By: Fredrik Bentlinger, CFO
After almost twenty years within different positions as a controller or CFO within a variety of businesses, ranging from professional services to retailers with global distributions, I have the latter years been in charge of Cint financials.
People always ask me what Cint does and there are as many misconceptions as there are people. Usually I respond with a couple questions to start off with;
Do you call your broker to buy or sell stock?
Do you call every single airline to check for prices and available flights?
Do you visit a bank office every time you need to transfer money?
OR can you do this efficiently and safely online?
Apparently the market research world in general prefers to do it the old way by calling/e-mailing a number of sample providers to check availability and prices; they also prefer to involve a number of project managers to help them run all these quotas and feasibility checks. For some reason the industry in general prefers to do business the old-fashioned way requiring increased time and does require a significant number of people on payroll to manage. It is truly astonishing that an end-client, in 2013, still accepts to pay for this expensive, out-of-date process.
Cint runs the only automated and transparent global marketplace for buying and selling sample – simple as that. Cint does not own panels nor does Cint sell solely to end-clients. Cint runs a marketplace where anyone – yes anyone – can hook up to buy or sell sample. Today we have more than 10 million (double opted-in) panelists in some 57 countries, making Cint by far the largest supplier of sample that is open to anyone.
Market researchers are beginning to understand the benefits of launching projects within minutes on a Friday afternoon and get the results after the weekend – saving both time and money. There are clear signs of movement away from the old processes of manual labor, and automated processes will definitely change the ways market researches work just as the Amadeus system revolutionized flight travel, online stock trading replaced brokerages and online banking changed the behavior of millions of people. The internal walls within MR companies will soon fall and any CFO can instantly calculate enormous ROIs by allowing the change to take place. The only hurdles overcome are the internal legacy reasons that are put forward. No company has ever become successful by protecting inefficient processes whilst neglecting the winds of change.
No wonder the market research industry is stretching their cash-flow models to the limit when their supply chains are under-optimized and building up enormous amounts of working capital, but that is another story…