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Navigating Real-Time Challenges in Commodity Shipment Logistics

In the fast-paced world of commodity trading, delivering shipments to customers’ preferred locations efficiently and cost-effectively is crucial. Traders rely on robust logistics systems to transport commodities, optimizing economies of scale and minimizing shipment costs. Typically, commodity trading firms operate dedicated shipping or freight desks that select the most efficient and safe transportation methods for each delivery to maintain low overall commodity costs. However, when managing commodity deals, these desks must choose a vessel along with its International Maritime Organization (IMO) number for transportation. Often, the shipment team lacks real-time information about the vessel’s availability, operability, credit status, and movements. This information gap can significantly hinder effective transportation and shipment planning, leading to costly delays and inefficiencies.


Shipment Management with Integrated Lloyd’s List Intelligence

To address the above-mentioned issue, the Value Creed team of experts provides an integrated Lloyd’s List Intelligence with your ETRM system. Lloyd’s List Intelligence provides comprehensive maritime data, news, and industry trends. This integration enables the shipment team to access vessel information and track real-time vessel movements, enhancing decision-making and planning.

The interface features a table to retrieve information from Lloyd’s List Intelligence into the ETRM system, providing users with access to the latest vessel data and risk ratings. This interface offers four main features:

Fetch Vessel List

Users can obtain the latest vessel list in the ETRM system

Update Vessel

Users can directly update the downloaded information in the core ETRM tables, facilitating the creation of shipments.

Download Risk Score

Users can regularly download risk scores

Update Vessel Rating

This feature updates vessel ratings in the core ETRM tables, allowing the use of this information in shipment creation.

By integrating these capabilities, the Value Creed team ensures that the shipment team has the necessary real-time data to make informed decisions, optimizing transportation and reducing costs.

Business Scenario

Simplifying Vessel Booking for Crude Delivery

Gain the Edge with Value Creed: Empowering Vessel Management

Value Creed experts excel in implementing custom solutions tailored to your specific system needs. By proactively analyzing industry trends and anticipating potential challenges, we ensure your business stays ahead of the curve.

Gain an edge with the following advantages of the featured solution:


Centralized Access

Comprehensive vessel information is readily available within the ETRM system, eliminating the need to search multiple websites for current data and streamlining decision-making.


Enhanced Security

The system restricts users from selecting potentially risky vessels for shipment scheduling, ensuring safer transportation.


Informed Decisions

Users can confidently make informed decisions with precise vessel information, including IMO details, contributing to efficient logistics management and minimizing errors.


Automatic Updates

Vessel information is always updated, eliminating manual data entry tasks and ensuring access to the latest data, enhancing operational efficiency.


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Streamlining Commodity Trading with ICE eConfirm Updates

The ICE eConfirm system streamlines commodity trading by automating trade confirmations electronically. This enables companies to swiftly confirm trades with companies, brokers, and counterparties thereby reducing manual processes. Periodic updates to the system by ICE enhance functionality, data integrity, and regulatory compliance which may involve changes to message formats, data fields, or validation rules. Furthermore, the integration of the ICE eConfirm platform with existing ETRM systems relies solely on API configuration.

The ICE eConfirm system streamlines commodity trading by automating trade confirmations electronically. This enables companies to swiftly confirm trades with companies, brokers, and counterparties thereby reducing manual processes. Periodic updates to the system by ICE enhance functionality, data integrity, and regulatory compliance which may involve changes to message formats, data fields, or validation rules. Furthermore, the integration of the ICE eConfirm platform with existing ETRM systems relies solely on API configuration.

Highlights of Recent Enhancements on ICE Trade Vault and Confirms

The recent enhancements on the ICE trade Vault and Confirms feature Unique Product Identifiers to replace OTC derivative taxonomy values for FX, Credit, and IR markets. ICE eConfirm’s updated API enhances XML request construction and response reading efficiency. Furthermore, security upgrades include transitioning to Single Sign-On tokens and configuring certificates for secure connections.

Unique Product Identifiers(UPIs)

As per the CFTC compliance requirement, a UPI replaces the current simplistic OTC derivative taxonomy values.


ICE eConfirm updated its core REST API Schema and URL.


ICE implemented changes to their authentication cookies, replacing them with Single Sign-On (SSO) tokens.


Certificates need to be configured on the ETRM Systems and mapped with the ICE portal.

During version upgrades, compatibility issues can disrupt operations. Failure to implement these enhancements may increase the impact on business operations. Here are some factors that might be affected:

Manual confirmation processes without automation like ICE Econfirm can take 2-3 minutes per trade, leading to inefficiencies and potential losses for high-volume trading firms.

