Visiting with Hivedome

In amongst the marketing ‘noise’ in the CTRM software space are a few vendors that remain somewhat low key. One of those is Hivedome. Established in 1983, Hivedome has shown tremendous longevity in a category littered with mergers & acquisitions. Traditionally, Hivedome has relied more on ‘customer reference ’ than on media announcements and active promotion.

A couple of days ago, I discussed Hivedome and the market with a couple of senior personnel – Nick Thomas, head of Hivedome Consulting and Sean Milton, Client Engagement. Hivedome got started in sugar initially and is still known for its expertise in that commodity. Its initial clients – mostly larger, top tier names – helped the company move into other commodities such as Coffee, Cocoa, Nuts and Spices and so on. These days, ITAS is being used for a wide array of agricultural and soft commodities having expanded in recent years into cotton, grains and oils. It also has an established presence in metals and liquid hydrocarbons platforms.

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ITAS – Integrated Trading & Accounting Solution- is used by around 35 companies today and has over 3,500 users globally. Many of these companies have deployed the solution across multiple desks, locations, and subsidiaries. ‘Their users become accustomed to the breadth and depth of the solution’s functionality and, when they move on themselves, they usually recommend the solution at their new company’, I was told.

Headquarted in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, the company now has offices across the globe in Kluj, Romania, Singapore, and Miami, for example, to support its client base. Many of its core software development team have been with the business since inception and have real commodity expertise according to Nick Thomas. The company and product has grown and evolved with its marketplace and Hivedome is hard at work transitioning ITAS over the next couple of years to an all new technology stack and architecture. As a part of its Modernization Program, it has launched its ‘Extended Features’ product that provides customized tools to complement ITAS CTRM including APIs, Alerts, and a Reporting Database.

ITAS is, in our definition, a Commodity Management solution with a strong focus on the management of physical supply chains fully integrated with accounting . Using components of Extended Features, ITAS can also be seamlessly integrated with a third party system including client’s ERP. Added to that is a functionally – rich set of risk and CTRM capabilities, Sean Milton told us, to add up to a comprehensive, ‘farm to fork’ solution. ‘Our clients trust us to have the basics done right, he told me, ‘and that’s where ITAS excels.’

In fact, Hivedome sees an emerging trend for many large corporates, which may have multiple businesses or divisions, but one common ERP (SAP, Oracle, AX). They are looking for a comprehensive front-end CTRM solution (Trading, Traffic/Logistics, Inventory/warehousing, Invoicing) that can be interfaced with a back-end ERP solution (Cash, Accounting). Milton continued “Although ITAS is fully integrated (Trading to Accounting to Cash), through the Extended Features capability, we are now meeting the requirement to provide the CTRM platform while the ERP provides the Corporate consolidated cash and financial reporting.”

As I said at the beginning of the article, Hivedome is one of a number of companies in the CTRM space that keeps quietly moving forward and serving its existing clients and developing new ones. It doesn’t make much ‘noise’ in the marketing sense but with a 34-year history, it probably doesn’t need to.

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