Going digital for auctions in 2021

Aucxis reports that its KOSMOS digital auction systems are bedding in well for the auctions in Shetland and Newlyn.

KOSMOS is a platform in the cloud that allows easy real-time purchase and sale to the highest bidder on a lot by lot basis. In August last year, Shetland Seafood Auctions (SSA) combined the implementation of KOSMOS and the inauguration of the new fishmarket facilities in Lerwick and Scalloway.

Shetland Seafood Auctions introduced the KOSMOS system when the new Lerwick and Scalloway fishmarkets opened last August.

Though lockdowns around the world have caused consumer demand and prices for seafood to drop severely, SSA said that it is looking further than the current market situation and is convinced that digital trading is the future. “KOSMOS has the potential to speed up the sale, which is necessary because the new facilities hold double the capacity of the previous ones to store, sell and distribute the fish landings,” said SSA’s auction manager Martin Leyland.

Importantly, buyers are also adapting well to the new system. “The buyers have settled into the new system well, and several local buyers are buying directly from their offices,” Mr Leyland explained. “They are pleased with the added features on the reporting side, which makes the allocation and distribution of their purchases more efficient.”

SSA isn’t the only auction to have recently undergone a digital transformation. The shout auction at Newlyn jumped on the digitisation bandwagon in mid-2020, with two clocks for 100 users going live in December.

W Stevenson & Sons converted the Newlyn shout auction to the KOSMOS platform in mid-December. (Photo: Laurence Hartwell/Through the Gaps)

The KOSMOS platform was connected to Newlyn’s existing auction infrastructure, so the trading platform in the cloud communicates with the current data input terminals, the Marel grader and the back-office package A-Fish. For each transaction, a transaction ticket is printed for the organisation of the internal logistics.

“KOSMOS enables us to collect the transactions data electronically without the need for manually keying it in,” said Paul Wagstaff, finance manager of Newlyn agent and auctioneer W Stevenson and Sons. “It is very important whilst we are dealing with a pandemic to be able to trade without physically standing together.

“KOSMOS gives buyers a better view of the fish on sale, and it allows fish to be bought without being present in Newlyn,” Mr Wagstaff continued. “The buyers are also able to obtain data of purchases much more quickly, including lists whilst the market is in progress and what is ready to be auctioned.

“For all these reasons, we are hopeful that the better buying experience and the ability to buy remotely will attract new buyers and, in turn, new suppliers.”

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