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This is where Bespoke Metrics, a data management and analytical model development company, moves the needle. Founded by four highly experienced credit and finance experts, Bespoke Metrics combines expertise in data control, model development, and user interface to help companies unlock the full potential of their data.
In this interview with CIO Applications, Michael Ho, co-founder and CEO of Bespoke Metrics, touches upon his company’s innovative product line, vast expertise in data management, application design and model development, and a lot more.
What are some of the challenges your clients come across in the preconstruction space? How does Bespoke Metrics address the same?
The early stages of the construction lifecycle include numerous stakeholders—from general contractors and subcontractors to insurance carriers, brokers, and other third parties—making counterparty risk management complex. With such overlapping processes, the stakeholders are faced with little to no data standardization. Analytics are currently performed on data that resides in silos and is of poor quality, quantity, and timeliness. With a lack of a standardization process, coordinated effort as well as a third party to help manage data and analytics, the challenge for the industry boils down to solving issues pertaining to data collection. Evidently, the analysis is poor as there aren’t any large data sets—every relationship between a GC and a separate tracker maintains its own assessment siloed data set.
Bespoke Metrics was born with a singular focus on addressing these industry pain-points. We specialize in the supply chain, concentration, and correlation risk management in the preconstruction space. With an aim to create a seamless integration between all stakeholders within the preconstruction workflow—particularly the counterparty relationships between GCs and subcontractors in prequalification and bidding—we have developed a suite of construction software modules called COMPASS. The suite can be categorized into two main products—COMPASS SRP and COMPASS Select. COMPASS is an integrated platform that utilizes data and analytics to review, analyze, and provide output for the prequalification of subcontractors and the bidding of projects.
Is there a specific process you adopt to assess the clients’ needs and deliver a solution accordingly?
Bespoke Metrics stands on a philosophy to build an industry solution that can address diverse industry issues.
We are solving a deep-rooted industry problem at a very high level—with an aim to influence and improve the prevailing process in the entire industry
As opposed to being just a technology company trying to sell a software package, we want to push the levels of standardization along with the centralization of data and analytics in the industry.
At the onset, we worked closely with over 100 different general contractors and a focused group in the Canadian marketplace of subcontractors to attain a deeper understanding of their challenges and issues. Next, we engaged the insurance market—the entities that provide insurance and surety bonds, and brokers. We solicited their information only to conclude that the data collection process is where the rubber meets the road. Moreover, we also found that the analytics performed on the data was very basic. For long, the pain-points of the entire industry pertaining to this arduous process of providing and sharing information were not addressed. This is precisely what we intend to change.
In essence, we introduce a third-party in the process for centralizing data on behalf of the industry and providing an output that can be utilized as standards and to proliferate a new process. At the core, our product is built from the ground up to cater to deep pain-points of the market. We will continue improving and evolving it to address market needs.
What are the features and benefits of the software that you provide?
As a risk assessment subcontractor program, COMPASS SRP enables general contractors to leverage their data to better manage both subcontractor prequalification and risk. The COMPASS model provides an empirically driven review of a subcontractor’s execution ability as well as a prequalified dollar amount by contract and by aggregate. On the other hand, COMPASS Select is a bidding tool specifically built for construction experts looking to optimize technology to its fullest. Fully integrated risk management and bidding provided through the COMPASS platform maximizes efficiencies while providing tools to ensure risk management is considered at every decision making opportunity.
We focus on standardizing the collected data set. In doing so, we started looking at subcontractor data to analyze the supply chain, and also consolidated the GCs’ existing data collection procedures. The result was a standardized collection process—COMPASS 1Form—that brings in the universal prequalification application for driving seamless communication. A country-specific standard, 1Form, has been launched in Canada and the US for assisting general contractors, insurance carriers, brokers, and surety providers to collect and manage subcontractor data, supporting risk management.
The variable set we create centralizes the data collection process, wherein the subcontractors provide the data in a timely fashion through COMPASS, thus having the ability to satisfy many data requests simultaneously. Once the subcontractors enter the data into the COMPASS system, it is held both secure and private, empowering them to essentially control their data and have the full authority on who has access to their private financial data. They can choose which GCs, insurance entities or other third parties may view and utilize their data set. This creates one centralized data collection portal for all the subcontractors who have full data control at the sub-level.
For general contractors, our proprietary and sophisticated models are rooted in fundamental credit analysis and present a review of each subcontractor in a relative risk score. We have adopted and improved best practices from multiple general contractors, underwriters, and market professionals, enabling them to view quantitative, qualitative, and health and safety metrics. Our analysis also includes organizing the data in a fashion that can be seamlessly utilized by risk managers and underwriters and further helping them to assign single and aggregate contract limits to subcontractors.
What steers your company ahead in the market?
Our long-term thinking, coupled with a broad industry focus, makes us unique. We are solving a deep-rooted industry problem at a very high level—with an aim to influence and improve the prevailing process in the entire industry. We draw on our rich expertise in the realm of financial risk analysis, software development, and data management and work in close collaboration with our clients, partners, and market influencers to garner their knowledge for building our products.
Where do you see Bespoke Metrics in the near future?
Currently, our business operations are active in Canada. We have 15 clients in Canada, which includes over 5000 subcontractors in our system. Given the strong construction market in Canada, we have gained valuable experience in working with large GCs in the country. We look forward to expanding extensively in the US. This experience will help us to evolve our product suite to address specific concerns in the US market. Alongside this, we would also like to connect and partner with other platforms and integrate our products to make them more engaging.