Chris Aversano joined Q88 four years ago and currently serves as Principal Product Manager for The Q88 Position List family of products. With nearly 30 years of experience in the maritime shipping industry, including as a tanker broker, Chris delivers a unique perspective on what brokers need from a software solution.
We recently sat down with Chris to discuss his experience at Q88 and in the maritime industry. Chris started off by offering a few thoughts on his transition from broker to product manager: “I was initially struck by the parallels between the role of a broker and the role of a product manager. When taking a closer look, however, it makes sense that the transition was so seamless and that I’ve really enjoyed both roles.”
Chris cites customer centricity as one of those parallels: “Both brokers and product managers are focused on differentiating their product or service. At the end of the day, that means listening to clients’ needs and empowering them to achieve both short-term and long-term strategic goals.” Chris finds that his experience as a broker allows him to understand clients on a deep level to help inform product strategy.
Shaping the standard for broker solutions
When Chris first joined Q88, he noticed a glaring shortage of effective software solutions for brokers that are specifically focused on their needs. He knew that many in the broker space regarded software as an obstacle or worse, competition, rather than a helpful asset in their workflows. “We wanted to change that narrative,” says Chris. “We set out to give brokers a flexible tool that would empower them to do their jobs better, with the ability to tailor it to the way they work. Each broker does things a little differently and has their own unique value proposition, so providing that flexibility and customization was key.”
With many brokers already referencing Q88’s core solution for tanker market data, developing a broker-centric product was a natural extension. Chris adds, “Our goal was to create something that was purpose-built for brokers, allowing them to add value the way they see fit.” Today, Q88 Position List addresses this need, allowing brokers to add their own fixtures, selectively share data with others, and configure custom reports. Much of this can be done on the go, with an app. The Q88 Position List app was one of the first ones in the industry to be broker centric.
Addressing market trends
As the maritime industry continues to evolve, Chris prioritizes adding capabilities to Q88 Position List that allow brokers to address changing requirements. “Emissions tracking and decarbonization are big topics in the market right now. We’ve been integrating emissions information directly into our solution, and we’re continuing to build upon that so that brokers can better bring emissions into decision making.”
“We are always staying in tune with market movements and our clients’ priorities. For example, we’ve incorporated the capability to add searchable columns within the solution. This is helpful for our clients if a new port has a certain restriction, as they can then easily adjust their view without issue. We also regularly add new dashboards and features to Cargoes and Fixtures to make life easier for our clients. Every release is more and more feature-rich. The market is constantly changing, so it’s important that our solution changes with it.”
A trusted voice for clients
Chris’ broker background provides him a firsthand understanding of what clients are really looking for in a solution. When discussing new features and enhancements within Q88 Position List, he considers what he would have valued in a position list solution during his time as a broker. “As I mentioned, flexibility is really the key thing. The other is control—our solution provides complete transparency in terms of how brokers share positions, and who they choose to share them with.”
Customer service is another important piece of the puzzle, and Chris notes that the breadth of industry expertise across the Q88 team enables them to better serve their clients: “We have a lot of industry voices within the company, who have been in our clients’ shoes. This makes us intently focused on what our clients need from a solution.”
“Q88 Position List really focuses on the success of the broker. By leveraging my experiences as a broker and constant discussion with clients, as well as keeping a pulse on the broader shipping market, we can craft a product that becomes an invaluable extension of a broker’s day to day work.”
Request a demo to learn more about Q88 Position List and how it enables faster and more effective broking.