What makes for a valuable, open marketplace? The ability to conduct business easily, with confidence, and at a moment’s notice with the people you want to conduct business with. This is why I am excited to announce the launch of direct-to-buyer contracts on Indigo Marketplace. With this contract option, grain merchants can work directly with their customers – and farmers can connect directly with their favorite local buyers – to transact grain, all through an improved digital platform accessible on any computer or smartphone.
Building this feature should be seen as an affirmation: Indigo is a science and software company that intends to bring a great digital experience to buyers and sellers of grain. We want to create digital solutions that remove the friction from finding bids and offers, transacting on them efficiently, and unlocking more value for your business. These solutions will be out of the way, working as a highway, built by Indigo to digitally enable strings of daily transactions. Strong relationships between those who buy grain and those who grow and sell grain, with this technology, will only become stronger.
I joined Indigo, tasked with bringing our platform to market in North America, in full view of how the relationship-building in agriculture could improve through an open platform. My 25 years in this business, with two amazing companies, gave me the experience to understand just how valuable a simple, efficient, and interconnected digital transaction will be. Direct-to-buyer transactions are a first major step towards this goal.
There is a lot of paper involved in grain transactions today, particularly so when risk management tools and other pricing amendments are involved in a significant way. That has always shown as a burden and simultaneously an opportunity when I meet with growers and discuss business. I also know very well it's a big efficiency opportunity for people who buy grain. The extent you can digitize some, or a lot, of the chain of contracts, exchanges, and decisions: that’s where we see an opportunity to improve efficiency.
When a grain elevator no longer needs that garage-sized room with shelves and shelves of scale tickets, contract amendments, and initial agreements, but instead can maintain digital records for that paper, they literally have the space to focus on building their book of business. We want to help you stay closer to the needs of your customers, closer to the market. Every process that can be digitized is value-changing, value-creating. The time it saves can fuel your growth.
Direct-to-buyer contracts are the first of many steps Indigo is taking to enable business, not complicate it. This represents the culmination of hundreds of hours of conversation and collaboration with farmers and merchants regarding how we could affect real change for their business. It is a point of passion for business leaders like myself who have joined Indigo over the past year. And it has been made real in our software by the hard work of our talented engineering team.
So, how does this work? If you are a farmer, choosing this new contract, grain is delivered under your name to the grain buyer, who handles all aspects of delivery, settlement, and payment. For the grain buyer, direct-to-buyer contracts mean your name is on the contract when a transaction is accepted on Marketplace, which brings with it the responsibility to – you guessed it – deliver, settle, and pay.
This sounds simple because it is. Simplicity is what we’re after. The end-to-end software experience we are building for grain merchandising is meant to enable connections and simplify the flow of a transaction. Beginning with the farmer's interest to sell, to the merchant’s conversations with that farmer, all the way through the conclusion of the settlement process: our goal is to promote more actual connection and less guesswork and legwork. To think having access to better technology also meant more time face-to-face.
Everyone is creating value in this chain of merchandising, whether a farmer, a co-op, an elevator, a merchandiser, a crush company, an ethanol plant – you name it. The value Indigo wants to create is distinct, and it is new. We are committed to developing and bringing an excellent software platform to market. Great technology, all part of a platform we refer to simply as Marketplace, strengthens relationships for people who have done business for a long time or are just doing business for the first time. Here to help you move forward faster.