Metals and metals concentrates are notoriously difficult to handle in a CTRM solution and the choice of CTRM software for concentrates has been relatively limited in this market for a long time. The reason for this is down to specificity of functional needs and their complexity. Recently, however, for those seeking metals solutions, the choice has broadened. Richard Williamson, CEO of Gen10, with whom I spoke recently, is convinced that Gen10’s Commodity Manager is now one solution that can.
I got an update from Richard last week on their activities and learned that Gen 10 had been quietly investing heavily in their metals platform. They have since gained a “well-respected metals client” in recent months for refined metals and concentrates and the project was going well.
The Gen 10 solution, he told me, has “nailed” refined and concentrates in a single, versatile contract that handles highly complex optionality and valuations for each element. Their ‘Soft Allocations’ process is targeted at bridging the communications void between the trade desk and operations while their web services integration to ERP/Accounting systems completes the feedback loop. Not only are the usual accruals and invoices being posted in real time but payment information, starting cash balances (in multiple currencies) are brought back to Gen 10’s Commodity Manager. This means things like up-to-the-minute cash flow, counter-party credit info and overall performance analytics. This, coupled with Gen10’s ‘drag’n’drop’ workflow engine, gives trading and operations teams process-driven notifications and reminders based on a complete and timely dataset, addressing operational risk and efficiency.
They did have to make a significant upgrade to their pricing and premium engine, he told me. “We were amazed at just how many options and variables were needed on a contract that could affect the final price of individual shipment. No wonder they’ve had challenges getting computers to help them!” As a result, the solution now performs valuations across multiple grades, incoterms, assay out-turns, fx and interest charges to name a few, allowing users to construct complex templates, pricing structures, define their own variables and bring in all required price curves. “It’s been a 9-month slog, but totally worth it! We’ve ended up with a very powerful far-reaching pricing engine, which was the main thing preventing us from entering the metals and bulk energy markets. We were already strong in logistics, inventory and process/workflow. The team have done an excellent job in extreme conditions and the collaboration with our client has been great!” Meanwhile, ComTech has heard that some companies have spent several years and multiple millions of Dollars trying to meet such requirements.
Having upgraded its pricing engine, Mr. Williamson now has an eye on other complex commodities like liquid hydrocarbons, for example. Additionally, the solution is now even stronger for ags & softs as well.
The focus on refined metals and concentrates is rather smart due to the paucity of other solutions in the space. Despite that, it is getting a bit more competitive with vendors like Brady upgrading FinTrade for concentrates, Commodities Engineering’ Balsamo reaching maturity, Aspect’s efforts around adding concentrates functionality and Allegro’s recent focus on building out a comprehensive metals solution. The addition of a cloud-ready proven solution like Gen10’s Commodity Manager broadens the breadth of choice for procurers in what was a very constrained field of choice.
Mr. Williamson also told me that Gen10 will be on the road in October, showcasing at the LME Seminar during London Metals Week on 8/10 and again at ETOT 2018 later that week.