In order to deal with the complexities of trading and managing multiple commodities, the software solutions devised and offered by vendors are usually designed to be highly configurable. This is particularly so when the scope of functionality includes the management of the commodity through the supply chain (usually a mandatory requirement for customers trading in physical agricultural, softs, metal ores, and other bulk commodity markets). By offering extensive configurability and personalization of their CTRM and/or Commodity Management (CM) solutions, the vendor can service a larger group of customers with differing requirements and hence, extend the potential market for it, ensuring that it can be a financial and commercial success – as it has to be to be considered a true software product as opposed to a custom solution.
Configurability and personalization have become key features of CTRM and CM software and have helped to ensure widespread use of vendor supplied and supported solutions (a global market estimated at $1.5 billion per year). Providing customers with the ability to configure the solution to meet their individual company needs, and the user to personalize their screens, has allowed the same solution to be deployed and used successfully in many different markets, industry segments and geographies - all using the same code base and ensuring more cost-effective vendor supplied support. Unfortunately, providing these capabilities has also naturally added to the complexity of implementation, as it requires significant forethought and planning in order to set up the solutions in a way that truly supports the business processes now and into the future. This complexity invariably adds cost, time and risk to both the implementation effort and future product upgrades.
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