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Six signs you’ve outgrown your current CTRM solution

At Agiboo, we have commodity trade in our hearts. Our key objective therefore has always been to make a trader’s daily endeavors more efficient – from drafting a contract, setting prices and handling logistics to evaluating risk and adjusting your current position. It’s also why we don’t like to see anyone struggle in spreadsheet mania, in outdated software solutions, or even in modern ones that somehow don’t seem to fill the bill for whatever it is our industry requires from you on a regular basis. So, if your day-to-day is governed by cumbersome and time-consuming bouts with the very software solution that was supposed to make your work easier – then it might be time to take stock. We’ll address all that in these six signs you might have outgrown your current solution. 

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1. You’re tangled up in spreadsheet mania

Sure, Excel or its alternatives can get you where you need to go – although not in any hurry. But aren’t the inevitable data errors affecting efficiency, reporting, output and your bottom line? Isn’t the time-consuming process of doing the same over and over again hindering your progress? Doesn’t the lack of timely available input harm your position, the adaptability of that position and the need to make effective, data-driven decisions? 

A CTRM system is not just a container for data, you need to be able to quickly access and adjust that information as well. You want to be able to check your position every day. What is going on with this deal here, what are the various developments vis-à-vis estimates and expectations, how can I quickly and effectively adjust my position? In Excel, that puzzle will take you several hours easily – let alone implementing the proper adjustments. You’ve basically come at the end of its efficacy. Or worse: it has become an overall impediment. To growth. To progress. To taking the next step. 

Agiblocks is the first CTRM software solution that simplifies the daily practices of commodity trade professionals. It has been developed with the single goal of making your fixed routine of commodity trading and risk management more efficient. Its clean user interface is simple with fast access to key functions. For every task, from creating a contract to evaluating your risk, all required information is readily available. You are in control.

spreadsheets-excel-mania

2. You’ve reached the very ceiling of integration, scalability and/or flexibility

Modern software solutions are in the cloud. They don’t care about what data you need, where you are, or how many there are of you. However, the benefits of cloud-based integration don’t apply to most legacy solutions. No matter how old the software is, you have to be able to integrate it – and integrate it well – with the various other tools and applications that have come to be part of your company’s ecosystem in order to run things smoothly, effectively and more efficiently and effectively. 

That lack of integration, scalability and flexibility is not something that will show up on the credit side of your company’s budget statement, but it will cost you.

Agiblocks supports trading as well as financial management from the same source of data and within the same, fully web-based application – accessible anytime, anywhere on any device with a browser. Its modular structure however is also designed to fit any and all company sizes, allowing implementation on the basis of desired necessity – from just the functionality you need to a full end-to-end solution. The design of our software offers a clean and simple user interface, with fast access to all the vital functions for any given task, while our technological innovations and unique industry-specific functionalities guarantee all the information you need is just a single click away – anytime, anywhere.

3. You’re not getting the full picture of your position – and it’s costing you

Business managers – as well as most other managers – tend to be risk averse. That is to say, they prefer situations with low uncertainty over situations with high uncertainty. Or better yet, no uncertainty at all. However, in economics and finance – as in life –, things are never one hundred percent certain, nor do the most certain outcomes yield the best results. Luckily, there are tons of tools to deal with uncertainty as a solution to your risk aversion. 

Financial pressure and threats to your bottom line come from all angles, from price volatility and drops in sales to the run-up in procurement costs, ineffective hedges, rising energy costs, the impact of your constantly dynamic exchange exposure, et cetera et cetera. 

That’s why Agiblocks offers complete commodity business management. It provides all functionality for trading physical agricultural commodities and their terminal market instruments. It supports contract management, logistics, forex and hedging and has powerful tools for real-time risk analysis and management. Does your current solution?

Our intuitive dashboard combines a detailed and fundamental understanding of the commodity business and risk management processes with an agile information technology architecture, enabling users to successfully manage all their daily commodity trading and risk management needs. Our software is easy to install, simple to maintain and integrates well with existing systems or IT-platforms. On-premises, Cloud-hosted or SaaS. 

Pricy volatility is kind of a given in the commodities market, and more so in today’s economy – with inflation and price increase headlines all over the news. But you’ll never catch a trader off-guard by sudden price changes. With solutions like ours, you can be that trader. 

