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Thursday, March 9, 2023

Not all apps are created equal

Choose Wisely...

 “If I already know someone, why would I use a platform to communicate with them?”

We hear this from time to time – Dealboard members browsing the thousands of metric tons available any given day on Dealboard, and finding seafood offered by someone they know. Their temptation is to use their usual ways of communicating with that party – email or WhatsApp.

Why not?

Here’s why not:

Email isn’t safe

Email is a great way to communicate, but it takes a lot of work to make it really secure for sensitive communications such as negotiating large transactions.

And, even with the best security measures in place, things slip by – have you heard about this recent and high profile example of phishing in the seafood industry?

The CEO in the article is clearly taking it in stride, and even having a bit of a laugh about the situation. But this is only funny until someone falls for it, and it’s only funny until it happens to you.

What sizable seafood company hasn't been spoofed in the past year by an email communication that isn’t really coming from who it is supposedly from? Things worse than this happen all the time.

Tightening your email security drives up your IT costs significantly, and doesn’t mean something won’t happen to you. And if you fall for it, the economic damage to your company could be irreparable.

WhatsApp isn’t much better

WhatsApp is great for instant communication, but you can never be sure if the person you’re working with is still a representative of the company you want to deal with.

People change jobs, and when they do they often take their WhatsApp numbers with them. Suppose they move over to a competitor of yours… are you really ready to share your prices, inventory and other key information with your competition?

Then what?

Even if your email or WhatsApp conversations are not compromised, and you successfully negotiate a transaction, what follows are a lot of manual steps you need to do to communicate the deal terms to the rest of your team to follow up with shipping and payment. That means you are re-typing a lot of information rather than hunting your next deal, or you and your teams are stuck chasing down misunderstandings with the other party.

What's needed is a safe room, a zone where seafood parties can get their work done quickly, efficiently, and with reduced risk... so that they can move on to the next deal and expand their business.

That's why not. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Evaluation Guide for Seafood e-Commerce Platforms


Seafood companies are prioritizing e-commerce platforms on their agenda for 2023. It’s an idea whose time has finally come - with so many changes taking place in availability, pricing, shipping and risk management, seafood companies are recognizing the need for a bigger, more flexible network of buyers and suppliers they trust, in order to grow their business in challenging times.

But not all platforms are created equal. Here’s a guide for seafood companies ready to test the waters of e-commerce platforms this year. Make sure you ask and understand these 6 things to know the platform you select is right for you:


  1. Who’s allowed into the club? Make sure it’s a trusted community you’re joining. Does the platform let anyone in, or do they perform background checks first? How strong are those background checks? Does the platform suspend companies that violate the platform’s code of conduct?


  1. How real are the offers? How does the platform ensure offers are real? One of the most frustrating parts of the online experience is pursuing an offer only for it to vanish. Don’t become a victim of companies who are more interested in fishing for your interest than buying or supplying you actual fish.


  1. Who sees your offers and negotiations? The last thing you want is for your competitors to see your prices, or for all your customers see that you offered a better deal to your top 5 customers. Understand whether anything you post in the platform is visible to non-members, and ask for a demo to see for yourself how well you can control your own information within the platform. Remember - negotiations and final terms of the deal should never, ever, be visible to anyone but you and the buyer or supplier you transacted with.


  1. Do you know who you’re trading with? Some platforms stand in the middle of the transaction, so you don’t know who your buyer or supplier is. Steer clear – you need to expand your network, not diminish it.


  1. Can you try it for yourself before you commit? Does the vendor require payment up front or do they let you see the value of their platform first? Platforms are new, and all platforms don’t work for everyone. You can only decide if it works for you by trying it out.


  1. What is the vendor like to work with? E-commerce platforms offer great advantages. But you need to be able to trust and rely on your vendor as much as you do your buyers and suppliers. Do you have access to key staff or are you just a number with no influence? Do they really listen and are they helpful?

As with buying and selling seafood, selecting the right platform requires a certain amount of diligence to make sure the platform is right and your risks are minimized.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Dealboard Returns to Conxemar

What a difference a year makes -- one year ago, Dealboard attended our first trade show, Conxemar, in Vigo, Spain.

What started as an exploratory information-gathering event turned into an overwhelming number of interested prospective customers, as the Dealboard value proposition of trust, security, efficiency, and a growing network resonated strongly with both seafood buyers and sellers.

We are returning to Conxemar again this year, October 4, 5 and 6, once again in Vigo. We hope to see you there!

