As the art world increasingly shifts to an online and global operating model, the logistics of transporting artwork becomes more important than ever. In this interview with Convelio's newly appointed Chief Product Officer, David Griffiths, we explore his motivations for joining our team and his vision for the digitalization of logistics in the art world. We also discuss the exciting trends in product today and the unexpected challenges and opportunities facing the art shipping industry. Join us as we delve into the future of supply chain tech in the art world.
I’ve spent the last 12 years in Supply Chain Tech in varying roles - implementation, pre-sales, product marketing and product management. Convelio really interested me as a company because it was still in the supply chain tech space, but an area and niche of the supply chain I hadn’t worked in. The type of product we are moving, and the types of clients we cater for mean that we need to take an incredibly B2C approach to an area of the supply chain that is quite heavily biased towards B2B flows. On top of that, meeting the leadership team, and the Product team here at Convelio sealed the deal. Solving cool problems with motivated and passionate people - who could say no!?
This is always a really interesting question. There is always a temptation to jump into the really “cool” things, AI, ML, Natural Language, Blockchain, whatever. And yes, those are all super important. The tech industry is in a super interesting place right now - efficiency is top of mind. How can we have the maximum impact under tighter conditions? With that in mind, I think the best “trends” are the ones that truly make a difference.
Being client-focussed: In today’s challenging economy, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focussing purely on our own efficiency. The strongest tech companies in the world “win” by making sure that, even in tough times, they stay truly client focussed. Making sure that our clients experience, and our clients needs are front and centre in every decision we make is not-so-much a trend, but a necessity.
At Convelio, we split our focus into two main areas: Client Experience and Operational Excellence, both are complementary to each other. Operational Excellence is a mission centred on ensuring our internal operations, and our collaboration with our many high-quality suppliers is as efficient and effective as possible for our clients. This is all ultimately driving towards increasingly better ETAs and prices, and a higher quality of service for our clients. Our Client Experience mission is simple - making it a pleasure to do business with us. Simplifying quoting, bookings, and shipment tracking of each piece of art we move on behalf of our clients.
Over the last few years, the art market has seen a real shift in it’s operating model - becoming increasingly global and increasingly online. COVID forced everyone to go online and remote - this meant auctions and sales of art began the somewhat inevitable move online. This has made art more accessible and created a larger market, but also presents challenges such as fluctuating prices and economic uncertainty. Addressing this new larger and more accessible market is no small feat. This is where Convelio can help. Taking the pain out of the distributed “art market” to make sure the buying and selling of art is the focus, and the transport is assumed.
Understanding the users and their significant frustrations are the foundation of any great product. In the art and logistics industries, there are a variety of users with different personas, from the artist to the last mile delivery driver, who all feel pain and have problems. It is crucial to understand the user, their motivations, and what problems are worth solving to drive great product. To achieve this, teams must never stop asking questions, as assumptions can be dangerous. Staying on top of technology trends and new agile processes is interesting, but understanding the user is key.