Relying on manual methods for broker confirmation can cause delays in Accounts Receivable, impacting cash flow and overall operational efficiency.

Failure to adhere to ICE Schema changes for CFTC compliance (Part 43/45) can result in fines and regulatory scrutiny.

Inefficient processes increase operational costs for energy companies, with outdated systems incurring higher expenses due to labor hours, error correction, and compliance-related expenses.

Technological enhancements and updates offer a competitive advantage by automating processes and integrating real-time data.

Installing digital certifications ensures legitimate data exchange, enhancing system security and functionality.

Value Creed specializes in ensuring smooth transitions and maintaining submission consistency without interruptions. ICE eConfirm’s announcement of v1’s deprecation necessitates migration of all submissions and logs to API Batch v3.

The Crucial Role of Trade Confirmation Processes and System Integration

Trade confirmation processes are vital in enhancing various aspects of business operations. Quick confirmation ensures accuracy and minimizes risks, although manual methods may be time-consuming, requiring 2-3 minutes per trade. Manual broker confirmations in the back-office can cause delays in Accounts Receivable processes, impacting cash flow.

When implementing updates in the eConfirm schema, various challenges arise for ETRM systems. These challenges include ensuring seamless integration, adjusting data mapping configurations, and meeting reporting requirements.

Expert Services for Seamless Integration and Effective Migration

Our team of experts excels in tailoring ETRM systems to accommodate updates from ICE eConfirm and Trade Vault, offering a comprehensive array of services. We meticulously compare schema columns provided by ICE with ETRM tables, making necessary adjustments for seamless integration. Additionally, we adapt processes to utilize the new API for transmitting deal data to eConfirm, ensuring smooth functionality.

Step 1
Obtain Release Notes

Necessary documents are obtained from the ICE portal to facilitate a detailed and seamless upgrade.

Step 2
Verify API Configuration

 Verify the current API configuration with the ETRM interface and ensure compatibility.

Step 3
Obtain Data Mappings

Communicate with users to obtain the latest data mappings or adjust mappings as necessary.

Step 4
Validation Tests

 Conduct comprehensive post-implementation tests to validate submissions, submission logs, XML file generation, user configuration, and security rights.

Step 5
Task Execution

Execute all tasks while adhering to deadlines and ensuring no loss of data or submissions during the version upgrade.

Step 6

Implement a robust approach to managing the transport protocol, including parsing HTTPS headers, manipulating cookies, and forming/transmitting requests.

Step 7
Error Handling

Handle errors and exceptions by integrating the <Response> element from the provided schema, enabling client code to parse and manage diverse error codes and responses according to the relevant schema(s).

Step 8

Perform a thorough system study and analysis to understand the downstream customer's reliance on eConfirm services and any customizations related to automated confirmation processes.

Discover the Value Creed Advantage

Proactive Monitoring

We keep abreast of impending schema changes through ICE and other channels, proactively monitoring updates' impact on ETRM systems.

Technical Expertise

Count on us to incorporate changes seamlessly, ensuring your ETRM system remains current and efficient.


Rigorous Testing

Our team conducts comprehensive post-implementation testing to guarantee smooth transitions and optimal performance.


We bridge communication gaps, liaising directly with ICE representatives to implement custom integrations or configurations as needed.

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Shifting Terrain of Natural Gas Scheduling: Embracing Automation

In the dynamic world of natural gas scheduling, changes in base loss and rate percentages are a common occurrence. This volatility stems from various factors such as market dynamics, regulatory shifts, operational costs, infrastructure upgrades, economic fluctuations, contractual amendments, and seasonal demand fluctuations. Maintaining fair and flexible pricing mechanisms is crucial to ensuring equitable transactions within the industry. Therefore, regular updates are essential to adapt to these ever-evolving influences, thereby fostering a just and efficient natural gas transportation system.

For clients, staying informed about these changes is vital to assess contract profitability and reconcile monthly statements accurately. Recognizing the need for a more streamlined approach, Middle Office users often take steps to automate loss and rate calculations, along with inputting corresponding percentages into Allegro. This enhancement is specifically tailored for pipelines operating on mileage-based rates, aiming to enhance efficiency and accuracy.

Overcoming Manual Hurdles: Loss and Rate Percentage Updates

The current Allegro process for updating loss and rate percentages requires manual entry and reliance on external spreadsheets. This manual approach not only impacts productivity but also increases the risk of errors, hindering decision-making and operational efficiency.

