This interview was conducted with Dr. Gary Vasey, Managing Partner at ComTech Advisory, an expert in the energy, IT and commodities trading industry. It was originally published on CTRMCenter.com.
According to Gen10’s CEO, Richard Williamson, there certainly has been an uptick in interest in CM and CTRM solutions during the lockdown period. However, he also credits Gen10’s messaging which he believes has been helpful in turning interest into action pointing to both its new website and its blogging approach that emphasizes ‘enabling collaboration and sensible controls.’
Richard did have one area of concern, and that is how commodities organizations safely and effectively recruit, onboard and train new hires. “Hiring is more problematic now. How do you onboard new hires and so on?” he asked. For Gen10 users, Richard suggested that its solution features comprehensive workflows so that “people can get up to speed faster and new hires can learn from the embedded workflow, which means they are following company processes by default and enjoy enhanced monitoring of tasks, deadlines and activity.”
From an implementation perspective Gen10 have long “had the target of 100% remote implementations as a core element of their cloud strategy. That’s when you know you have a scalable business, and we are very happy to have finally had the opportunity to validate our efforts in the real world,” he said. “Though of course it would be preferable if a horrible contagious virus that has affected people, supply chains, finance and insurance weren’t the catalyst to reaching this milestone.” He told us that the latest example of this was a 6-week dual language (English/Mandarin) implementation they undertook in China. The project was the final step to harmonizing business processes for a global merchant that had recently closed a series of M&A transactions. At the same time, it was looking upstream to origin and seeking to bring their client’s farms in Africa and SE Asia online to improve coordination and to ensure true traceability, he explained. “Bearing in mind that this was all being done with our teams working 100% from home under lockdown as well, it really is testament that the promise of digital transformation can deliver cost-effectively and how it can enable people to work better, together. Really nice to be able to put all of this into practice.”
Pretty much all of the inquiries coming in today are for cloud SaaS, he told us. There are still some inquiries coming from entities that were still not totally comfortable with cloud and “so they require multiple demonstrations to help them both to see the benefits and to address any lingering concerns,” Richard said. The main issue driving cloud in the current environment is of course that firms no longer have everyone in the same room and yet the need for collaboration remains. Gen10’s option of a hybrid solution appears to be having appeal in these cases, he told us.
Richard also sees that selection firms and consultants are being tasked with bringing greater vendor and product choice to their clients and that most are now trying to find the 2-3 solutions that really tick all of their boxes. One of these is undoubtedly faster and cheaper implementations that the 18 month+, multi-million dollar implementations some of the ‘legacy’ vendors require, he said adding that, “Out-of-the-box and in-the-cloud is the order of the day and we have proven we can deliver even in the harshest of environments. We can implement significantly faster, with lower risk and costs. There is a new way of doing this and we believe in a post-COVID world, it will soon become the norm. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be.” Asked whether there is a trade-off in terms of quality or functionality in this approach, he said that “On the contrary, we are able to provide deeper more flexible, more engaging functionality that is more relevant to how people need to work, lockdown or no lockdown. There aren’t too many CTRM platforms out there that map to your business processes, organize your LCs, shipping documents and email correspondence all in one place with a Google map tracking your vessel cargoes.”
This discussion continued in a recent webinar discussing business continuity and CTRM implementations in a post-COVID world – watch the recording now
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