Much to our mutual surprise, it had been a year since I had last spoken with Rowena Bataille, Head of Marketing & Product Design at Inatech, and so there was actually a lot of news to discuss. Inatech, a global provider of cloud ETRM and fuel management software for the physical oil trading and marine industries, and a Glencore company markets a number of products for oil trading, bunkering, and shipping. These include two new products – SmartTrader and TechOil wholesale and Rack Marketing – both of which we discussed.
Inatech has recently announced an arrangement to use Platts pricing in SmartTrader, a pre-deal analysis and decision support platform that leverages bunker alerts and pricing data from S&P Global Platts and is designed to help optimize fuel procurement. “With the new IMO 2020 regulation, we are seeing one of the biggest changes in oil market history through the reduction in permitted levels of sulfur from 3.5% currently to 0.5% as of January 1, 2020. It means that shipping companies are suddenly confronted with new demands on their fuel purchasing processes. In order to minimize running costs while ensuring compliance in the face of tough penalties, shipping companies are re-thinking the management systems they use to control and optimize fleet level bunker procurement,” she told me.
Apparently, the new IMO regulation was one of the key talking points at this year’s IP Week as the entire industry navigates a shift to comply. “A lot of companies on the bunkering and shipping side remain unprepared,” she told me. “How will this regulation impact oil trading? Refineries? Are they equipped?”
Meanwhile, Inatech has been acquiring new clients including a bunkering company that procured Inatech’s ETRM solution, and it has seen success in North America particularly on the distribution side of the industry. “We have completed a build-out of rack marketing functionality,” she said. “We are also seeing significantly increased interest in our technologies as many of these retail distribution and other companies know that they have to digitalize and make better use of data to maximize profits and optimize operations. It’s all much more competitive and Oil Distributors know they have to adopt and utilize technology to survive and thrive.”