The history of Tools for Brokers (TFB) began 10 years ago when the world and the Forex market both looked very different compared to today.
Back then, there was less competition, less regulation, and most definitely less understanding of the best way to move forward. Shortly after TFB’s first product was launched, the decision was made to explore the custom development route and work with many different customers who would come to us with all sorts of ideas and problems. Whilst TFB and a few other companies went this route, other market players went ahead and focused on creating their own bridges and the infrastructure around it.
It is impossible to say which scenario was a better one and if there was really a right or wrong way to move forward. If we look at the Tools for Brokers case, it is safe to say that working with clients’ various requests turned out to be a blessing.
As tricky as it was, this enabled the technical teams to gain invaluable knowledge and a skill set that is hard to come by now. Having worked with totally different setups and environments, our employees became experts in many areas that are not directly related to our products, but the industry in general. Many of our brokerage partners come to us and can be assured that we know everything necessary and will be able to assist them right away.
Such a level of expertise is highly valued by the clients, as in most cases we’re able to assist them quicker and more efficiently, and they don’t need to hire a third party consultancy. Yet, as the famous saying goes,”The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know”, so gaining and maintaining such experience can become rather time-consuming.
After several years of following such a business model, and growing a rather impressive portfolio of products, the decision has been made to transform the company. The new focus would be on the set of products that include all features that brokers require, integrated to create an ecosystem covering all clients’ needs and wants.
Such a transformation can’t be done overnight. While going through it, we defined several important points to consider:
- Everybody in the team has to be on board with the new plan. From juniors to top management, every employee must understand where the company is going, why it is happening, and how their role is affected.
- There must be a clear milestone outlining what changes need to be made and when they should start happening.
- Evaluate your teams. Do you have enough people in the team to cover the workload? Are there new positions you should create? Does everyone in the team have the right skill set for the new projects?
- Communicate the changes to all stakeholders (clients, partners, technical alliances) as soon as possible and, just like with internal teams, share your vision with them and be prepared to listen to their objections and answer their questions.
- Do your math. Depending on your plan, there might be a revenue gap, so your company must have enough capital to wait it out.
Once everything was planned and ready to go, we started the work. With a clear end goal in mind, we started working on the most important solution in the portfolio: Trade Processor - the liquidity bridge, before gradually moving to a data intelligence solution - Brokerage Business Intelligence, and TFB PAMM - a money management solution. We didn’t have to start from absolute zero, so with our knowledge and experience, we could release the products after several months of intensive work. Of course, the products have undergone transformation since then, but we were able to get feedback from clients in the early stages and quickly implement their suggested changes to the products.
Since we’ve been doing custom development for several years, we’ve aggregated a vast set of solutions that our sales teams worked with. After careful evaluation, we shrank the portfolio’s size, combined some of the tools into single products, and kept some of the most popular plugins.
Today, all products in our portfolio are enterprise-ready, simple to use, and offer unique and highly requested functionalities. We offer our solutions on a subscription basis, grouping some of the products into packages. We are lucky to have great clients and partners, who accept the changes within our business but who aren’t afraid to transform their minds and business processes. The goal for us now is to continue making our main products better, more powerful, fully integrated with each other, and easy to use for all partners.
We believe that to succeed in the new world, companies must assess and deal with their problems on a global level. Sticking a patch over the holes and simply hoping that everything will work is no longer a viable strategy. At TFB, we strive to be a one-stop-shop destination for our partners, to offer them more than just a quick fix, but a thought-through strategy to make their business a success.