buy-use-discard process that so many retailers have stuck by for so long – a process that produces a shocking amount of global waste. Buying at auction means you are able to buy vintage, second-hand and one-of-a-kind products that mean so much more, knowing you are contributing to the circular economy, where together, we are able to extend the life cycle of a product through reuse, rather than throwing it onto a garbage heap that will damage our planet.

How Auction Businesses are Fostering The Circular Economy

The auction industry is making every effort to foster the circular economy by reselling items instead of letting them be sent for landfill. Essentially, they act as the main link between buyers and sellers.

Auction businesses cater to a wide range of industries, who sell liquidated, returned and excess inventory second, third and – at times – even fourth-hand to other companies. That’s not the only way the auction industry helps boost the circular economy; they also assist businesses and retailers sustainably and effectively clear a backlog of excess inventory items and by doing so, protect brand equity, all while minimizing any financial loss.

By adopting these processes, not only are they giving their customers what they want to buy, but they are also doing their part in making our economy more sustainable, with far fewer products once sold at auction ending up on landfill sites across the world.

Artisio’s Role In The Circular Economy

Auction management software solution pioneers, Artisio, have paved the way for processes that contribute to the circular economy, with an impressive list of clients that go that little bit further in order to ensure their processes are sustainable. BPI Auctions, Diger and BPA Pharma are perfect examples of companies from the industrial sector who sell liquidated, returned and excess inventory items on the B2B (business to business) secondary market.

Artisio also acts as the main powerhouse for auction businesses. The fact that it is auction management software means it can assist auction companies in accelerating auction business and creating automated processes to allow for quicker and more efficient auction sales. This, in turn, helps auction companies to add more frequent contributions to the circular economy, helping to stop waste production by reusing things like plants, machinery, industrial equipment and more. By helping auction companies sell their produce more quickly and also assisting them with their business processes, Artisio manages to directly contribute to the circular economy & Environmental Sustainability.

You may be wondering how Artisio accelerates the auction process. This is cleverly done by auction houses being able to store a comprehensive list of inventory items on their database for any future sales. Furthermore, both sellers and dealers have the option to submit their second-hand items for auction houses to sell. In cases such as these, Artisio acts as a platform where all of this data is collected. Automated processes means less paperwork – paperwork which would have otherwise taken up valuable time.

Lastly, Artisio is an active member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity whose sole aim is to create a better, more thriving, circular economy for our world by eliminating waste and pollution, circulate products and materials and regenerate nature.

7 Things you are going to LOVE about Artisio
August 9, 2022
5 Min read

7 Things you are going to LOVE about Artisio

Auction Technology

Focusing on only one element of Artisio’s functionality is like using a Swiss Army knife exclusively as a bottle opener.

We’ve created ‘built-in’ solutions across the whole of the auction journey, from vendor consignment, Intelligent QR code-driven inventory, stock & asset solutions through to a full CRM system to help you manage your bidders and buyers, pre and post-auction.

Here we’ll highlight several Artisio features which will easily turn Artisio into the central hub for all your team activities:

1. QR Code Supported Stock Management

Artisio delivers a fresh approach to inventory management via QR code which makes our system faster and more automated.

Each function reduces manual process via quick scanning and helps Artisio users save resource time.

QR code functionalities are a quick and easy way to generate information about your inventory, manage catalogue and allow your customers to quickly find the information they need about the lots.

Thanks to QR codes and scanning, your stock management processes within Artisio is greatly simplified and can be executed quickly and accurately.

2. Smart Telephone Bid Management

Artisio offers intelligent telephone bidding functionality to help auctioneers support buyers who cannot attend an auction in person. Our smart script allows us to pair telephone bidders with clerks quickly and efficiently.

Artisio will automatically manage the allocation of clerks based on various criteria and bidder preferences ensuring that clerks and VIP bidders are always paired.

3. Easy customization

The Artisio technical infrastructure has been designed to be easily customisable to suit the individual requirements of a client or auction house. Artisio offers full data integration capabilities with 3rd party providers via API, with the ability to create fully customisable sales, deliver a fully integrated stock management solution, manage vendor consignments and support client valuations via your website.

Artisio’s dynamic structure ensures it adapts and responds seamlessly to an individual auction businesses process. Artisio has the flexibility to fully adapt to any existing or new front to back requirements including any ERP system that needs to be integrated into a client’s internal processes.

Thanks to Artisio’s flexible and adaptable system, client customization requests can be understood at initial consultation and fulfilled upon delivery.

