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Towards Commodity Management in the cloud – An Interview with Saurabh Goyal, Founder and CEO, Phlo Systems

ComTech Advisory: How would you describe Phlo Systems and its software solutions to our readers?

Saurabh Goyal: Phlo Systems develops and deploys SaaS cloud and emerging technologies such as AI for the commodity trading sector, with an objective to make their operations more efficient, sustainable and secure. Our philosophy supports large traders who need quick point solutions to connect into their existing trading IT infrastructure, and/or smaller traders who need a complete business/ trading solution having outgrown spreadsheets and a multitude of other/ older systems.

These systems help our customers to run their business(es) today, and also evolve flexibly with changing market dynamics, compliance and regulations.

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Key focus areas include ERP, CTRM, trade finance and international trade compliance. Our systems are designed to enable digitization not just within the user’s organization but also help them connect digitally with their external supply chain partners such as producers, suppliers, buyers, transport providers, warehouses, trade financers, quality testers, futures brokers/exchanges etc.

opsPhlo from Phlo Systems is a modular CTRM+ERP solution, that seamlessly merges CTRM functionality with Acumatica ERP.

As a specialist in Commodity Management, ERP, and related solutions development, Phlo Systems has developed opsPhlo to support commodities trading and supply chain markets. The primary goal for opsPhlo is to optimize trading efficiency for its clients world-wide

opsPhlo is highly modular solution that helps reduce the risk/ complexity/cost of large scale systems change/ transformation/ digitization. The solution can be implemented in phases, and adapted to specific client needs. This approach in well-planned steps can address trading, supply chain, financial, and hedging risks in small steps, rather than big-bang systems change required by some of the more traditional systems.

Major OpsPhlo modules include:

  • Streamline trading front/ back-office operations, logistics, and delivery through advanced Supply Chain Management. This includes real-time inventory visibility, automated replenishment notifications, and precise control over inventory dynamics.
  • Risk Management features empower businesses to confidently navigate market uncertainties. opsPhlo facilitates the identification, quantification, and management of risks associated with physical commodity contracts, FX, and other financial instruments. Its advanced risk assessment tools and real-time monitoring ensure proactive risk mitigation.
  • Auto Hedging, a standout feature, employs state-of-the-art algorithms and real-time exchange connectivity. This enables businesses to execute auto hedging, minimizing slippage and lowering costs, ensuring swift adaptation to market changes.
  • Beyond CTRM, opsPhlo serves as an end-to-end ERP solution with modules covering purchase, sales, inventory, contract and risk management, currency hedging, logistics, invoicing, and more. Additional modules for manufacturing, procurement, CRM, and finance further enhance its utility.

The Phlo Advantage lies in opsPhlo’s seamless integration of multiple modules that provide a unified platform for comprehensive trade and operational management. Its innovative risk mitigation tools and automated decision support set it apart, making opsPhlo a future-ready solution built on cutting-edge technologies.

ComTech Advisory: And what made you decide to set up as a vendor in the CTRM and Commodity Management space?

Saurabh Goyal: We believe the Commodity Trading sector has been underserved by mainstream software vendors.

We feel the traditional “best of breed” approach is no longer working as complex interfacing between ERP, logistics and CTRM systems is not sufficiently agile for today fast changing markets.

Phlo Systems sees a clear need for a modular solution which provides all core functionalities to run a commodity business under one integrated environment.

For many years the CTRM/ trader market has been characterized by large/ complex/ costly solutions – typically delivered as one single “integrated” solution that takes significant time to go live and deliver the expected benefits.

The reality of course is that markets, commodities, business strategies, competitors change quickly and most trading businesses are faced with significant risk/ cost/ time dilemmas when it comes to systems upgrade or change….. they typically need a solution (or set of solutions) that can be adopted at low cost over time to reduce risks and solve operational challenges along the journey.

Phlo Systems developed opsPhlo as a result of their experience in multiple trading houses and IT/ business dilemmas over the last 15-20 years or so.

ComTech Advisory: Who are you targeting with your solutions and what do you feel are the benefits that your customers can accrue?

Saurabh Goyal: opsPhlo is a multi commodity solution with capabilities for multi language/ currency/ business models, etc.

Phlo Systems is aimed at solving challenges for:

  1. Small to medium size Ags and softs physical commodity traders who are ready to move from spreadsheets to an integrated/ modular CTRM+ERP to accommodate their growing needs for standardization and process management
  2. Larger ags and softs traders who need to:
    1. Adopt significant systems change with a modular/ phased approach to CTRM and/or ERP
    2. Quicky solve point solution challenges to handle changing regulatory environments, move into new markets in an agile fashion
    3. Develop custom solutions to solve specific/ niche requirements and challenges.
    4. Adopt a new modern ERP system on the fringe with an objective to do a major transformation over the next few years
  3. Medium sized Commodity traders who have experimented with CTRM systems and accounting systems running in parallel and now looking for a better integrated solution

ComTech Advisory: What do you see as the greatest challenge in creating and taking to market a CTRM solution these days?

Saurabh Goyal:

  1. Making sure that sufficient traders around the world know that Phlo Systems exists and to save their time to know where and how Phlo Systems can help
  2. Communicating our value proposition in an effective manner to enough commodity businesses across globe
  3. Engaging with senior decision makers of our prospective customers

ComTech Advisory: What trends are you seeing in CTRM software?

Saurabh Goyal: Many trading companies are working with out dated technology that is expensive to operate and complex/ time consuming to adapt to changing markets

They are looking for solutions/ upgrades/ migration at low cost, faster pace and with lower risk…. Modular, agile, flexible solutions that can quickly solve business/ operational challenges.

Increasingly we are seeing the need for new/ integrated point solutions catering to sustainability, renewable energy, carbon trading etc

ComTech Advisory: What do you see as important about these trends in terms of the market for CTRM and related solutions?

Saurabh Goyal: Traders need to address the needs of rapidly changing markets and clients. They are constantly looking for solutions that:

  • Solve challenges quickly and with lower risk
  • Traders in competitive markets constantly look to differentiate themselves and stay ahead of their competitors – they need more flexible, agile solutions – delivered in modules rather than traditional, expensive and “monolithic” systems.
  • We see international trade compliance as a big factor which will influence CTRM system design/functionality.
  • Traceability and data integrity will become increasingly important and systems which provide integrated view of trading, operations, logistics, sustainability and accounting to both internal and external users will be required.

Phlo Systems is keen to engage with trading organisations to assess where, how and when they might be able to help.

Saurabh GoyalAbout Saurabh Goyal, Founder and CEO, Phlo Systems

Saurabh has more than 25 years of experience in developing and managing trading systems.
He has a Bachelors in Engineering and Masters in Business Administration. He is also a qualified FRM (Financial Risk Manager) and CQF (Certified Quant in Finance).

For the first 10 years of his career, he worked with TCS, Bank of NY Mellon, Prudential Asset Manager and Accenture developing systems to trade financial instruments. His last day job was as head of CTRM systems at Olam where he developed and implemented CTRM (Commodities Trading & Risk Management) and ERP systems.

Passionate about emerging technologies, Saurabh also sits on the Industrial Advisory Board of Kingston University. In his spare time Saurabh can be found desperately trying to improve his Elo rating on