The benefits of a good order management system during a pandemic

Trading rooms of the world have been shrinking since the advent of digital automation throughout the banking industry, with algorithmic trading and direct market access being the main two causes. Recently however, the COVID pandemic has meant that trading rooms of just one have become commonplace, as many traders are forced to work from home.

This “new normal” has shone a spotlight on the role of order management systems, where the timely handling of client orders has become considerably harder, since traders are no longer working side by side. Well established global order management platforms already support workflow features that are required to operate in foreign offices around the world, and thereby already cater for remote working requirements. But it’s worth taking a moment to look at some of the less obvious areas of functionality that may help with the new challenges.

Good visibility of order flow has become more important, with the ability to see your own order flow as well as that of your desk. If the order flow in question is low touch, then several eyes will be focused on performance and fixing potential issues as they arise. That means an order management system’s ability to provide access across all relevant orders for, say, a head of desk is now vital.

Another utility that has proved invaluable recently has been order performance analytics, especially those used for trajectory planning, so that conversations with buy-sides can uncover more volume if projections are favorable.

Along with analytics, it’s useful to be able to composite orders together, even if they were routed to two different traders in the group. This allows clients to receive average prices across all order fills no matter when orders were sent in.

So as we pass the six-month milestone of working from home, lessons in how to cope in these difficult times are beginning to emerge. The choice of order management system seems to have been critical to the success of many brokers who have continued to function smoothly in this new normal world.

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If you’re interested to see how the Fidessa trading platform can help you optimise your order management workflows, request a demo.