A business memory that hurts
At the mention of this collaboration, I am overcome with some reverie and reminded that it still hurts a little.
But one step at a time.
One day at one of the business breakfasts, a man appeared who claimed to have finished his full-time job at a bank as a foreign exchange dealer. He introduced himself as a rate negotiation specialist, able to analyze the processes involved in the foreign exchange market, as an expert, knowing a great deal about exchange rate fluctuations, and volunteered his willingness to help my company.
I started to think about the cooperation and the amount I would pay to “remove” the problem of currency risk from my head. I wanted to reach a state where I had no additional gains and losses related to changes in exchange rates. My notion was that completely disconnecting myself from managing currency risk and delegating that task to someone else would solve the problem of exchange rate losses.
I valued “peace of mind” at 5000 PLN per month.
I said “YES” to the specialist and invited him to work with my company
First, the specialist checked if I have good exchange rates – positive result.
Second, the specialist checked whether we have access to key data, based on which we can draw conclusions related to the “currency” policy – positive result.
Thirdly, the specialist said that he could not help me much, as I had handled the basics on my own so far. He offered to suggest solutions, to tell me when to buy dollars or sell euros, but the decisions would be mine anyway.
I expected complexity and the specialist offered only hints, which according to my intuition was definitely not enough.😊
I decided to help him, organize the data and give him a tool to infer and measure the results.
I created a set of spreadsheets, a tool that showed in real time how much risk my company was taking and what the additional profit or loss looked like relative to current exchange rates. The views were based on SQL queries to the database and current exchange rates. Bank account data had to be entered manually. I started working on the distribution of planned payment dates on the timeline and had further ideas for improving the tool.
Why do I need a specialist?
I materialized all of my practical knowledge from several years in a tool that automates so much and decided to hand it over to a specialist. Here I thought for a moment. After all, I was the one who did all the work I expected him to do. The only thing left to do was to develop a policy, rules of conduct and, with such refined processes, to enjoy the achieved results.
I tried to exchange experiences with the specialist and define his role, but it turned out that he was not interested in understanding the problem in the way I expected him to. He wanted to remain in his position close to the currency dealer and only offered hints without taking responsibility for the results.
I wondered why we don’t understand each other and I think this is well illustrated by the comparison to a refrigerator at home. It’s the owner of the fridge who knows what he needs in it and for how long, not a store assistant who has a great promotion on containers for the fridge or information that tomatoes are about to get more expensive.
In this way we parted with a specialist and I became an expert in managing the currency position in my company. The effects were beyond my wildest expectations.
Ps. At that moment the specialist went his own way and as it turned out he started his own business using what I had told him. Here I feel some pain because my solution was the foundation of the ExChord application and his business is a competitive business.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
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