What is Assay on Wheels?
Assay on Wheels® (AOW) is the only mobile precious metals recycler in the world. We were founded in 2011 to create a convenient, transparent solution for the precious metals business-to-business recycling market, and would not be where we are today without the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. We save our clients time and money by driving to their location, assaying their precious metals using our patented high-tech process while they watch, and paying them out on the spot.
What is assaying and how does the process work?
Assaying is the process of analyzing a metal to determine the quantity and quality of gold, silver, or other metals. The process begins with melting metal in an induction furnace. Next, a sample of the molten metal is taken and analyzed, using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology, to determine the metal content (percentage of gold, silver, etc). Once the metal content is determined a bar is poured and weighed to determine the quantity of metal contained based upon the content of the sample. We then ship it a refiner where it is processed into pure gold that can be used to make coins, jewelry, or even the electronic circuits inside your smartphone.
What was the motivation behind making Assay on Wheels® a mobile business?
We wanted to create a better solution for the secondary precious metals market based on a platform of speed, convenience, security, and transparency.
Why did you select the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter?
AOW was looking for functionality, versatility, fuel efficiency, reputation of craftsmanship, and beauty in our mobile unit. The Mercedes-Benz reputation elevated our company and gave us legitimacy while meeting all our needs.
How many Assay on Wheels® Sprinter vans are in your fleet?
We now have a total of 10.
Tell us about the upfit that transformed the Sprinter into Assay on Wheels®
First, we teamed up with one of the top armoring companies in the country to create a bulletproof Sprinter. We added specialized security and surveillance equipment, as security is a number one concern. Next we added customs cabinets, an air filtration system, induction furnace, and all the necessary safety equipment to maintain a safe melting lab where clients can feel comfortable during a transaction. The Sprinter is so versatile it can even carry the heavy-duty generator needed to power all the equipment.
How do your customers find your business while you’re on the move?
Customers can schedule appointments by contacting their local assayer directly, calling the office, or even schedule online via our website, http://www.assayonwheels.com.
How has your Sprinter helped grow your business?
The Sprinter has enabled us to create a safe, comfortable, and efficient mobile processing lab because of its interior space and chassis durability. The mobile advantage and range the Sprinter provides allows us to keep costs low and redirect resources quickly when needed. In our particular business we like the fact that there are many other Sprinters on the road so we can blend in easily. Our clients relish that they feel comfortable inside a Mercedes.
If you could give advice to other growing businesses about going mobile, what would it be?
In the fast-paced and high-tech world we live in, mobility and flexibility are essential to business growth. Mobility gives us the ability to service clients quickly and efficiently, creating a competitive advantage. The flexibility the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter provides enables us to make it a reality, and it can do the same for many other industries. Just be patient and flexible–operating a business is different in a mobile environment so there can be a steep learning curve.