#2: Harness the Power of Management Consultancy and Run-Operate Expertise
In our former post, we noted the value of having insight into common missteps that can be costly long term when the process of commodities and energy trading risk management (CTRM/ETRM) vendor selection is not informed by a proven vendor selection approach.
The truth is upgrading or moving to a new CTRM/ETRM software is an arduous, expensive undertaking. The good news is, you should not have to endure the experience more than once or twice during your career. The bad news is that conducting a project as potentially transformative as overhauling and converting your trading software can be especially challenging if you have never done it before.
Proven Vendor Selection Approach + Run Operate Knowledge = Long Term CTRM/ETRM Platform Satisfaction
The best software selection decisions will consider more than just the platforms’ purely technical capabilities. The optimal choice also will assess the software’s capabilities in solving your specific challenges and matches your workflow, strategy, and user demands. New requirements often come to light several months after software is commissioned. An experienced team of run-operated experts on your team can identify potential future conflicts and changes your company may need to undertake to make the software compatible with your business goals:
- Software customization
- Legacy system upgrades
- User training
- Monitoring and reporting
These insights give you the information you need to make informed decisions about the lifetime value each option will bring to your organization. As a basic foundation, you know what you will need to do to make your new software perform all the specified functions.
Double-Teaming Software Selection
In addition to easing the burden of evaluating and selecting the software product and vendor that you will be working with over the next decade, here are some benefits of adding both an operations and productivity guru and a management consultant to your software vendor selection team:
- Industry Familiarity – Most software consultants will be able to evaluate the products’ features, but only those familiar with commodities and energy markets will be able to match your needs to benefits and leverage their knowledge to uncover hidden requirements. The best will optimize not only your software but also the logistics, implementation, and deployment.
- Focus on Value Rather than Cost – Many companies consider IT a cost center, but when it comes to CTRM software, price should take a backseat to performance.and return on investment. Experienced managed service providers work with all aspects of various CTRM platforms and are positioned to balance cost against capabilities.
- Comprehensive Selection Methodology – Competent managed service providers focusing on software selection will help you choose a product that solves your problems with as little customization as possible. Tailoring adds expense without contributing value. A managed service provider will demonstrate why it is more efficient to alter existing workflows and processes to conform to a new platform than to force the application to adapt to legacy processes.
- Vendor Agnosticism – Software vendors want to sell their clients the product that best serves their needs, but they all believe their own product fills that need. A consultant has heard it all before and is familiar enough with the market to cut through the sales talk and evaluate offerings strictly based on their merits. A truly agnostic consultant structures the analysis to eliminate personal and systemic bias and leverages connections throughout the industry to get a better understanding of the products and vendors.
As a leading management consultant, Sendero presents a proven methodology for vetting software. This rigorous evaluation is instrumental in eliminating most contenders. The final selection, however, should include analysis by run-operate experts. Value Creed delivers by determining how the software programs under consideration will interact and align with your established procedures, logistics, and timelines.
Upfront investments in licensing and implementation are helpful, but not comprehensive of the entire lifecycle of software ownership. By combining a managed services provider’s run operate phase expertise with a management consultant’s experience garnered through hundreds of software selection consultations, you have a complete view into onboarding the platform and managing and working with it long-term. Value Creed’s run-operate expertise aligned with Sendero’s software selection practice ensures a unified approach to achieving your stakeholder’s goals while keeping the budget for licenses and implementation on track.