The RCMA Group, the world’s largest independent rubber trader, has a history that goes back to the early 20th century. In 2011 the Group expanded into coal and coffee trading, while a sugar trading entity was added in 2012. This entity, RCMA Sugar, has set itself the goal of becoming a global top-5 player in white sugar trading over the next few years.
Bas van Goor, trading manager at RCMA Sugar, explains how his company intends to realize this ambition: “First of all, our traders have considerable experience with largescale sugar trading and with growing a business. Furthermore, we have a clear market focus: we serve small and medium-sized local players, not the large multinationals purchasing sugar. We have chosen to excel in delivering speed: rapidly responding to customer requests, rapid quoting, quickly closing the deal. We summarize our business model in two words: simple and straightforward.
This vision has its consequences for the internal organization of RCMA Sugar. Mr. van Goor expands: “We want to always be available for the client. Everything in our organization was designed to support speed. We agreed not to have internal meetings – they only take time that we can also spend with our customers. If we close a deal, we want to be done with it within five minutes, so that we can help the next client. Operational efficiency is key for us.”
Wanted: an intuitive and efficient CTRM solution
RCMA Sugar started off using a trading system based on spreadsheets, but from the beginning it was clear that another solution would be needed for the long run. “We looked for an integrated system that would allow us to grow rapidly and supported the speed we need,” says Mr. van Goor, “a system in which any action takes three clicks at most. Beyond today, we have a vision for the future of sugar trading that heavily depends on intuitive interfaces and ease of use. Our new system had to allow us to go there when the time is ready.”
When Agiblocks entered the shortlist, RCMA Sugar had to make a choice: buying an off-the-shelf system and having it adapted to their particular situation, or becoming a development partner of an entirely new solution. “At that point, Agiblocks was more a promise than a product,” Mr. van Goor remembers. “But the intuitive look and feel of what the developers showed us was very appealing. And because much of the functionality still had to be developed, there was plenty of room for our input. On top of that, Agiblocks is built on state-of-the-art technology, unlike most existing products we considered.”
The start of RCMA Sugar happened to coincide with the time when the RCMA Group as a whole was ready for a new trading system. A Groupwide delegation, including not only RCMA Sugar but also people from the rubber and coffee units as well as from the Singapore-based IT department, visited Agiboo to verify the credentials of the company behind Agiblocks. “We got all our questions answered,” says Mr. van Goor. “Agiboo is a group of people with extensive experience in commodity trading, frustrated by existing trading systems and determined to build something better, smarter and more efficient. That’s a good match with the spirit from which we launched RCMA Sugar.”
Agiblocks according to RCMA Sugar
“Agiblocks is a fine CTRM solution, and we’re happy we decided to become development partners back in 2012,” says Mr. van Goor. “In all fairness, we had expected it to be finished sooner, and we are still dealing with teething troubles. But that comes with being a development partner; the upside is that all issues get solved in a way that fits our needs. We have been working with Agiblocks in a live environment from January of 2013 and since then we have seen major progress. The software excellently supports both complex and simple trading structures, including the related finances; our logistics management; and our hedging and currency risk management. I think we are ninety percent done. We are really looking forward to the moment we can throw the last of our spreadsheets out of the window, and I expect that to be a matter of weeks now.
It has always been the intention within the RCMA Group that as soon as development for the sugar team was finished, Agiblocks would be rolled out to coffee and other commodities. We were to be the Group’s guinea pigs, so to speak. Although Sugar has not completely finished yet, the time is right to begin implementation for the other products. Coffee is the logical first, because Agiboo already has experience with other coffee clients.
We use Agiblocks intensively and it holds up to its promises. For us, the ability to cope with complex trading environments, the simple interface and the intuitive logic of the software are major benefits. We are already looking ahead at making the next step, based on the possibilities it opens up. And we would not look ahead if we didn’t fully trust the system.”
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.