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Virtual Trade Shows and Conferences….

So, I’m still not sure what to make of virtual trade shows. I miss the socializing and meeting people accidentally you haven’t seen in years. I miss the feedback read that you get when presenting or moderating and staring into the eyes of the audience. But all we have right now is the virtual version and Commodities People do a good job of that. I took part in ComRisk and Digicom last week moderating 3 sessions and presenting on CTRM Trends in another. I found that presentation hard – with no one to track time or read and sort questions – I had to do all of that myself. I guess it is a bit like a webinar but the stress levels are higher. Anyway, I enjoyed the sessions that I moderated immensely and thought the panelists very high quality indeed. I didn’t log on to that many other sessions though. Without the need to travel, stay in a hotel and so on, my usual pattern of work remained in tact and as I figured I could listen later to recordings. For me, the virtual just doesn’t do it.

I did attend a couple of sessions and really enjoyed the session in which RTM spoke about its project to implement a CTRM – in this instance Enuit. A subsidiary of Mitsubishi trading coal, iron ore, copper, aluminum, precious metals, nickel and battery, it was seeking to deploy a ‘digital trading platform’. It was interesting to listen how such a complex business managed to get implemented in a period that saw COVID emerge with all of its ramifications. It also required an integration with SAP. The initial implementation took around 13-months with another year or so getting to ‘complete standardization’. The speaker suggested that a strong management to management communication strategy for troubleshooting and to align on strategy was one key aspect to the project’s success along with a strong mixed vendor-RMT project management team and a trusting relationship with the vendor. The CTRM is viewed as the base of the digital transformation of the business, we were told. This session, along with all of the others, is available for listening I understand. For me, I appreciated the honesty. The implementation was complex and it took time but they got there in the end and are happy with the result.

Some of the panels I moderated also touched on complexity. I particularly enjoyed moderating the discussion of single commodity vs multi-commodity system with Agiboo and FIS Kiodex. In this instance, my conclusion was it all depends on what you are trying to achieve and how your business looks. It did get into some of the issues faced by buyers and proposed some thoughts on how to resolve the issue. Additionally, as we migrate to a more ecosystem-type world of CTRM, perhaps you can actually have your cake and eat it too?






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