4. Install Artisio on client’s website

Artisio is 100% API based so it’s possible to connect and install buyer and vendor functionality directly onto your website.

Additionally, Artisio actively supports ‘My Account’ functionality, enabling buyers to log in and view their profiles, review their registrations, live bids, invoices and make payments.

On the vendor side, client accounts can be created to allow inventory and documents to be uploaded directly into Artisio’s stock management system. This portal also delivers settlement and payment solutions.

Connecting Artisio to your website provides your business with the tools to ensure faster, more secure payments and will cut down client processing time.

5. Easy integration with third-party software

Artisio is 100% API based, any functionality and data held within Artisio can be synchronized with any third-party software partner which supports API. Artisio offers full data exchange capabilities via API that allows an auction business to integrate Artisio with any third-party application currently used or requested, for example: Integration with eCommerce online payment platforms, accounting software, external marketing automation, marketplace and private bidding platforms.

6. Multi-branching

Artisio offers multi-branching functionality which can be used for better organization, separation and division of company auction data. Regional offices and additional branches can have separate stock management, individual taxes, commissions structures.

Our intelligent permission functionality allows businesses to curate which data can be used and reviewed by each relevant branch whilst also being managed globally. Multi-branching, provides companies with the ability to organize all auction activities faster and more securely, whilst providing flexibility if your business diversifies.

7. Multi-lingual software

Artisio will all enable you to manage and grow your business on an international scale. To enable this, Artisio supports over 25 international languages both within the internal script of the AMS and via translation tools. This unique flexibility allows your business to support branches all over the world and enables staff, in multiple destinations, to be able to use the same system efficiently and communicate with one another and externally with clients effectively.

How Artisio can help auction companies to weather the storms of recession
July 7, 2022
5 Min read

How Artisio can help auction companies to weather the storms of recession

Industry Trends

Recession is an economic term that refers to a significant downturn over a period of a few months, normally visible in a fall in real GDP, employment, income and production.

Recession is usually triggered by economic shocks such as a rise in oil prices, financial panics, wars or a combination of all three.

According to economists, we are at the start of a new recession which has been triggered by the COVID pandemic and by the war in eastern Europe following Russia’s invasion of sovereign Ukraine.

Most companies suffer during periods of recession, primarily because both demand and revenue fall and uncertainty about the future increases.

However, it is not all gloom. According to a Harvard University study, during the last three big recessions 17% of 4700 public companies studied failed particularly badly, while 9% flourished, outperforming competitors by 10% in sales and revenue growth.

The factor which made the difference was preparation. Companies who successfully weathered the storm where well prepared, with a very low amount of debt, improved decision-making, better workforce management and digital transformation.

Downturns always encourage successfully managed companies to adopt new technologies and increase IT investment.

New technologies can make your business more transparent, more efficient and more flexible.

According to a study by McKinsey, one of the main reasons for companies to adopt new technologies during a downturn is to improve analytics to better understand their business, how the recession is affecting it and whether there is potential for operational improvements.

Artisio allows auction companies to have a 360-degree view of their business through our highly customisable reports and analytics. Customization is one of our main USPs. We believe that no two companies are the same, and each client requires an individual approach when it comes to analytics.

The second reason is that digital technology can help companies to cut costs, automate tasks or adopt data-driven decision-making. This is how Artisio helps auction companies: our clients see about 30 minutes time saving per employee per day after full deployment of the Artisio system in their company.

Artisio AMS allows companies to get a full picture of business performance through an intelligent client and stock management system. Multi-branch functionality enables international auction companies to see the performance of every office from one centralised dashboard.

The third reason is that IT investments make companies more agile, therefore better able to handle the uncertainty and rapid change that come with a recession.

Artisio’s QR code lot up and stock management system, and tablet-friendly inventory management module allow companies to enter new stock into Artisio even when they are offline, as well as giving unlimited third-party integrations with advanced API connections which make our clients super agile.

Companies that invest in new technologies and agile business practices are able to better understand the threats they face and respond more quickly. Artisio is here to help auction companies on that journey every step of the way.

What does Artisio have to do with sustainability?
July 1, 2021
5 Min read

What does Artisio have to do with sustainability?

Circular Economy

Environmental sustainability is now a shared responsibility among individuals and organizations. With the threat of climate change being more serious than ever, companies are now expected to be more involved in protecting natural resources and to apply environmentally sustainable business practices.

