Well usually chances are companies will already be using some sort of system whether an internally developed system or an accounting system for the ERP backbone. We have all heard of interface projects that eventually got totally out of hand, totally over budget and overtime. Most companies are now in need of a vendor with an excellent record of interface projects at the most competitive price and within the tightest timeframes. Lots of them now finally understand that there is no such thing as standard implementation timeframes. This is a bit of a myth. Each project is essentially different. Therefore it needs to be done in a different manner.
In sum, companies looking to implement a commodity trading and risk management system usually have an ERP or accounting system that their new CTRM software must seamlessly integrate with. Unfortunately, the utmost importance of this integration processes is often neglected or put off until the very last stages of the CTRM implementation process and this seems to be the problem here.
So what does that imply in your expert opinion? This ERP-CTRM integration process, whether it is to SAP, JD Edwards, or Navision, is something that’s typically underestimated by many companies. They either think that it’s not so important or that it can be put off until the very end. In particular, those with more complex trading portfolios do not realize is that there may be a few additional points of integration required than they had originally anticipated.
By means of illustration on how this situation is often overlooked, companies that just acquired a CTRM system may very well end up spending five to six times the license fee of both systems combined just trying to have both systems integrated and consolidated. Each company is essentially different and therefore it operates differently. This is actually a bit of a company motto. Through in-depth consultations with our new clients, we find out exactly what they require.
Once our experts learn about the client’s business strategy and process the points of integration will be designed and that’s exactly when work begins. We surely take into account that there will be most likely being several new CTRM system releases per year and for each one of them there could be some integration touch-ups to be redone. Also the same applies to ERP upgrades and so on and so forth.
On the other hand vendors of course support only their own packages in case of problems, all adding to the level of complexity and hassle that users may encounter so it becomes evident that although paramount any point of integration between a CTRM system and an ERP solution can be expensive. It requires extensive time and planning and implies a level of risk.
Poor integration would hinder the company’s efficiency in terms of for instance workflow leverage across-the-board, back-to-back reconciliations, data consolidation across systems. So whenever done properly users will end up with a fully integrated suite of business systems with the complexities of getting all applications together. No longer poses a problem.
For example last year a company developed an interface to the official ICE Trading Platform, which means basically that traders enter their orders on there and by the click of a button these are then imported into ComScore, and so the traders won’t need to enter them again in their CTRM system. So basically our clients are able to import contacts from the ICE platform directly into ComScore and then assign them to a hedging strategy or portfolio. These imported trades are also available for exposure and Profit Loss analysis.
Any updates or deletions of the ICE trades are automatically synchronized in ComScore or The Bulldog as a matter fact because the same interface also works for The Bulldog.