Our proposed solution significantly enhances efficiency by introducing a specialized view for Mileage-Based services, automating the calculation and validation of percentages at 0.5-mile increments, and integrating key functions for operational efficiency. Enhanced user-friendliness and validation measures further ensure precise data handling and seamless transfer of information, ultimately optimizing the scheduling process.

A Milestone in Automation of Loss and Rate Calculations

Our solution revolutionizes loss and rate calculations in Allegro by automating the tedious manual process. Allegro’s existing functionality calculates losses and rates based on mileage. To designate a service as mileage-based, users simply set the ‘Mileage Based’ flag to true and ensure accuracy in mile markers along the pipeline. To tackle dynamic base percentages, our solution introduces automation for seamless insertion, calculation, and verification of losses and rates at 0.5-mile increments.

We’ve developed the ‘Mileage Based Parameters’ view with ‘Parameters’ and ‘Details’ panes, tailored for precision in Mileage-Based services. Users input essential data, and our system accurately computes Loss and Rate percentages.

Furthermore, we’ve implemented key functions to enhance operational efficiency:

'CalculateMilesBasedData' accurately calculates mileage between Delivery and Receipt points, populating Loss and Rate percentages within the Details pane.

'ExportToNGLoss' seamlessly transfers calculated loss percentages per 100 miles into the Losses view of Natural Gas Service.

'ExportToNGRate' mirrors this function by transferring rate calculations seamlessly.

For added validation, Delivery and Receipt points are included in the Index sidebar, allowing users to easily verify loss percentages and measure distances between selected points.

Step 1
Configure Parameters Pane

Configure the pipeline, service contract, base fuel pct and base rate pct in the Parameters pane

Step 2
Data Calculations

CalculateMilesBasedData function calculates the data for the highlighted data

Step 3
Loss & Rate Percentage Details

The calculated Loss and Rate Percentages, corresponding to the selected delivery and receipt points, will be automatically populated in the Details pane

Step 4
Import of Calculated Data

ExportToNGLoss and ExportToNGRate functionality automatically imports the calculated data into Losses and Rates Pane

Step 5
Net Calculations for Losses and Rates

Losses (Fuel%) and Rates (Fee) is calculated based on Miles for each path

Streamlined Operations and Enhanced Precision

Our suggested solution offers several advantages:

Automation of Manual Tasks

By significantly reducing manual insertion and updates of Loss percentages per 100 miles, it enhances operational efficiency and saves time.

Specialized View

Introducing the 'Mileage Based Parameters' view tailored for Mileage-Based services ensures precise data handling within the Logistics Module.

Precise Data Handling

Convenient input of crucial data with meticulous calculation and population of Loss and Rate percentages is facilitated.

Automated Calculation

The 'CalculateMilesBasedData' function automates mileage determination between Delivery and Receipt points, maintaining data integrity.

Streamlined Data Export

'ExportToNGLoss' and 'ExportToNGRate' functions automate transfer of calculated percentages into the Natural Gas Service view, ensuring up-to-date data.

User-Friendly Verification

Integration of Delivery and Receipt points in the Index sidebar enhances user-friendliness for validation and distance measurement.

Leveraging Allegro's Capabilities for Streamlining Mid-Office Operations

Our solution harnesses Allegro’s built-in capacity to compute losses and rates based on mileage between pipeline points. Through a single specialized view, we’ve introduced three key functionalities that greatly streamline mid-office operations, automating the insertion, calculation, and validation of losses and rates within Allegro. This innovative approach not only boosts efficiency but also minimizes errors, guaranteeing data precision and integrity. It is the fusion of streamlined automation with the utilization of Allegro’s existing capabilities that distinguishes our solution from others, marking it as a standout choice for optimizing natural gas scheduling processes.

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Streamlining Complex Power Auction Data Processing

Navigating the intricacies of power auction result files from FTRs, ARRs, TCRs, and LTCRs poses a formidable challenge, with each file containing a substantial 2000-3000k record. Compounding this, auctions occur regularly on a monthly, annual, and seasonal basis, comprising multiple rounds. The challenge intensifies as the arduous task of aligning clearing prices from various files for each round demands meticulous attention to detail, creating a cumbersome process to derive the results.

Our solution aims to decrease reliance on manual calculations, fostering independence from human intervention. By enhancing efficiency, the process is significantly expedited, allowing multiple auction result files to be read in a few minutes while ensuring accuracy.