A company can only gain a competitive edge if it can assure that every single aspect of its business operations does not negatively impact the planet.

Customers are now conscious about patronizing products and services from brands who are transparent in their efforts to reduce waste and consume less energy. Investors likewise make investment choices based on an organization’s plan of action on sustainability.

The Auction Industry and Art Market’s Role in Environmental Sustainability

The auction industry and the art market are not exempt and can also have a heavy impact on the environment. For instance shipping and logistics, which includes transportation of consignments and delivery of auction items, contribute to carbon emissions. There’s also business travel, building maintenance, packaging of purchased pieces, and other business operations that produce greenhouse gases and leave a carbon footprint.

The good news is that the auction and art industry recognize its role in building a sustainable future by fostering the circular economy. It has a rather strong incentive for taking this environmental responsibility seriously. Art and other auction pieces, after all, are a form of investment, and people purchase them because of investment decisions that are based on their trust in the auction company. Such decisions are hardly driven by need. So, a company’s sense of accountability and responsibility in addressing issues relevant to the times, like climate change and global warming, will really influence these decisions.

What auction houses are doing for environmental sustainability so far

Now, after over a year of holding auctions through online or digital platforms due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rules of social distancing, more and more auction houses and art galleries are realizing how doable sustainability is. Of course, the sale and purchase of antique and vintage items is a form of recycling and, compared to purchasing new pieces, leaves less carbon footprint. But with online events, auction houses and galleries have significantly reduced the production of printed materials like catalogues, thus saving paper and energy.

Christie’s, for example, had committed in 2019 to reduce their print production by half by the end of 2020 from printing more than 700,000 materials every year.

They saw the initiative as not just possible but essential. However, Christie’s surpassed their goal, what with the pandemic and the enforced social distancing rules and the auction house switching to an online bidding format. It successfully reduced the production of printed materials by 75 percent

It is accountability, collaboration, and coordinated effort among players in the industry that will help push this cause forward and generate a lasting impact for the planet. One company’s actions will not be as significant as an entire industry’s collective effort.

Artisio’s Contribution to Environmental Sustainability

Artisio is committed to doing its part in protecting the environment.

For instance Artisio is powering online auction house platforms for both mobile and desktop and delivers powerful front-to-back functionality for these platforms. We offer an auction management system that takes care of everything for auction houses and galleries – from inventory management, to a comprehensive and versatile customer relationship management (CRM), to seamless online auction integration, to payment solutions.

Through this cloud-based AMS, which our clients in the industry can access from anywhere and at any time, we can help them create a mobile working environment for their employees. Being able to work from home or anywhere outside the office allows employees to save on energy costs and to reduce their travel-related carbon footprint.

The ability to move from a physical space to an online space will also help auction houses and art galleries create a paperless environment. The Artisio Auction Console removes the need for users to print auctioneers book and catalogues. Instead, a digital auctioneer’s book will contain information about all the lots under the sale, the commission bids, and the telephone bids. Auctioneers will be able to input the item Hammer Price and winning Paddle Number during the online live auction process. Everything is accessible with just a click. In due time, printing auctioneer’s books for every event would look like a wasteful luxury.

Artisio also works with third-party providers, which allows users to easily make digital signatures and cut down paper printing for records and documentation.

We can also generate auction PDF catalogues on the fly, then allow users to send it to clients.

We at Artisio know that our efforts and responses toward a healthier environment do not end there. We are committed to doing more and we will continue to look for more ways to help auction companies reach their sustainability goals through our digital solutions and cloud-based offerings. Let us take one step at a time.

5 Important Things Regarding the 5AMLD
June 9, 2021
5 Min read

5 Important Things Regarding the 5AMLD

Industry Trends

The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive or 5AMLD came into effect on January 2020 and reinforces the European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism or AML/CFT regime by enhancing transparency in financial transactions. The AML/CFT already implements money laundering regulations, which are robust and comprehensive requirements aimed at preventing businesses from being used by organized crime groups to launder money or to finance terrorist activities within EU member states.

Now, the 5AMLD extends the scope of the controls enforced by AML/CFT to digital currencies and digital currency providers. Its goal is to eliminate anonymous transactions involving cryptocurrencies to prevent fraud. And 5AMLD aims to achieve this by requiring that centralized data registries be put in place so that authorities will be able to quickly identify cryptocurrency account holders and controllers.

But how exactly do companies, especially galleries, art dealers, and auction businesses, stay compliant?