This year, we look forward to seeing our current customers in person, in addition to welcoming more new members into the growing Dealboard trusted community which now includes buyers and sellers spanning 26 different countries.

Want to learn more? Send us a note at or use this form, and we would be happy to set up a meeting at Conxemar!

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Will we see you in Singapore?


Thursday, July 21, 2022

How to give yourself the gift of time

“I don’t have time.”

How often do you seek someone’s attention only to hear that phrase? How often do you use that phrase with others?

In the seafood industry, where staff layers have been cut back and where margins are razor-thin, it’s customary to be extremely busy. Some may even feel a sense of importance because they don’t have room in their schedules.

But are you keeping busy with the right things?

Recall the Eisenhower Matrix, which organizes work based on urgency and importance:



Not Urgent

Not Important

Are you too busy here…




…to have time for what’s here?

Wouldn’t it be nice to receive the gift of time? To free up your schedule to focus on more important things, and things you don’t get around to enough in your daily activities?

Negotiating seafood transactions is pretty important, and urgent, so this usually receives a lot of attention, rightly so.

But after the transaction is negotiated, what happens next? Hiding right behind the negotiation lies a host of necessary tasks which eat up valuable time. Think about all the different teams both inside and outside your company who need to be informed of the details of the transaction – logistics services, inspection services, operations, accounting, and more.

Dealboard believes you can gain back valuable time by rethinking how you connect the place where you negotiate transactions with the rest of your business. Any time you re-type something into another system or pick up the phone to recite information to someone else, you’re consuming your own time on tasks which, though urgent, aren’t the most important. To make matters worse, if you are anything less than absolutely perfect every time you do this, you might make a simple mistake and introduce an error which costs you and others even more valuable time to correct.

Give yourself and your team the gift of time by improving and automating your operations. Negotiate transactions using a platform which can automatically and flawlessly transmit the transaction details to the systems, departments and third parties who need to spring into action to fulfill it.

You deserve the gift of time.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Food Sources Under Siege: What We Knew is No Longer True

Everything which used to be reliable and stable in seafood has changed… so what's next?

Professor Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University wrote an engaging book some decades ago titled How We Know What Isn’t SoIt’s about our human propensity to form beliefs which were never true.

That’s a bit different from what’s happening in the seafood industry right now, where quite a bit used to be true, but isn’t so any longer. Nearly everything traditionally reliable about the seafood supply chain has now changed.

These aren’t misperceptions. Truths we used to rely on have been thrown overboard.

Case in point:

What Used To Be So…

…What We Now Know

Our labor force would turn over, but was generally stable and returned year after year

We face constant worker shortages in plants and in ports

China’s processing industry was an insatiable source of raw material demand

China’s Zero-COVID policies idle processing facilities, killing demand

Fuel and transportation costs would fluctuate but over the long term were fairly predictable and inflation was a non-issue

Fuel costs are almost 50% higher than a year ago, influencing transportation and other costs of doing business

Growing openness between nations increased economic interdependency

War drove international sanctions, closing the Russian market to outside seafood

Is there a war on the global seafood supply chain? Probably not. Does it feel like there’s a war on the global seafood supply chain? From inside the industry, facing this volatility and the invalidation of our prior means of operating, it can absolutely seem that way.

Seafood companies need to rethink processing. We need to seek new markets to replace the old ones which are now closed. We need new trading partners who are open for business. We care about the location of trading partners more than ever before because of port and transportation cost issues.

Essentially, seafood companies need a new way to do business. And given that change seems to be the one thing which is consistent, the new way of doing business needs to enable our businesses to become more nimble than they are today – the best thing we can do is prepare our businesses to withstand future volatility.

Are you ready?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

How to give all your business to your competitor

How many of you clicked that? How many of you knew not to click it?

The link above is harmless, but the next email you receive might not be. In the seafood industry we do a lot of fishing, but how much do we worry about phishing?

Phishing is the practice of sending emails which look real for the express purpose of stealing private information. Phishing emails might lure the recipient into providing things like account number or passwords, or they might trick the recipient into clicking on a file attachment which unleashes malicious code.

When your business revolves around communicating or responding to offers via email, your business is at risk for phishing. Think about it....

Do you feel like clicking on the file attachment in your next offer email? What if it launched a virus which stole all of your email contacts - your trading partners - and sent them to your competitor?

It pays to spot phishing. But here's the challenge -

This may not be a phishing email...

...and this may be a phishing email:

Can you spot the difference?

Neither can we.

The only path to phishless fish is to manage your seafood trading in a private, safe and secure platform... and not in your emails.