Fendahl still sees a lot of market activity ranging from sizable opportunities to much smaller ones where “some are not sure what it is they are looking for nor how much they will need to pay,” says Henry Thornalley of Fendahl. The opportunities include replacements of older CTRM solutions, he notes. As he mentioned last time we spoke, he fears that the forced remote sales process is helping to lengthen and complicate deal closure as it is challenging to build trust and rapport over Zoom versus face-to-face meetings. The flexibility to bring others into discussions is lost, meaning one session can spawn several others to ensure everyone is involved. “This means we are doing many, many demos, and so we are training up new pre-sales staff just as fast as we can to help meet that demand,” he told me.
So far this year, they have made several sales and are already implementing one of those new customers, but he expects several more in the coming months. “We have a very healthy pipeline, and this could prove to be an exceptional year,” he says. Fendahl continues to grow with the demand and has just added a CFO who will be announced shortly, he tells me.
Buyers are increasingly seeking the ability to automate tasks, so there is more focus on automation and workflow, he says. “For example, 2-days before the arrival of a container, can the system generate a checklist for the release of the container from the port?” he adds. He also sees the work from home environment adding new requests for functionality like who was logged on to the solution, doing what, and for how long. “Additionally, more emphasis on approval flows and escalations – the ability to control what is going on.” He cites one customer and the different limits they set up using the Fusion at many different levels by country, trader, and so on, but how they had implemented some complex rules for escalation of approvals.
He also sees that many buyers seek more than just CTRM type functionality in a solution. They increasingly seek more commodity management functions to manage the supply chain and more CRM-type functionality he says. Another area of interest is in more treasury functionality, and Fendahl has already expanded into freight management which includes container management via integration with INTTRA – the container booking system. “Buyers are looking to see if they can eliminate other parts of their legacy environment where they may have 40-50 different solutions for all sorts of reasons. How many can they eliminate if bringing in a new solution?” One example of this, he tells me, is their Intra portal where users can save over using a broker. “Direct tangible savings that are measurable,” he says.