The advantages of cloud commodity management in metals trading

The fact that metals traders and the wider commodities industry have faced years of shrinking margins and are likely to face years more is likely no surprise to many of us. Declining margins are widely discussed at industry events and in the media, and a report last year from consultants Oliver Wyman estimated that margins could likely decline by at least another 15 percent over the next five years.

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Work Better Together - Apart

At Gen 10 our mission is to make our customers' daily lives more efficient and productive whilst reducing the possibility for operational and financial risk errors that are so prevalent and costly to the point of corporate failure, in the complex world of commodity trading and supply chains. This is never more true than in the current extraordinary circumstances created by the Covid-19 crisis, where the financial and physical dislocation of commodity markets has already lead to a number of high profile trading company collapses. 

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Where commodity management apps save time and improve turnover

Trading faster may allow commodity businesses to generate greater returns from a wide range of assets – not only physical commodities, but counterparty relationships and their employees’ valuable time. Completing each trade faster allows these resources to be used to trade more volume; for example by freeing up credit lines to enable more transactions with a counterparty or reducing administration and allowing traders more time to explore new deal opportunities.

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How automation can power commodity logistics

Technology is helping to drive innovation across the supply chain. End customers expect more personalised products more rapidly, leading to manufacturers automating their order fulfilment, production and, where possible, supply chains. And as other partners face greater regulation, such as banks’ reporting requirements or partners’ sustainability certifications, commodity traders need to ensure the accuracy and auditability of their systems as well as their efficiency. Commodity businesses are therefore experiencing pressure to create more efficient operations to keep up with both competitors and with increased consumer demand for supply chain convenience, resilience and transparency.

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Big data - Start by breaking down the CTRM monolith

Digital transformation has been identified as one way to help improve profitability in commodities trading, where profit margins have been squeezed since 2015. In fact, digital transformation has become a trend in the industry and at least part of the digitalisation effort often takes the form of big data projects, which analysts claim are the way “to arrest the relentless erosion of profit margins”. Indeed, some have even stated that the capacity for advanced predictive analytics will be such a competitive advantage that it will accelerate consolidation of the industry.

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How to improve asset turnover in metals trading

In today’s highly competitive environment, metals traders are fighting against “the relentless erosion of profit margins”. To add to these systemic challenges, geopolitical risks such as trade wars, sanctions, tariffs and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), are increasing uncertainty, reducing demand for some materials, supply for others and creating longer-term logistics issues that will continue even if the virus is brought under control.

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The benefits of automation in commodity trading

Inefficiencies cost trading companies time and money. Over the years, many different technologies have been used by commodity traders to improve their efficiency, just consider the fax machines that revolutionised contract turnaround times! These have since been replaced by even more efficient and better-traceable electronic communications. And as technology advances further, emailed pdf attachments that need to be printed, signed and returned are already being replaced by electronic signatures in some cases.

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Ecosystems are the future of commodity management software

Collaboration is an essential ingredient for success in the digital age, as we explored in a recent whitepaper. But for the business to work better through collaboration between teams, their technology also needs to be collaborative. With many different business functions all using technologies that meet their specific needs, and every organisation using unique processes, one single commodity management platform cannot power every aspect of this collaboration.

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Commodity Management: From the trade desk to the supply chain

Commodity Trading Risk Management (CTRM) software was originally used to record transactions after they had been carried out and to report on activity. However, in the decades since the original CTRM systems were created, technologies and the business itself have undergone massive and dramatic change, meaning that traditional legacy CTRM systems are now very limited in scope and this, in turn, severely limits the effectiveness of those who are using them.

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Watch: Gen10's global implementation for Corrie MacColl

Corrie MacColl is a group of Natural and Synthetic Rubber growing, trading, storage, distribution and technical support companies, with plantations in Cameroon and Malaysia, and owned by the Singaporean conglomerate Halcyon Agri. The Halcyon group is the leading natural rubber supply chain manager in the world, supplying 1.6 million tonnes annually, or 12% of global consumption.

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