Challenges and Complexities in Manual Auction Data Processing

The current state/process involves manually entering all records from the auction result files into an ETRM software. This procedure is exceptionally time-consuming, marked by a considerable risk of errors and redundancy during data input into the system. Mistakes may arise in calculating fee or price differences, posing a potential challenge.

The comprehensive consideration of auction prices from various files, encompassing all rounds of source and destination auctions, is essential for accurate calculations. Additionally, interpreting the auction file names to discern the start and end dates of the auction adds another layer of complexity. Engaging in manual settlements or valuations further heightens the susceptibility to errors in the process.

Comprehensive Solution for Revolutionizing Auction Result Automation

Our suggestion solution encompasses an automated process for auction results involving two ISOs and encompassing results related to FTRs, ARRs, TCRs, and LTCRs. This automation is achieved through the creation of tool clicks termed “Importers,” designed to retrieve data from a shared folder. These Importers are configured to fetch both auction and price results. The process includes a swap between source and destination points to determine the final fee based on the record’s start and end dates. Considering peak and off-peak hours, as well as holidays, the Importer calculates the relevant hours needed for bid result price/fee calculations.

In cases where records or files are not entered, error/validation statements are generated. An overview of all auction file information is presented in a view named “Audit” for validation results. Additionally, alert emails are dispatched to provide information on missing prices and newly created price indexes. This comprehensive approach ensures accuracy and efficiency in handling auction data.

Our solution transforms the existing process into a more efficient workflow. By automating manual processes, it not only saves valuable time but also proves cost-effective. The settlements and valuations seamlessly integrate within the ETRM Software, consolidating operations for a more streamlined approach. Furthermore, the accuracy of calculated results is ensured, contributing significantly to the P&L calculation process. Ultimately, our solution is designed to empower clients by providing efficient automation and delivering tangible benefits.

Enhancing Efficiency and Adaptability in Business Workflows with Value Creed’s Tailored Solutions

Value Creed’s tailored solution optimizes business flow, replacing a manual, time-consuming process with automated Trade/Price importers. This reduces resource costs, time consumption, and accelerates access to auction results, fostering a smoother and faster workflow.

Additionally, the system offers remarkable flexibility through an importer that automatically fetches files via a tool click or grid job if scheduled. Its dynamic nature ensures the retrieval of data even when the format changes. The system goes beyond automated imports by providing automated alerts and emails, informing users about missing prices and newly created price indices. The importer also performs advanced computations, calculating relevant hours, prices, and fees to enhance in-house valuation processes. This comprehensive approach adds efficiency and adaptability to the entire workflow.


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Dynamic Archiving for Performance Excellence

Embarking on the journey of optimizing performance in Allegro demands a keen focus on managing data archiving and purging effectively. Tackling this challenge head-on, Dynamic Archiving emerges as a pivotal solution, offering the flexibility to configure tailored archiving procedures for diverse tables and their dependencies.

With its robust capabilities, this process not only ensures regular backups of production data but also liberates crucial space within the production environment. Through such strategic measures, Dynamic Archiving becomes an indispensable ally in elevating the overall performance of the Allegro application.

Navigating Data Management Protocols for Optimal Efficiency

As an organization adapts to the growing volume of data, it recognizes the potential of its current data management practices. Consequently, there arises a pressing imperative to refine and enhance these protocols. While the existing methodologies serve adequately, the evolving landscape necessitates a more sophisticated approach to ensure continued efficacy.

Certain inefficiencies within the workflow highlight the overall impeding productivity. Additionally, scalability concerns prompt a re-evaluation of existing strategies. Upholding data integrity and ensuring consistent reliability is paramount as any organization embarks on this journey of enhancement.

Streamlining Archiving Solutions for Enhanced Data Management

The proposed archiving solution seeks to tackle prevalent challenges by introducing a more streamlined and adaptable approach. This comprehensive strategy encompasses several key steps, including the creation and deletion of tables and columns, tailored handling based on process type, configuration adjustments aligned with specified day ranges, and meticulous management of both dependent and non-dependent tables. Additionally, the solution incorporates the purging of reference tables, ensuring a holistic approach to data management.

Dynamic Archiving serves as the cornerstone of this solution, offering users the capability to configure and implement archiving procedures for a myriad of tables and their associated dependencies. By generating backups of production data and optimizing space utilization in the production environment, the process aims to significantly enhance application performance. To implement this approach, a specialized stored procedure is crafted, responsible for collating configuration details and executing designated actions, be it archiving or deletion, based on specified table parameters.

Unified Archiving and Purging Solution

This comprehensive solution offers a singular process and minimal configurations to facilitate the archiving or purging of any table.

