What’s in that tank? Ask Callie, Senior Product Manager at Kpler
Callie Gullett, Inventories Senior Product Manager at Kpler, joined Arthur, Head of Communication & PR, for a chat about her journey and role in the company.
Arthur - Hi Callie! Good to talk to you today. Can you start by telling us a bit more about your background?
Callie - Hi Arthur! Thanks for the invitation. My background is in energy. I spent four years working at a well-known energy monitoring company here in the U.S., as a manager for its inventory tracking product. I then wanted to try new things and spent a year working in analytics for consumer products, but it didn’t hold my interest. I think I just missed being in the commodity field, which is being deeply transformed by technology. I wanted to keep playing a role in this transformation as I feel we are just at the beginning of something big.
Why did you choose Kpler when deciding to join the commodity and technology sector again?
I had heard good things about Kpler and seen the incredible progress they had made in just a few years. At the time, they were relatively new in inventory tracking compared to other companies, including the one I had previously worked at. What impressed me most was that Kpler had reached more than $25 million of revenue organically, without raising any external funding. This is quite unique in the technology ecosystem and highlights a strong entrepreneurial, down-to-earth mindset that really appealed to me. It convinced me that Kpler was the right horse to bet on!
What was your first role at Kpler and how has your role evolved?
I joined as an analyst on Kpler’s Inventories product, making sure the proprietary data displayed on our terminal was accurate, through various cross-checking methods. In addition to that, I helped to develop the product by enriching it with new data sources and enhancing its many features according to our customers' needs. I enjoyed this part of my job so much that I soon transitioned to the role of product manager.
Can I stop you here and ask you to tell us more about this inventory-tracking product? (I am taking notes as I really want to be the smartest guy in the room next time I go to a dinner party!)
Ha! Maybe we should have started with this, you’re right. It’s not so complicated to understand. In the commodity supply chain, many things happen between production - the supply - and final consumption - the demand. One of the intermediary steps between these two ends is the storage part. In the case of crude oil, which is still the most traded commodity on the planet, it is stored at installations in tanks or caverns. Our clients are market professionals who want to know the volume of crude oil stored at these installations, as it allows them to better understand the current market dynamics and make trading decisions in an informed, but also timely, manner. Our inventory-tracking product gives them this information, in real-time.
And how do you do this?
This is where it gets cool. We automatically gather raw data from numerous sources and aggregate them using various data processing steps. One of our main sources is satellite imagery, which allows us to “see” what’s inside storage installations. Likewise, we use drone imagery to further increase the accuracy of our data as well as the update frequency. Thanks to these different sources and our advanced data processing methodology, it’s fair to say we have the deepest and most accurate coverage in the market. It’s quite amazing to see the level of transparency we are now able to provide on something that had been considered a black spot for decades. Where traders had to wait for several weeks to get “fresh” data on inventories, now they can just connect to Kpler and get it instantly.
Got it, and well done! I guess that was a lot of work for you and the team. Do you have time to relax now?
I wish! Fortunately, we never get bored at Kpler. We plan to develop the Inventories product in several new directions as well as continue to keep enhancing what we have already built. There are plenty of things we can do and what’s cool is that we don’t know all of them yet. When we launch a product, we initiate a feedback loop with key customers who help us stay agile and refine the next steps of our roadmap. This is an approach I really like at Kpler, and it is drawn from one of our values: be humble. Being too sure about what you think your customers need leads to big mistakes in product development. The feedback dialogue we have with customers is unique and fruitful, and comes with big responsibilities. The more trust you get, the less you want to disappoint!
This is a great summary, Callie. Perhaps one last question: After just over a year working at Kpler, do you still think it’s the “right horse to bet on”?
More than ever! When I look at all that's happening in the company, it feels like I joined much more than a year ago. I see things moving towards ambitious goals and I am confident we will reach them. No doubt!
Thanks for your time, Callie! Anything you would like to add?
When is the next Kpler US cocktail party? The one we had two weeks ago for Argus Americas Crude was quite a blast…
I hear your feedback and will be including this item on my roadmap!