Case Study

New trading platform produces rapid results

Shaun McCauley, the Chief Technology Officer of GlobalDairyTrade, states that ClearPoint has raised the bar on delivery of technology projects.
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Launched in 2008, GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) is now the leading price reference indicator for globally traded commodity dairy products. By 2012, having enjoyed rapid success and growth, GDT realised that they had outgrown their current auction platform and that this could constrain their growth. Ahead of several of their competitors, ClearPoint was selected to design, build and deliver a new online dairy commodity trading platform – GEMS (Global Event Management Systems).

“The ClearPoint team and Agile methodology have changed our expectations around delivery of technology projects. On budget, on time, fit for purpose. The bar has been raised.” — Shaun McCauley, Chief Technology Officer, GDT.

The GEMS platform is unique and crucial to GDT’s offering to its global sellers and bidders. It vastly reduces risk for customers and offers a premium service through its ease of use. It has changed how the Operations team works, cutting down administration time dramatically and allowing more focus on account management.

The results speak for themselves: in the last 18 months, GDT has gained four more sellers, potentially worth billions of dollars to the New Zealand economy.

Meeting the unique needs of GDT

GDT-Price-IndexWhile GDT recognised that their global dairy commodity platform needed replacing, there was no obvious blueprint for the system. Asking customers for their preferences isn’t sometimes the best source of direction in developing a strategy; they often don’t know what features and functionality they would like until they’ve experienced the system working. In addition, the business model of GDT is unique and the platform needed to reflect those individual needs.

ClearPoint met this challenge by starting the project with rigorous examination of GDT’s business and their needs. Managing reputation is crucial to GDT as is managing risk on behalf of their sellers, the global dairy companies. GDT believed that if they could leverage the new platform to enhance their reputation and further manage risk on behalf of their customers (the sellers and bidders), they would attract new customers.

ClearPoint designed the architecture of GEMS and commenced the build in August 2012, employing their trademark Agile software methodology. This meant that fully functioning phases were released, on schedule, every couple of weeks, allowing GDT to start using parts of the system immediately.

Via the website, sellers and bidders access their own portals that guide them through the Trading Event lifecycle. The website is crisp and clean. Navigation is easy, “call to action” buttons give clear instruction and interactive graphics provide on-demand data and statistics. It is intuitively easy to find what you are looking for whether you are an administrator, bidder or seller. Running the system is part of the sustainability of the overall platform. ClearPoint supports the set up and running of each event, 24/7.

“We chose ClearPoint as we liked the way they thought and the way they worked. From the beginning ClearPoint listened to us and responded to our challenges with creative, forward-thinking, right-sized solutions.” — Shaun McCauley, Chief Technology Officer, GDT.

Attracting four new global dairy companies in 18 months

GDT-Products-ChartThe new GDT trading platform has achieved its business objectives and more. It is logical, interactive and easy to use. It reduces risk for GDT and their sellers and bidders. The solution has been delivered into a secure, cloud-hosted infrastructure. It has cut down administration time dramatically and allows more focus on account management. GEMS is a scalable platform, that is, it has been designed to adapt with the times or as business needs change.

“The new system has changed how the Operations team works. It used to take 24 hours to prepare a Trading Event every fortnight. It only takes two hours now. Instead of exchanging 50 spreadsheets with clients, we now exchange just a couple. Our clients can log into the Seller or Buyer Portals from anywhere in the world. The impact of the new system on our Event Managers is significant. They also act as Account Managers and having more time means they can show more “love” to our clients with more time for thinking and strategic decision-making,” says Yasmine Benjafer in the GDT Operations team.

The business results of the trading platform have been exceptional, attracting four new global dairy companies in the last eighteen months: Molkerei Ammerland, Amul, Eurosérum and Land O’Lakes.

As one of GDT’s referees put it, “Potentially what they have done is worth billions of dollars to the New Zealand economy. This is a significant contribution to New Zealand.”

“We didn’t approach this as a one-off engagement. We value the ongoing relationship with ClearPoint as we seek to tap into their knowledge and expertise with subsequent upgrades.” — Shaun McCauley, Chief Technology Officer, GDT.

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