Trading metals can be a time-consuming and expensive process, which is why automation is the key to closing deals quickly and increasing trade volumes.

Concord is a leading global commodities group with a focus on non-ferrous metals and associated raw materials. It supplies metals to a world-wide customer base that includes automotive firms, major manufacturers and national governments. Looking to build on revenues of more than $4bn, Concord was exploring ways to increase its trading volumes – improving its market share and overall profitability. However, the firm faced a few challenges in achieving this aim.

What we didWhat we delivered

One such issue was the lack of automation in its processes, which meant that closing deals took a more time and effort than was ideal – and made the pursuit of opportunities more difficult in some cases. Also, the time it took for individuals to manually process a deal increased the cost to do so. Increasing trade volumes at pace in this environment was tough as well. In some instances, traders were only able to complete a limited number of deals each year. New buyers were also hard to come by, and Concord was looking for new ways of reaching customers that wouldn’t be time-intensive for its traders.

This was made more challenging by the availability of individuals across the business. With three offices (in China, the UK and the US), clients in different locations didn’t always have as much access to traders as they might have wanted. To address these issues, Concord turned to Invenica to make it easier for traders to connect with new and existing buyers. Concord was confident that, with its track record for delivering digital platforms and its understanding of the industry, Invenica would be able to provide the right solution.

What we did

To begin the project, Invenica held workshops with all the relevant stakeholders within Concord to understand the pain points at every level of the trading process. This ranged from the C-Suite leaders to the traders on the ground. With the knowledge of the challenges, the markets and any restrictions, Invenica got to work on designing a responsive website that would serve as a digital marketplace. The idea was that each trader looking to sell an asset would be able to access that marketplace and publish all the information needed to attract buyers. Once they fill in an e-form about the commodity itself, they publish it and the asset appears on the marketplace.
This worked in a similar way to sites like Amazon. Buyers would access the marketplace to see available products or use the intelligent search function to find what they’re after. They could either bid on, purchase or make an offer on the product – with actions generating a notification for traders to begin engaging with the buyer.

As well as intuitive customer-facing tools, Invenica created a back-office system in the marketplace to offer extra value to Concord and its traders. Users were able to access a dashboard that provided information about trade volume, the types of product available, and all the previous or ongoing deals. To make the trading process simpler and quicker, Invenica provided an interactive form designed to reduce the time taken to share assets with potential buyers. Learning from existing platforms, the developers created an automated process that allowed made it as easy as possible for users to upload forms featuring multiple pages of information.
Another feature Invenica built into the platform was a chatbot that allowed potential buyers to enquire about products not showing as available on the marketplace. It also gave them the ability to ask any questions or leave remarks for traders.

What we delivered

In three months, Invenica delivered a digital marketplace that accelerated Concord’s trading process and allowed it to drive growth in trading volumes. Traders can now upload information and deploy assets to the marketplace in minutes. Engagement with buyers is easy too, with traders getting notifications for orders so they can make decisions quickly and effectively. Then they can start the process of the trade itself – getting deals closed as swiftly as possible. The new platform has also created a new inbound channel for Concord. Finding new customers before meant calling people directly – the firm relied on word-of-mouth sales. With the new marketplace, Concord now attracts traffic it wasn’t previously able to access.
Invenica continues to provide ongoing support and maintenance for the marketplace, making sure it delivers 24/7 uptime.