As experts in the commodity trading and risk management (CTRM) space, we have continuous engagement with clients, who are leveraging CTRM technology for their commodities trading operations and risk management. We assist clients using a variety of CTRM systems – from ION-porfolio systems such as Allegro, TriplePoint and Endur to independent systems, such as Eka, Enuit and Pioneer. We are continually gathering information about our clients’ needs, through project work and attending industry events.
Regardless of what CTRM system(s) our clients are using, there is commonality around client needs and system pain points. Listening and learning about our client’s needs is important. In contrast, jumping on the latest tech industry buzzword bandwagon often results in service offerings that are developed in a vacuum, absent of consideration for pressing client needs. At Veritas, we want to make sure that we understand our clients' needs, optimize and tailor our solutions to help meet these needs.
Here is a list of the top 5 CTRM related needs that our clients have been coming to us with this year:
1. System Upgrades
All systems go through upgrades. While smaller updates happen on a regular basis, larger CTRM system upgrades typically happen once every 3-5 years. Many clients on Allegro are in the process of upgrading to Horizon, the latest major release of Allegro. Any major system upgrade is a challenge in itself because internal resources need to find budget and time to complete the upgrade effort, while not disrupting current operations.
CTRM systems contain a treasure trove of information. There are major gaps in data quality and highly manual efforts in reporting with CTRM data. Clients need to address data quality issues, which are most often business process driven. They also need to make data easily accessible to end users by enabling their users of reports to auto-generate the reports themselves, without the dependency on IT resources.
The integration of CTRM systems with systems upstream and downstream can produce tremendous time and cost savings by eliminating manual reconciliations and data inaccuracies. Many clients benefit from a data integration hub, which provides a clear view into the translation of data to and from the CTRM, as well as making the CTRM data easily accessible.
4. Cloud Migration
CTRM systems have complex architectures that integrate with dozens of other systems and applications. Many, if not all, of these systems and applications are moving to the cloud. Driven by need for flexibility, data security, multi-device and location access, the cloud is creating disruption in the CTRM space. However, there is still a big gap for many around how the cloud actually works in a CTRM environment.
5. User Adoption
Whether it’s a new CTRM implementation or an upgrade, users have to become familiar with the new features and tools which may require changes to current processes. Having a good transformation plan and team in place to promote user adoption and roll-out can make this more seamless. Transparent milestones, a team experienced in change management principals and a proactive communication plan will help ensure a successful transformation.
With all of these needs, there are typically two main drivers: limited bandwidth and expertise. Most internal teams have daily project work and do not have the extra bandwidth to dedicate the time needed for a successful upgrade, complex reporting system or elaborate cloud migration. In these situations, consulting firms specializing in CTRM systems can be brought in to help fill the void, so teams don’t have to experience major disruption. A team skilled in CTRM systems, technology and cloud applications is needed to create realistic architectures and roadmaps. The team should also be skilled in project and change management (see embedded change management) to help create a seamless experience and increase the rate of user adoption.
A specialized consulting firm can help close the gaps in both these areas and help clients address their needs and add value to their business. Clients' needs can quickly change making it imperative to stay abreast of and prepared to anticipate clients’ needs. Consulting firms work on a variety of projects, gaining valuable insights, providing fresh perspectives and helping clients maximize value out of their CTRM systems.
At Veritas, our philosophy is to understand our clients’ needs first and find creative solutions second. We are skilled in setting up CTRM Systems projects for success, minimizing project risks and managing project progress thoroughly from the beginning. If you are interested in learning more about our specific capabilities, contact us to learn more or subscribe to our blog to stay connected!