Simplicity and Universality

By providing a standardized method applicable to all tables, this solution simplifies the archiving and purging process. Users can forego the need for bespoke processes and configurations, opting instead for a universal approach that reduces complexity and streamlines data management.


Designed for scalability, this solution seamlessly adapts to new tables or data sources. Users can effortlessly apply the same generic solution, saving time and ensuring consistency in archiving and purging procedures. This scalability is pivotal for accommodating business expansion and evolving data management requirements.

Consistency and Reliability

With a uniform process, the solution ensures consistent and dependable archiving and purging across all tables. This standardized approach minimizes the likelihood of errors and data loss, a critical factor for robust data management and regulatory compliance.


Efficiency in Management

The streamlined, single-process methodology simplifies the management of archiving and purging configurations. By eliminating the need for multiple, disparate procedures, it fosters a more efficient workflow, enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Elevate Application Performance and Efficiency with Value Creed’s Universal Solutions

Through proficient reduction of the production database size via meticulous data archiving or purging, Value Creed can not only help elevate application performance but also optimize resource utilization and reduce storage expenditures. This database size reduction fosters augmented user experiences, characterized by expedited data retrieval and heightened responsiveness, thereby cultivating an environment of enhanced efficiency and user satisfaction.

Unlike competing alternatives, which often necessitate bespoke logic creation for individual table archiving or purging, Value Creed offers a universal solution adaptable to any table. This universality streamlines implementation processes and addresses the challenges associated with managing diverse configurations for distinct tables.


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Revolutionize Your Business Operations: Introducing Our Integrated and Automated Invoice Document Generation System

Revolutionize your business with our integrated and automated invoice document generation system, transcending the inefficiencies of manual processes. The current method may pose a few challenges with operational efficiency, leading to escalated labor costs, delayed payments, and increased risk of customer dissatisfaction. Our solution tackles these challenges head-on, transforming the creation of 500 invoices from a monthly 5-8 hour ordeal to a swift 5-8 minute task.

Beyond time savings, our system elevates the Back Office, Accounting, and Finance teams’ capabilities. Through automated validation and document creation, we slash the risk of manual errors, accelerating the entire invoicing cycle. Our customizable file-naming feature ensures systematic organization and easy document retrieval, streamlining data management and bolstering tracking capabilities. Experience a more streamlined, productive invoicing process that eradicates operational bottlenecks and fortifies accuracy.

A Comprehensive Overview of Manual Invoice Document Generation Challenges

The manual invoice document generation process may further add challenges related to human errors and compliance violations. This jeopardizes the company’s financial health and reputation. Implementing an automated system is crucial to mitigating these risks and fostering positive business outcomes.

The current process involves several steps for the creation of invoice documents within a business environment:


Create and Validate Invoice Details

This initial phase requires entering transaction specifics such as amounts and dates. Validation follows to ensure accuracy. Subsequently, an authorization step checks for compliance with company policies and financial regulations, aligning the invoice with established standards.


Generate Invoice Document

Upon approval, users select the invoice row and prompt the system to create the document. This involves the generation of a final file, commonly in PDF or other relevant formats.

Document Naming Convention

The generated invoice document follows a standardized naming convention, typically in the format 'Doc Collaboration No.-Surrogate No.' (e.g., Doc1920628-358697.pdf).

An Integrated and Automated Solution for Precise, Efficient, and Compliant Invoice Document Generation

Our suggested solution to streamline the current process and address the challenges is implementing an integrated and automated invoice document generation process. 

To streamline the generation of invoice documents, we initiate a grid job. This job fetches a compilation of invoices that necessitate document generation, utilizing either the Account date or invoice date as parameters within the grid job. The document creation process leverages the Horizon/Allegro Core Webservice (CreateDocument). The linkage between invoices and their respective documents is subsequently established through this collaboration.

Furthermore, our solution empowers users to customize the invoice document file name by incorporating critical details like Invoice Type, Invoice Number, Counterparty Name, and Flow Year and Month. This not only ensures precision in documentation but also provides a tailored and efficient solution to the invoicing process.

The key results from implementing the solution include:

Achieve Efficiency and Accountability with Value Creed's Tailored Solutions

Tackle the challenges posed by manual processes with Value Creed’s tailored solutions and cultivate a streamlined organizational approach. Prioritizing accuracy mitigates risks linked to payment delays, averting disruptions in business partnerships. The suggested solution’s adept data management capabilities establish a transparent financial ecosystem, instilling confidence among stakeholders and underscoring the company’s dedication to governance and accountability.


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