Agiblocks provides detailed insight in your commodity trade chain and offers full control of every aspect of your business operation. Within a single, consistent environment offering customizable configuration, our software enables you to drill down in your trade book, your logistics chain or financial documentation and allows you to act quickly and easily if need be. It also keeps a full audit trail of transactions. 

4. The cost of upkeep keeps rising as well – seemingly with no end in sight

From license fees to support and software development, any digital program comes with costs for upkeep – especially in the case of legacy solutions. Sure, modern and cool replacement solutions have those costs as well. However, for legacy systems, they tend to rise over time – as all the fixed costs related to keeping the software working will, by and large, increase when fewer companies start using the outdated solution. There are also fewer – if any – updates and upgrades, while the flexibility of integration will start to fall behind as well. Not to mention the cost of training new staff to work with old software. 

Moreover, there comes a point in the lifecycle of any software solution where updates, if at all available, will simply fall short. Meanwhile, various non-fixed costs emerge, as downtime, maintenance and the incremental need for specialists are on the rise too. The thing with those expenses? They usually don’t diminish as time goes by either.

You can read more about the hidden costs of legacy systems here.

5. It doesn’t support the dynamics of your day

There has been a trend towards greater flexibility in CTRM software solutions for a while now. Not too long ago, only the big firms could have it all in terms of scalability and flexibility of software solutions, as they had the time and resources to build their own platforms. Thanks to the modern approach of CTRMs as an ecosystem as well as the availability of cloud service, those previous luxuries are now commonplace. Get on board.

Agiblocks consists of a suite of functional modules from which you can build exactly the CTRM you need. Because you are completely free to define your business logic, it will always fit your processes. Agiblocks will interface with your ERP or accounting system (e.g. SAPMS Business CentralJD Edwards) or other software in your current landscape. It is perfectly scalable and will grow with you, both in functionality and scale of operations.

Furthermore, while a lot of companies talk about the cloud, usually that just implies their systems are in the cloud and not on on-location servers. With Agiblocks, you can actually work from the cloud. You get to quickly keep up with developments and, more importantly, you can work from anywhere; at the office or on the road, at home, on any device that has a browser, as Agiboo has decided years ago to migrate CTRM architecture to easily accessible cloud services, while platforms on client/server or Java.net need to seriously rewrite their software to keep up with the times. The system architecture has been developed in a specific and flexible technology stack to allow superior performance in both a hosted environment and a traditional on-premises arrangement. 

6. Or maybe it does work – but it’s just not an industry-specific solution

Considering all options and variables, the one thing that might still stick out is: is it a good fit? Commodity trade and risk management software solutions are by default complex and rich in functionalities. They have to be, given all the dynamics and intricacies that characterize the very industry they set out to support.

We believe that support is the key word here. You don’t need additional complexity.
The number one objective of Agiblocks has always been to make a trader’s daily endeavors more efficient, as we’ve stated time and again. We have commodity trade in our hearts and understand that technology – having new and innovative features – is an important part of a CTRM solution. We’ve got you covered – from the latest tools and functions to assisted integration (including custom connectors), fueled by industry-leading partnerships. From vertical microservices, Point in Time Recovery (PITR), Messages, JSON, RabbitMQ, OData, Azure SQL & Atlas MongoDB to Kubernetes, Linux and Windows containers, OAuth 2.0 with MFA, container orchestration on server clusters and .NET Core.

Speaking of offering what the industry needs, Agiblocks is not just the next generation of CTRM systems, but a solution that truly meets all technical as well as business needs for anyone working in the trade business. We take pride in the fact that our software matches all the intricacies of the industries it intends to support. A true multi-commodity system right out of the box, not limited to a particular commodity and built on modern technology. 

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Agiblocks offers:

  • Multiple entities & intercompany trade, multiple trade books
  • Physical contract management for bulk, break bulk, containers, parcels
  • Flexible position management (origins, specifications, premiums, certifications)
  • Mark to Market valuation by position/parities/premiums and cost
  • Hedging & derivative management (futures, options, OTC, forex)
  • Cross markets (futures/forex) and/or ratio pricing, hedging, hedge allocation
  • Logistic management (documentation & freight), physical inventories, sampling
  • Financing & collaterals, invoicing, cost accruals, profit & loss: unrealized / realized
  • Flexible reporting, document management, quality and trading dashboards
  • General Accounting API, IFRS 15 & IFRS 9 compliant


Would you like to know more?

Discover the lead you can take with Agiblocks by requesting a free demo.

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