Glowlit works by allowing users, consisting largely of feed mill purchasing managers, to input a recently paid or quoted price for a specific material and, in return, see a regionally-based price report for that material. The price report includes historical price trends and actual anonymized deals made over the last month.
The founder, Guy Soreq, said the platform is a "first of its kind" tool that crowdsources current price data and verifies it using a specialized industry-specific algorithm.
Feedback from purchasing managers around the world was that there was a need for easily accessible price data, as existing services were inaccurate, outdated, or simply too expensive, he added.
We ran a Q&A with him to get the low down on this new service.
FeedNavigator: How did you understand that there was a gap in the market for raw material price data? And how did you go about closing it?
Guy Soreq: My first job after my bachelors in biochemistry was in my family’s business, which specializes in the distribution of raw materials including animal feed additives. I later went on to business school, and I worked as a management consultant conducting market analysis for multinational companies.
I understood from my work in the family business that smaller companies also have a real need for market intelligence, and I understood from my time in consulting that the available solutions are often priced out of reach for small and medium sized enterprises.
When I started to think of Glowlit, I tried to imagine a model that would make market intelligence affordable for small and medium sized businesses.
FEN: Is Glowlit cost-effective? How are you pricing it?
GS: The pricing model is simple. Glowlit is free for users who only need to access data from limited geographical areas. This tends to be the small and medium sized businesses, because they are trading locally. They don’t need information on geographic regions outside of their own. To access a free price report, all they need to do is enter the site and anonymously share a quoted or purchased price for their product of interest.
Unlike these smaller market players, large multinational companies have a need for price data that spans multiple regions or is global. These companies are able to pay Glowlit for reports that include a more global data set. Glowlit charges these companies a fee for anonymized aggregate data on a more global scale.
As a result, small and medium-sized businesses get information for free and large companies pay for what they need. This model works because - and I know this from the family business - small and medium sized enterprises have the best access to real time price data because they buy more often. They are the ones closest to the ground.
FEN: What data is available currently?
GS: Currently, Glowlit has price reports on 23 different products, in 24 different countries. We have over 18,000 individual price entries that contribute to those 23 product reports.
New product reports go online only when we have enough data for a set.
FEN: How does this happen?
GS: Glowlit sees demand for a new product either through searches or direct inquiries to our team. Once we see demand from enough users, we ping them to get them to begin entering their price data. Once there are enough price inputs on that product, we start generating price reports for that new product.
We do have information on more products than the 23 listed, but it isn’t robust enough to begin generating price reports. We take this very seriously because of the importance of protecting our users and maintaining their anonymity.
FEN: What do users see when they log in?
GS: When a user logs in, they see a price report for their product of interest in their specific geographic location. The report includes two graphs. The first graph, below, is a historical price chart showing average price entries for that location over the last 12 months. The bottom of the chart includes the total number of price entries reported, and the summarized volume of those entries.
The second chart, below, is unique in that it shows the makeup of the current price for the product of interest. Essentially, this is a chart that breaks down the price today. It shows the average volume for a certain price in the market today. The second chart also includes additional information on the chart inputs.
FEN: How did you test Glowlit and get feedback?
GS: We spent the last three years interviewing feed mill purchasing managers and traders to understand what kind of data would be most valuable to them, and how that data should be presented in report form. We also tested the business model to understand whether purchasing managers and traders would input their own data to access our reports. It took some trial and error to get the model right, but we have finally arrived at that point.
The reports are valuable enough to incentivize the right users to enter the site to contribute their own data points, and the user experience has been tested and refined to facilitate this entire process. That said, we are continuously listening to our users and improving the tool based on their feedback.
FEN: Is there anything like Glowlit in existence?
GS: While similar business models have been implemented across other industries, I believe that Glowlit is unique within the animal feed industry. It is certainly unique in the way that it aligns incentives between those who have data and those who need to access data.
Glowlit provides transparency into the market, by showing the real-time data.
Reports for the following products are currently available on Glowlit:
- Avixanthin 100
- L-Carnitin 50
- L-Carnitin 100
- Vit A/D3 1000/200
- Vitamin A 1000
- Vitamin A500
- Vitamin B1 HCl
- Vitamin B1 Mono
- Vitamin B12 0.1% HPLC
- Vitamin B12 1% HPLC
- Vitamin B2 Riboflavin 80%
- Vitamin B3 Niacinamide
- Vitamin B5 Ca Pantothenate 98%
- Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine HCL
- Vitamin B7 Biotin 2%
- Vitamin B9 Folic acid Standard
- Vitamin C 99 %
- Vitamin C Phosph.
- Vitamin D3 500
- Vitamin E50
- Vitamin E50 WD
- Vitamin K3 MNB
- Vitamin K3 MSB