Innovation has always been a critical skill for trading organisations looking to create value from changing market situations. And innovation is just as important in the systems and services supporting commodity traders.
Innovation in CTRM has led to many benefits for trading companies over the years, from the evolution of commodity management technology that allows organisations to connect every aspect of their business, to the development of cloud CTRM that enables your team to work from anywhere securely, quickly and effectively.
And the real benefit of cloud systems is that they can unlock even more innovation and value for your business. Indeed, adopting cloud systems could unlock more than $1 trillion in value for Fortune 500 companies alone as a result of the business innovation and optimisation that the Cloud enables.
Gen10 – a long history of innovation
Any good system vendor will engage with clients to understand what they need from their software and work with them to continuously improve their technology, as well as helping clients and the industry appreciate how technology can be used in ways they may not have realised to solve their challenges.
Our CEO Richard Williamson defines 3 distinct types of innovation that Gen10 practice and believe all good CTRM providers should be engaged in:
These innovations come from understanding how clients are using their system and how we as a commodity management provider can continuously improve the products we offer. Internal innovation at Gen10 was kick-started when we developed our cloud-native environment. This cloud technology allows us to update every client’s system on an ongoing basis so that they always have the latest features and gives clients the agility to get more from their software.
The cloud ecosystem is agile by design, with flexibility built in at every stage. This allows us to quickly build out new features and functionality, or even additional modules, with minimal system changes. For example, when clients requested the ability to price and mark-to-market on multiple exchanges, create multi-BL shipments for chartering purposes, or auto-split lots based on a packing list upload, these developments were added quickly and remotely updated across all relevant client systems.
Because Gen10’s CommOS is so flexible and heavily configurable, the product typically needs no or minimal development when it is rolled out to a new client. This saves the client money and time and allows them to realise the benefits of their new system much faster. System configurability also means that it is much faster to develop CommOS for new markets, and to develop new products.
For example, 12 months ago, Gen10 didn’t have the ability to manage petrochemicals within CommOS, or the ability to attach a carbon footprint to your supply chain. Now, however, we have the new NetZero OS to manage carbon credits across the complete lifecycle, with all the same flexibility and innovation as CommOS. We also rapidly developed the ability to manage petrochemicals on behalf of a new client, again relying on the system configurability first and foremost to add pricing and workflows for the new grades, attributes and measures.
Industry innovation is where collaboration comes to the fore. These are the projects where the industry, or several participants, come together to solve the common problems we all face. We believe that when we work together to solve these problems is when the most innovative and effective solutions come to fruition.
At Gen10 we have a long history of providing our technological expertise to these collaborative projects. We work hard to ensure these industry innovations are as open as possible. For example, we didn’t only develop a blockchain solution to complete a repo trade finance agreements in minutes, we have also ensured that our commodity management and CTRM software can integrate with the other common blockchains used in commodities. And our history of innovation also includes projects in ESG and supply chain audit, and in democratising cotton laboratory data.
Innovation leads to more innovation
Innovation starts with having the right team of people, a team who are not only experts in their field, but who also understand our clients and commodities. We encourage our team to work closely with our clients so that they can understand the challenges they face and work with them to find innovative new solutions.
We also believe that an agile methodology is essential for effective innovation. Agile software development involves collaboratively making a series of iterative product improvements, with updates on a regular basis such as weekly or monthly. This provides results faster and allows us respond to changes and new requirements in a more efficient and effective manner.
Our cloud infrastructure also enables innovation at Gen10. The cloud platform gives us a global reach when it comes to remotely updating client systems and means that we spend much less time on administering system updates and more time developing the features that matter.
And of course, flexibility is essential. If a developer has an idea that could improve the system or make it more useful for clients, but is unable to implement it due to system limitations, then the benefits of innovation will not be realised.
For Gen10, the innovation in future-proofing our cloud architecture and building a product from the ground-up with flexibility at its core has allowed us the room to innovate in a way that drives tangible, fast benefits to our clients.
Is your CTRM provider innovating on your behalf?
If the disruptions of the last several years have shown anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for unexpected new situations and respond with agility to seize new opportunities, as well as protect our organisations from new risks. Commodity businesses cannot afford to be slowed down by inefficient technological processes or systems that do not allow them to operate in new, more efficient ways.
This future-proofing and protective innovation relies on both technology and culture. If your CTRM is not on an agile, cloud-native platform and using agile development to provide regular improvements that make a real difference to your organisation, it is introducing unnecessary and dangerous risk. Risk that is not always evident until you compare the gaps in your current system with your ideal processes.
So, if your CTRM provider does not have a culture of continuous innovation, your organisation is missing out on system improvements right now, and building up a greater backlog of missed innovation that will only become harder to overcome as your competitors innovate further.
And don’t just take our word for it. See what the industry analysts at ComTech Advisory have to say about Gen10’s culture of innovation.
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