Since ETRM software was first introduced around 20-years ago, developers have continually sought to move from developing solutions designed to support specific commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, and electric power, to building solutions that catered for multiple energy commodities. In part, their objective was to reduce costs – specifically integration costs, but without a doubt, part of the objective was self-serving, as this also allowed them to broaden the appeal of their software to a larger and more lucrative market.
Unfortunately, the goal of a multi-commodity ETRM has remained elusive (and perhaps undesirable) such that only those willing to throw vast sums of money at building such a solution have managed to get even close to it. Much of the problem they face lies in the fact that each physical commodity is remarkably different and has a different supply chain encompassing different types of assets and operations along it. It is virtually impossible to design a solution that can accommodate the vast array of supply chains, commercial processes and physical characteristics of each commodity while also delivering efficient deal capture, position management, real-time reporting and front to back office integration. Many have tried but few, if any, have succeeded. As trades have become increasingly innovative and specialized, often with bespoke terms, it has become increasingly difficult to satisfy all requirements across multiple commodities in a single solution.