Operations; Less Typing, More Doing

In the fast-moving world of metals and concentrates trading, faster operations turn-around time translates into a higher stock turnover and ultimately greater profitability. Whilst many commodity businesses are investing in the technology to make marginal gains in each trade, operations processes are often hampered by inefficient, offline processes that require a lot of manual effort and repeated re-typing of information.

What makes Gen10’s commodity management technology different is that we have always focussed on the operational challenges trading teams face, from operational risk to accelerating trade finance processes. Through powerful workflow automation, our apps reduce the time teams spend manually entering information so that they are free to spend more time on the activities that add value to your organisation.

Gen10’s apps are unique in the extent that they integrate with operations; as contracts are progressed through the system, updates are automatically recorded. The next team in the process is automatically notified and documents are created based on the information that has already been entered as part of the contract creation.

For example, when a bank financed lot is ready to be released, the app will create the request for release using the information that has already been input, meaning that not only do operations teams save time copying information, the risk of manual typing errors in the document is eliminated. Release emails can be generated and sent from within the app, so you have a complete audit trail and can instantly identify whether actions have been carried out.

Transport requests can also be generated quickly and sent from the system to the warehouse, again using information that has already been entered, including vehicle numbers if shipments have an inland final destination. As well as making document generation faster, operations management is improved; team members can search shipments for vehicle numbers, IMO numbers and more to ensure they are making the most efficient use of resources. And because Gen10 apps allow for full online processing, many of the risks associated with spreadsheet systems, such as people working from different documents and copying errors are mitigated.

trading operations

Gen10 apps do not only reduce mistakes, and the time lost correcting them, by reducing manual input, they also provide users with a better understanding of what actions can and cannot be completed in line with your approvals processes before the action is carried out. For example, if documentation is needed before a lot is shipped, and it has not been generated or uploaded, the user will be notified and will not be able to progress the shipment further. And if stock is over-allocated or allocated to a shipment schedule of a different grade, the app will notify the user to ensure they intended to make this allocation.

As all organisations have different processes, we work with our clients to create the most relevant workflow steps for their business during implementation and customise their solution using the principles of robotic process automation. Other checks might include automatically flagging vessels on the OFAC sanctions list, automatically sending documents through approval processes or two-step checks and preventing automation when key information has been forgotten.

Gen10 apps also make it easier for teams to adapt when changes to a contract occur. For example, one of our standard automation workflows creates a task for operations teams to release an Ocean Bill of Lading (OBL) 10 days before the estimated time of arrival at the destination port. If the ETA date changes, the deadline for the OBL, any associated tasks, and cash flow data (if applicable) are automatically updated to reflect the new date. Using in-system notifications and calendars also reduces the risk of miscommunication, especially if team members are ill or on holiday. Every member of the team has complete visibility of outstanding and completed tasks, meaning that you do not need to rely on emails to individuals and that assumptions are not being made about whether actions have been carried out.

In the search for greater profitability, faster operations are essential. Operations processes often involve many actions that can be automated with the right technology, meaning less typing, fewer mistakes and a faster stock turnover. With Gen10 apps, operations teams spend less time typing and fixing errors and more time on the activities that can add value to the organisation, leading to faster operations and better profitability.

If you found this article useful, discover the other ways Gen10 solutions are helping metals and concentrates traders in our Work better. Together. series.


Posted by Gustaf Dyrssen

Gustaf is an expert in commodity trading with almost 30 years’ experience in the industry, most of them as a senior trader. He enjoys speaking to others in our industry to understand what their challenges are and find new solutions to old problems. When he’s not in the office, you can usually find him on a Formula 18 sailing catamaran.