Many businesses in the investment industry are looking for new ways to increase operational efficiency while adjusting themselves to increasing data demands . As part of this process, asset owners and managers alike aim to automate their data aggregation, validation and reporting capabilities, but are facing a big challenge when it comes to choosing the right partner/service provider to go on this journey with.
Sounds familiar? This post is for you.
Clearly there are many boxes to tick when assessing and choosing an investment data management platform , but like everything else in business, the decision eventually boils down to the single most important criterion that really moves the dial.
What moves the dial?
It’s a good question, especially when most investment data platforms out there offer similar business benefits, use comparable technology and sound pretty much the same.
But if you look beyond the well-crafted marketing messages and the over promising statements that come along with them, you find that the most important criterion is the one that is often overlooked; the one that no technology can conquer and no platform can offer.
Yes, we’re talking about the service, and no, it’s not what you think it is.
Once considered a “soft criteria”, ‘service’ has come a long way and is now leading the list of factors impacting the success of commercial business partnerships.
Companies are no longer willing to settle for “good value for money” or “meeting our expectations” as metrics for good service. “Great investment” and “exceeding our expectations” is what they are after, and your business shouldn’t be any different.
Looking for a provider to automate your investment data management?
Smart move; just be sure to look beyond the platform you’re offered. At the end of the day, you’ll have to work not only with that platform but also with the people who stand behind it and the service they provide.
Below are the 4 top criteria that define ‘good service’ in the investment data landscape as reflected to us by our (happy) clients which might help you in your search for the best partner for you.
Working with you, not for you.
See, when it comes to trusting someone with your most valuable asset – your data – you shouldn’t just be looking for a nicely wrapped off-the-shelf solution; you should be looking for a tailored-size long-term partner.
You have enough people working for you; you definitely don’t need to manage another one. What you DO need is:
A partner that works alongside you and shares the same success measures as you
Someone that helps you reach your goals instead of just providing you with tools to tackle the barriers along the way
Someone who works with you to understand what success looks like for both sides, so that both of you can pull in the same direction and benefit from each other’s growth.
Surprise you with the results, not with the bills
Because it’s all great when things are as usual, but how often does that happen??
In the type of industry in which we operate, uncertainty is a given and certainty is constantly sought after, and so the last thing you need is to have uncertainty coming from an additional front.
A fixed fee subscription and service model will always ensure you’re fully covered and are able to reach out to your data platform partner at any time without having any cost concerns. The partner is a natural extension of your team and as such, it should remain on a pre-determined fee, regardless of what the current challenge is.
Provide you their knowledge, not (just) their solution
Getting a solution will solve your problems; however, getting the brain power behind it will help you avoid them in the first place. You want to work with people where “it’s all they do” – that have a proven track record within your specific industry and not just great tech skills to build a good solution, because when the time comes (and you know it will ), you’ll need their brain power as their real-life experience and proficient advice is what’s going to matter.
You want a partner that is so passionate about what they’re doing that they’re not “too proud” to sometimes even question their own methods and have the willingness to constantly innovate and learn new ways to approach different situations.
This combination of first-rate expertise and open-minded approach is ensured to not just tackle any problem on the way but also to foresee them, prepare for them in advance and minimise them in the long run. This leads us to the next criterion.
Provide real service, not a helpline
Sure, your partner should be at your beck and call, but a good partner should not be waiting for that call to offer their support. You want a partner who’s proactively supporting you instead of just reacting to your red flags.
You want a partner who strives for a successful implementation by minimising all associated (potential) risks in advance instead of inviting you to a ‘table tennis’ match of emails and alerts every time something goes wrong.
You want a partner that ensures the continuity of people working with you right from the commencement of the sales process, through implementation and into the long-term support, rather than shaking hands with one person and then “going into bed” with another.
You want a partner who puts service at the core of their business and who reflects that not just through their sales pitch, but through their business model, their approach, and their own key metrics to success.