First Things First: How Do Money Laundering Regulations Affect AMPs?

Art Market Participants (AMPs), which include galleries, art dealers, and auction businesses, are vulnerable to the dangers of financial exploitation. Transactions with AMPs may be used for criminal or terrorist financing or as a means of laundering money to fund serious organised crime like drug importation and human trafficking. Enabling money laundering to take place as a mere result of a lack of due diligence and controls in the part of an AMP can result in sanctions, reputational damage, or even criminal conviction.

As such, money laundering regulations (MLRs), which are strict and specific, are put in place to protect AMPs from becoming unwitting victims to organized criminal activities.

HMRC Pointers

Here are five important guidelines from the HMRC regarding this directive, especially with the June 10, 2021 deadline for Art Market Participants (AMPs) to register for money laundering supervision nearing.

1. Risk Assessment

Compliance with money laundering regulations is built on the foundation of risk assessment. You are legally obliged to assess the risks of your business based on your business model and to accommodate business changes and developments as they come. These changes and developments will affect money laundering and terrorist financing risks, too.

2. Policies, Controls, and Procedures

After compiling a comprehensive and robust risk assessment, you need to put in place or implement an equally comprehensive plan on how to manage these risks. A risk-based approach includes appropriate policies, controls and procedures (PCPs) designed to effectively mitigate the risks that you have earlier identified. These PCPs also need to be reviewed and updated regularly.

These PCPs naturally need to be adapted to reflect whatever changes to your picture of business risk. They should detail how these risks will be addressed and how it will keep doing so as your business evolves and the risks change along with it.

HMRC Regulations 28 and 29 actually outline how a risk-based approach can be achieved, but it has to be applied according to the individual business’ model and requirements.

3. Customer Due Diligence

Money laundering regulations also specify when to apply customer due diligence. Regulation 27, more particularly, details both the general and specific customer due diligence requirements for AMPs. And once you have decided on when to apply this due diligence, Regulation 28 details how you should go about it. It is imperative for you to know the identity of your clients, so it follows that one of the cornerstones of MLRs is customer due diligence.

HMRC requires that know-your-client or KYC checks should be undertaken on a client’s transacting with your business above the threshold of 10,000 euros, whether it is a single transaction or multiple linked transactions.

Most of the post-inspection penalties imposed by the HMRC on AMPs contain a sanction that is related to their failure to properly comply with requirements for customer due diligence.

4. Timing of Verification and Record Keeping

The MLRs have outlined rather specific requirements regarding when to perform customer due diligence verifications. You need to create audit trails to demonstrate that you have complied with the regulations. As a business, you also need to understand the record-keeping requirements in order to easily comply with them.

AMPs must securely record and store customer data relating to “Know Your Customer” requirements, including IDs, date of birth, and full address. Be sure, however, that you comply with GDPR when collecting personal data. Auction houses are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer in accordance with UK GDPR.

You also need to keep customer data in your record for five or 10 years after your business relationship with a customer has ended.

5. Enhanced Due Diligence

It is essential for AMPs to know when to apply enhanced due diligence (EDD). You need to make a connection between your risk assessment, and your policies, controls and procedures, as well as to the resulting EDD requirements.

While most people expect to apply EDD when doing a highly unusual transaction or transacting in more obvious circumstances, like when it involves a politically exposed person, the MLRs are specific on the full range of requirements for EDD. For instance, how do you know if you are dealing with a politically exposed individual, with their family member, or with a known associate? Are you expecting to maintain a business relationship with a customer who is established in a high-risk third country?

High-risk countries are those countries that present no or deficient anti-money laundering and terrorism regimes. The 5AMLD wants to make sure that businesses in EU states dealing with these high-risk third countries apply systematic enhanced controls. In fact, the 5AMLD encourages sectors in member states to limit their relationship with these high-risk countries.

Artisio: Supporting Compliance and Delivering 5AMLD Solutions

Making these anti-money laundering requirements an intrinsic part of your business operations is the key to compliance. For AMPs, the overall legal responsibility for compliance rests in the hands of the business and cannot be outsourced to a third-party.

Artisio’s impressive auction management software (AMS) is designed to support AMPs by offering a module which facilitates AML/KYC checks to be carried out on all clients via any of the major third-party compliance providers in the marketplace. This unique module will integrate via an API link and ensure a seamless and secure 2-way process of capturing, recording and safely storing client’s data in accordance with GDPR regulations.

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