Access to stock
Someone once said that the most important thing in trading is access to stock. He could not – however – see how technology could provide access to more stock.
Well, first of all – we agree: Access to stock is of course important. As for how technology can enable you to access more stock, here's how.
In all sort of business and true throughout time it has been true, that technology could provide a competitive advantage. In many cases this competitive advantage will gradually eliminate tech laggards. They go out of business – usually because their efficiency suffers.
When competing for fixed or limited resources, it's better to be few than many.
Consequently, if someone goes out of business, the remaining can fight for/distribute the excess market shares. Thus, engaging in efficiency and optimization will squeeze or competition. In no place is this more true than in tech. There's a reason Amazon is now practically the Death Star of retail.
If you've seen the animation movie Ratatouille, you'll know that there are 2 ways to get your hands on the best fruits and vegetables: Grow them yourself or bribe a seller to provide you first choice.
We are of course not suggesting you should bribe someone for access to stock.
But growing your own stock might make sense. The thing is that technology – due to the efficiency gains – will free up resources (attention, time and money) which can be used to grow new revenue streams. This not only helps you diversify your business – and thus make it less vulnerable to fluctuations in the market – but also help you move into areas where the value add is higher and profits greater.
Consider how you bought your favorite shoes 10 years ago. You went to some retailer who took the trouble to search availability and styles across several brands to pick – to curate – a collection of top shoes. For most of us, the last pair of shoes we bought online. Directly from the producer. Brands like Adidas are no longer "just" manufacturers. They are also wholesellers.
By adding technology and interfaces, you can now browse through the entire collection across brands and products to find just the thing you want. You can access guidance and reviews if you need help you make your purchase. Either directly from the producer and most often from other users.
Or think of making a 3-week holiday to some far-off corner of the globe. Chances are that you can arrange the whole things including transport, hotels, sightseeing tickets etc. all from your smartphone. And would be perfectly OK doing it.
As we have stated numerous times, technology and interfaces allows you to create clarity, find your way and access resources and do so with ease and speed. Work that used to require a middle-man of sorts to hack his way through a jungle of scattered information.
Same same in all kinds of procurement. What is right about B2C is right about B2B: Technology can help you find and access commodities, goods and services you had no idea existed.
Moreover, platform solutions allow you to find market places and spaces, outlets, sellers and buyers you had no idea existed. This is especially true for emerging markets.
JUST ONE MORE THING
Realizing that this is a blog and therefore not – per se at least – free from personal opinion, most of what we bring to you on the subject of technology, the implications of technology and the capabilities it provides, we make a point of bringing you the combined consensus of the tech and consulting industries.
There is a big difference between believing and actually knowing. Of being able to deduce based on central, working principles and market trends.
If you wish to access more stock, technology can help you. Whether you decide to use this lever is entirely up to you. What should be pretty obvious is that someone will.