Oil trading companies and bunker suppliers operate in highly competitive and dynamic markets. In order to compete they need to respond quickly to fluctuating prices and new opportunities. This need for agility has become more important as oil companies, in particular, look to expand beyond pure trading into the wider supply chain. This expansion brings a greater focus on raising funds to secure new sources of supply and facilities and infrastructure for refining and distribution.
Risk is inherent in a business where procurement and selling are based on a formula price and yet port prices are set by local supply and demand. Given this, even the best procurement and inventory management plans may not ensure profitability.
For small and medium size traders, the ability to mitigate this risk is particularly important. Many traders and operations managers use a combination of physical contracts and effectively- hedged derivative instruments to achieve this.
Yet trading operations can only truly be optimised if this is delivered by a fully integrated, end-to-end solution for managing all essential aspects of the supply chain from trading, risk control and procurement, to operations, inventory and sales.
So in order to optimise performance, manage costs and deliver increased profitability – what should you be looking for in an end-to-end bunker supply management product?
To start with make the product you choose work for you and always keep top of mind the need to deliver profitable deals.
Think ‘end-to-end system’ and so make sure your chosen solution covers all key aspects of your business including:
• Trade and operations (cover everything from trading, contract management and operations to credit control and delivery).
• Hedging and risk management (you want to be able to hedge, monitor, forecast and report).
• Inventory management (here aim for a complete view of your inventory right across the supply chain).
• Financial accounting (think planning, control, compliance and auditing).
• Reporting (aim to get a complete view of your business performance).
• Integration (make sure you can integrate with third party applications).
When evaluating a solution also think about such areas as:
• Will it enable me to capture the trade life cycle and handle back-to-back and physical trades?
• Will it increase the speed of trades?
• Will I gain better operations insight, improving profitability?
• Can I allocate costs more accurately?
• Can I monitor and mark inventory in real-time?
• Does it have and deliver advanced performance metrics?
• What about real-time PnL creation and analysis?
• What are the financing options?
• How easily will it integrate with other systems
• Is it secure and intuitive?
• How will the system grow as my business grows?
• Can it be customised?
And finally look to work with a reputable partner who not only listens to your business needs, but provides a solution that matches those needs.
Need help optimising your bunkering operations?
At Inatech we work with some of the world’s largest bunkering and oil trading companies. That means we have a good understanding of the business challenges you face. Combine that with the expertise we have gained by working alongside our parent company, Glencore and you have access to a team of people who bring unique knowledge and experience to the marketplace.
We have used that knowledge to create Bunkertech ETRM, a flexible and powerful, integrated ETRM system. Bunkertech ETRM is a cloud-based end-to-end bunker supply management product. It is the smart way to effectively manage your complete bunker supply business with an integrated, real-time view of the bunkering operations.