Commodity/Energy and Risk Management (C/ETRM) solutions are purpose-built software systems to automate tasks and business processes supporting the entire trade cycle from deal capture and contract management, to pricing and complex fees, trade confirmations, portfolio management and valuations, risk controls, collateral and credit management, to settlement, and regulatory compliance reporting. With so many different requirements and wishes, C/ETRM software quickly becomes complicated. While an important factor for success is to keep it simple; C/ETRM software: The benefit of keeping it simple!
Basic and rapid implementation at low costs
It is tempting to set a broad scope, so that you can create a complete solution for everyone or every process in the organization. But is that feasible? A broad scope, including custom software extensions, means a larger and more complex project. That costs more money, more time and increases the chance of errors and problems. And you might include topics in the C/ETRM implementation that you don’t need or that you can better save for a second phase. Keep it simple with the C/ETRM implementation by going live with what you really need and by going with configurable standard functions. The go-live of the system is not the end. It is only the starting point of improvements.
Ease of use for quick learning and user adoption
C/ETRM projects fail due to poor user adoption. Part of this has to do with software that wasn’t developed using best practices in user experience design. Systems infused by ‘consumerization’ – the reorientation of products designs to focus on the end user – better recognize how users interact with software in their daily work as they do in their private lives, with intuitive screens, fast data entry, easy outputs and report-writing, and flexible functionality that can be tailored. A C/ETRM system that is user-friendly and that supports processes that are simple and clear is easy to use for your employees. Whether it is a new C/ETRM system or new employees; a short learning curve increases the productivity, pleasure in the job and efficiency of users. With a simple C/ETRM system, you lower the threshold for employees to use the software in the way intended. A C/ETRM system that is complicated, slow or with a poor user interface will easily be avoided by users. They revert to the old way of working, search for workarounds or resist the C/ETRM system.
Internal and external support becomes easy
With every C/ETRM system, support is necessary. This begins internally with the IT department and key users. And of course, support is easier with a simple C/ETRM system. You can successfully help users of a simple C/ETRM that need support more often and faster. As a result, they are more productive, and you will not have to reach out to the support department of your C/ETRM vendor that often. And that saves time and money. If you opt for complex processes, lots of customizations and various interfaces and integrations, then support becomes more difficult, both internally and externally.
Future new functionalities and upgrades go smoother and are cheaper
Driven by the realities of continuous change, there is no escape having to consider the future when choosing a C/ETRM system. Forward looking companies anticipate potential growth, new markets, developments in the industry, changes in legislation and regulations, and technical developments. All reasons for flexible and scalable C/ETRM solutions that allow to make configuration changes, to start using extra modules and functionalities and to upgrade to new versions of the system. And with a simple C/ETRM system, that goes much faster, more pleasant and cheaper than with a complicated C/ETRM system.
There is growing recognition that solutions work better if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. Cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is focused on the future agility of your business: through automatic updates you can access the latest innovations and emerging technologies. A cloud-based C/ETRM system also facilitates scalability. Pioneer’s cloud-based SaaS C/ETRM delivered via www.trmtracker.com combines a standard set of ‘enterprise-grade’ tools across the Front, Mid and Back office, and is designed for rapid implementation by Pioneer staff support by on-line tutorial resources to accommodate self-configuration allowing for less reliance on Pioneer doing work and therefore lower implementation cost.
Although simplicity in C/ETRM offers many advantages, it is not always realistic. For some companies, the processes are a bit more complicated, or customizations are necessary, or interfaces with other applications are required. But if possible, it is good to keep C/ETRM simple and manageable.