Agiblocks Case Study: Daarnhouwer values the flexibility of Agiblocks

Daarnhouwer is an established brand name in originating and supplying specialty cocoa, tree nuts and coffee and is the European market leader for specialty cacao. René Strik, Daarnhouwer’s Financial Director, emphasizes the company’s focus on specialties: “Daarnhouwer Cocoa offers 27 cacao varieties from approximately 16 different countries. Our cacao clients are specialized chocolate manufacturers who look for particular flavors or qualities. They know that we have everything we sell in stock and that they can order any quantity they want. For coffee and tree nuts we work exactly the same way.”

This unique business focus creates administrative challenges for Daarnhouwer that are equally unique. Mr. Strik mentions a few: “While we usually buy our products as container loads, we mostly sell them in smaller quantities – think of bags or, in the case of nuts, even boxes. But these less-than-container fractions don’t all sell at the same time, nor at the same price. To manage our risks, we must be able to hedge each of them separately – both currencies and and terminal markets. Also, for a customer ordering five types of cacao, each in a different quantity, we will consolidate his order into one shipment. The logistics of that translates into requirements that most bulk suppliers will never encounter. And then the quality, safety and environmental certifications for each of our commodities all come with their associated administrative processes.”

The long search for a complete CTRM solution

For Daarnhouwer, finding the right trade management system has been a lengthy process. “When I joined the company in 2002, we used a proprietary system that we all knew was hopelessly outdated,” recalls Mr. Strik. “After intense market research we had a solution developed that was based on standard ERP software. It worked, but with many limitations. To our big frustration, until now there simply wasn’t a solution on the market that matched all of our requirements. Any form of commodity trading is quite complicated, and the way we run our business ads quite a few extra demands. We want to be able to split a container into smaller units that we then can trace individually. We also want to know for every single contract what the result was, based on a comparison of our initial calculation with the final outcome. We got nowhere with those specifications. The right solution simply didn’t exist.”

The tide turned when Daarnhouwer learned of the existence of Agiboo and Agiblocks. The decision to become a development partner was made by the then General Director of Daarnhouwer, Jan Kips, who also contributed his 40-year experience in the cacao trade to the development team. Mr. Strik: “We were able to obtain a solution that could cater to our wishes and demands completely. All the knowledge we have about our business – trading, logistics and finance – is embedded in Agiblocks. I really think that programming software for commodity trading is one of the most difficult IT challenges one can imagine. But Agiboo managed to develop Agiblocks in such a way that it will do everything a cacao or coffee trader can think of, including administration and profit & loss per individual contract. Which, like I said, is completely impossible in most other CTRM systems.”

"Agiboo managed to develop Agiblocks in such a way that it will do everything a cacao or coffee trader can think of, including administration and profit & loss per individual contract. Which, like I said, is completely impossible in most other CTRM systems."

René Strik
chocolate-bars

Agiblocks according to Daarnhouwer

Daarnhouwer’s cacao department went live in January of 2015 and the nuts and coffee departmens followed in March. Mr. Strik comments: “Those dates were later than what we initially aimed for, but then this has been a development process, not only an implementation of off-the-shelf software. One powerful advantage of Agiblocks’ modularity, which has become very clear, is that we were forced down a one-way street because of choices we had made earlier. Agiblocks is so flexible that it could always be adapted to new insights that came up during the implementation. Much has happened since the first release was offered for feedback. We have seen a succession of releases, with signifcant functionality extensions between them. The software truly supports our trading and risk management processes whilst maintaining flexibility.”

“A risk of that degree of flexibity,” warns Mr. Strik, “is that a system can become hard to manage. Agiblocks contains various checks and balances to prevent that. In July of 2014 we have had an external accountant perform an audit on an earlier version of the system, and they had only some minor comments. In the meantime, we have integrated Agiblocks with Microsoft Navision, so I am sure we will pass a next financial and IT audit without a hitch.”

Mr. Strik concludes: “In our office, everybody is enthusiastic about Agiblocks. The software fully supports trading and retailing processes, is fully integrated with the accounting system and is fun to work with. I really believe that it can become the leading trading software solution for the commodity world. From what I have seen, Agiblocks offers more possibilities than any other system currently on the market in Europe and America.”

Find out for yourself

Agiblocks is the first CTRM software solution that simplifies the daily practices of commodity trade professionals. It has been developed with the single goal of making your fixed routine of commodity trading and risk management more efficient. Its clean user interface is simple with fast access to key functions. For every task, from creating a contract to evaluating your risk, all required information is readily available. It is as powerful on smartphones and tablet computers as it is on the desktop, so it’s accessible anytime, anywhere. Experience our CTRM software solution for free and get a front-row seat to all the benefits Agiblocks has to offer with our free demo. The full range of Agiblocks functionality is available within the demo environment for your browsing leisure. Familiarize yourself with the tools and features of our powerful and agile software solution and find out how you can make the daily practices of commodity trade and risk management more efficient.

This Case Study is also available as a PDF. You can download it below.

News stories and events
Founded in
1908
Client since
2013
Products
Cocoa, Coffee, Tree nuts
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