Information-Driven Organization – Or Is It?
Today’s businesses that do not nurture the environment where key information is available and promptly communicated at a short notice risk ending up behind the curve. Take the case of the recent Archegos collapse and its ripple effect on some of the largest banks around the world. Goldman Sachs, due in part to their information agility, managed to come out almost unscathed, Morgan Stanley suffered some losses but managed to relatively quickly hedge their exposure, whereas Credit Suisse, the Swiss banking giant, has borne the full brunt of the meltdown with their former risk manager Lara Warner indicating she was not even aware of some key insurance contracts expiring on the eve of the collapse (source – Reuters article). Total damage is approx. $4.7B for not having the critical information at hand and, thus, doing nothing.
And while this case has garnered a lot of attention as of late, primarily due to its outsized losses, most businesses chronically suffer from key information deprivation in their daily activities.
Whether it is a price of corn collected by a field analyst but not updated in the central repository quickly enough nor distributed to traders, or a product promotion based on a rule of thumb rather than data, businesses these days are forced to capture, process, and ensure quick access to information.
This is where virtual assistants (chatbots) come into play. Why bother trying to find this report or go to that dashboard when all you need to do is ask. How many times did you need just one number but had to execute and eyeball the full report? And how often you wished you had the ability to quickly update the report with key information you just discovered?
Quantitatively speaking, going via the report route + further drilldowns to retrieve needed information takes anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes depending on the performance of the report. Juxtapose this with approximately 5 seconds required to type a quick question and get an exact answer. A medium size company roughly has 45K requests for specific information daily, being a very conservative estimate. We look at savings from 690 to 6900 hours (45K to 450K minutes divided by 60 and subtracting the 5 seconds per request using the intelligent assistant) depending on how long it takes to run a report. Taking the fastest report route, 690 hours saved daily translates into 27.6K USD assuming a $40/hour average employee rate.
And what if we throw emails and other processes into the picture when 1min per key information request becomes hours and in some cases days.
Fetching Prices in the 21st Century
Today almost everyone is using WhatsApp / Telegram / Viber / Facebook / Discord and other messenger platforms to communicate privately or as part of the group. Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business tend to be messenger platforms of choice for companies and organizations.
Commodity trading houses and any other organizations, including governments, rely on quick and efficient access to any commodity price from any channel. Whether you trade iron ore for a client in China or a government agency tasked with ensuring natural gas supply for winter or shipping palm and soya oils from Brazil to Europe, being able to instantly extract information from various sources is key to success.
What if, instead of logging into a Bloomberg or Reuters Terminal or going to any of the ERP systems like SAP or Oracle or Microsoft based suite, you can just ask a question and your intelligent assistant goes and fetches the answer from a relevant source? We observed traders and analysts face similar challenges:
- How many places do you need to go to fetch prices? Can I quickly get prices from Zema or Morningstar or any other platform?
- How can I raise alerts for my team?
- How do I instantly share the insights I just discovered with my team?
- What do I do on the go? Can I use my phone for all of the above while in the field?
What we have seen that traders and analysts in one of the largest commodity trading firms indicated they need to be able to:
- Have some “app” or “assistant” that can gather prices from multiple channels and provide it upon request
- Get alerts of the fluctuating prices to make on the spot decisions.
- They wish to broadcast and share their inputs with a group of teammates.
- Input commodity forward prices using a template or a quick survey-like screen, both from the field and at their desks.
- Immediately act on a freshly received Price / information in any system, or just alert someone else and forward the message
- Finally, traders would like to be reminded of when new price changes inputs are expected.
Having addressed these challenges with the Intelligent Assistant we went back to ask which features you experienced have been the most beneficial in your line of work. Some answers were:
“Getting exact answers to price requests is a great time saver to me.”
“Our Power BI suite of reports is reaching the critical mass and we are sometimes getting lost in them. Not having to go via the platform to get what I need and so quickly has proven its worth.”
“I liked getting the filtered report to what I originally asked.”
“In general, I don’t like getting reminders, but getting it from a robot… I’m ok with it.”
“Querying the price from Zema, our price platform, has been a breeze. No need for any logins.”
“Working in the field and being able to upload and communicate a price wire using my cell phone eliminates me having to do it in the evening.”
Revenue AI Intelligent Assistant for Trading, in Action
Let us make it simple. You are trading in one of the commodities (Oil / Coal / Wheat / Sugar / Coffee / NatGas) and your team is a group of 3-10 people around the globe.
- Probably you already have a WhatsApp communication channel to distribute prices
- Probably you already have plenty of sources of information like the Bloombergs and the Reuters of this world
- Last but not least, you may have some internal information tidbits stashed somewhere in Excel? Or Dropbox. Or Google Drive
What you can do with Intelligent Assistant is already a lot and with time functionality will increase:
- Ask for any price, no matter where it is
- Ask for any price from any source
- Insert prices for any commodity you are dealing with
- Forward / Distribute it inside your team
- Your assistant will alert you of any changes if you choose to be notified
- Gather all these prices in one place
And this is all done using the application which you most likely have already installed on either your personal or work laptop or a mobile device.
Fancy a future where you instantly receive active recommendations on what to buy and when. Sophisticated algos are at work to ensure your team is equipped to anticipate market changes and to immediately alert you based on the most recent trends. And we haven’t even started talking about automating your trading decisions and subsequent monitoring actions.
This is the future of Revenue AI’s Intelligent Assistant, we are working on today.