Sotheby’s realise the benefits of PacSol’s document management

The world’s oldest and most famous auction house uses Westbrook Technologies software in its shipping department to securely store and instantly retrieve business critical documents.

Last year, the London auction house arranged exports for 7,000 clients and moved property out of the country exceeding 250 million pounds. Worldwide, Sotheby’s employs more than 1,000 people in 104 offices.

They have regional offices in every major city throughout Europe. The UK Shipping department has 14 employees, all of whom have access to the Westbrook solution.


Director of Shipping & Logistics Sue Swan said the London-based auction house is scanning all documents related to the temporary importation of items (officially referred to as lots) for auction.

When a lot is auctioned off and the new owner wants to take the item out of the country, Sotheby’s can now search and retrieve all the necessary paperwork electronically and print it out for the individual.


Now all the information is at their fingertips with a quick search and retrieval.

Buyers are often hand-carrying the lot out of the country or shipping the item to another destination, but certain requirements must be met on a government level before any merchandise leaves the UK.

Customs and Excise requires proof of ownership and proof that the lot in question is the same item originally imported to London.

Before implementing the Westbrook solution, Sue said Sotheby’s had to manually search through ring binders and filing cabinets to locate various verification documents for their buyers.

It was a time-consuming process that sometimes hindered customer travel.

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