Manual Administrative Processes are Slowing You Down

Slow data and manual processes obscure the data your natural gas enterprise needs to maximize revenues and optimize strategy. Time your traders and schedulers spend entering, transferring, and massaging data is time they cannot devote to locking in profits, mitigating risks, and generating insights. These business processes cause distinct time wasters native to your business.  Here are three common examples.

3 Business Process Bottlenecks Slowing Down Natural Gas Productivity

 This makes it difficult to locate the data that answers key business questions.   

Key Robotic Process Automation Opportunities for Natural Gas

Value Creed applies their specialized CTRM expertise to translate these and other business process bottlenecks into accelerated workflows by leveraging robotic process automation.  This approach allows your business to continue without disruption and increase productivity by taking manual, human-centric processes and streamlining them by using “bots” to perform defined, repetitive tasks.

Natural Gas Business Processes Have Multiple Uses for Robotic Process Automation

Updating pricing and reconciliation
Enter volumes into EBB
Scheduling trades and tracking daily volumes
Cash-out or roll imbalances
Validate scheduling trades
Settling and invoicing
Import & Process schedules from systems & spreadsheets
Automate price uploads
Reconcile external statements to CTRM
Automate credit execption reporting

Ways Robotic Process Automation Accelerates Business Processes​

Supercharge Trade Logistics

RPA alleviates monotonous and potentially costly manual activities by combining the communications, documentation, and reporting process into a single, computerized operations.

Streamline Gas Scheduling

RPA can enter data into all destinations – the CTRM platform, EBB, and spreadsheet – simultaneously, giving all applications and stakeholders the same accurate, current insight into the organization’s positions.

Expedite Actualization and Invoicing

RPA macros can update pipeline route fees and contract terms to ensure the expected, quoted, and invoiced rates match. This is especially helpful in a natural gas environment where the product must be moved among multiple locations, at various rates.

How Robotic Process Automation for Invoice Reconciliation Works

This video shows how automating common business processes accelerates workflow
and improves accuracy

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How to Get Started with Robotic Process Automation

Value Creed’s robotic process automation services streamline business processes, alleviate major data entry bottlenecks, and reduce the time humans spend on low-level, repetitive tasks.

CTRM Process for Identifying RPA Opportunities

You know RPA is not a new concept, it is just now truly useful to CTRM/ETRM business leaders and IT teams.  The use of this advanced technology helps by  expediting complex CTRM business processes, while relieving associated data integrity risks.

Ready to Explore Robotic Process Automation?

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Common Producer Operations Bottlenecks - How To Compete

You only make money when you sell your product to a broker, refinery, or manufacturer. Doesn’t it make sense for your traders and marketers to focus on these activities. Spending time entering data into CTRM platforms and updating spreadsheets leads to incomplete information.

Robotic process automation (RPA) gives front, middle, and back office workers the time to analyze and evaluate market and position data rather than generating and recording it.

Manual Data Processes Creates More Questions Than Answers

Robotic Process Automation Optimizes Producer Operations

Value Creed harnesses RPA to perform routine, repetitive tasks automatically so data gets where it needs to be, without errors, and without manual input that detracts from more valuable activities. Expedited dataflow and instant availability makes downstream applications more efficient and decisions more informed.

Hover on the Orange Icons to Discover RPA Opportunities for Producers

Updating pricing and leases on contracts with 100s of leases
Inputing 1,000s of receipt tickets
Validating 1,000s of receipt tickets
Validating counterparty statements
Settling & Invoicing transactions for 1,000s of wells

3 Ways Robotic Process Automation Accelerates Common Workflows

Product Tracking

Automatically matching receipt and delivery tickets and scheduling transportation for hundreds of transactions per day the instant they are presented and recording them errorlessly without the need for human intervention.

Payment Processing

Scanning of bills of lading to extract data, record it in the CTRM platform and daily logs, link the delivery to the corresponding inventory and order, apply the proper terms and prices, generate the invoice, and record payment.

Contract Management

Review, data extraction, and automatic form population from a variety of document styles and formats, including .pdf, email text, hard copies, scanned images, and electronic downloads.

How Robotic Process Automation for Invoice Reconciliation Works

Watch the video to see how RPA accelerates workflow and improves accuracy

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Get Started with Value Creed RPA:

Value Creed has established the processes and assembled the experts who can build the RPA management system that suits your organization and business model. Our team will engineer a program that delivers institutional control, operational excellence, and replicable profitability.

Our Process for Identifying RPA Opportunities in CTRM

Ready to Put Robotic Process Automation to Work?

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Web Scraping

using UiPath

The logistics module in CTRM systems is one of the best areas for Robotic Process Automation applications because the processes are structured and well-defined, performed multiple times a day, and use the same views. RPA will increase efficiency and data consistency while eliminating manual data entry errors.

Watch this brief video to learn about how the process is performed and see how we used three RPA bots to automate the entire logistics process.

Play Video

Recommended Resources

Ready To Explore CTRM Robotic Process Automation?

#3: Insightful Data-Driven CTRM Vendor Selection Approach Facilitates Run-Operate Success

If you have read the first installment of our blog series on CTRM software selection, you are aware of the time consuming tasks and potential pitfalls involved when choosing a vendor on your own. And if you read part 2, you know what to look for when seeking a team to alleviate the burden and risks associated with a project of this magnitude.

Now, in our third post, you will learn how Value Creed and Sendero intertwine their comprehensive vetting and selection processes to help you select the vendor that is right for your organization. 

By engaging this team, your vendor selection process will leverage a unique, multi-step process as follows:

  1. Gather Intelligence – We define and enforce inclusive business unit involvement across the organization to ensure all stakeholders’ desires are heard. Staff interviews, executive strategy, and a vendor-agnostic approach ensures a bias-free selection.
  2. Define & Prioritize User Requirement with Insight of CTRM/ETRM Expertise – Armed with deep CTRM/ETRM hands-on expertise and industry domain knowledge, we construct a requirement model customized to your specific demands, operational workflows, cross-functional use cases, and overall program management goals.
  3. Insider’s Assessment of “Off-The Shelf Functionality” – It is rare when a CTRM/ETRM platform solves every stakeholder’s requirement “out-of-the-box.”  We align user requirements and technical considerations with each platform’s inherent capabilities and identify gaps where customizations will be required.
  4. Mapping Business Process Alignment – Alignment of existing business processes to the CTRM/ETRM platform is paramount. To choose the best-fit platform, existing business processes, back office, middle office and front office processes are assessed and compared among platforms.  Our management consulting assessment approach combined with our deep ETRM/CTRM experience ensures you have foresight into the  solution most closely aligned with your business goals. 
  5. Reach Consensus – Our comprehensive evaluation uses proven methods for vetting vendors and uncovering critical details involving cost of ownership and operation, potential productivity disruptions, learning curves, and more

Dive Deeper Into This Multifaceted Approach 

Sendero takes the time to uncover the drivers behind your firm’s trading challenges and opportunities, delving deep into your business philosophy to determine which software features will best get you where you want to go by involving executives, management, and front-line users through every stage, in every decision, while providing a structured methodology that allows you to balance your day-to-day asks with the selection.

Value Creed employs teams of experts fluent in CTRM, transaction flow, and contract structure. We understand how your software platform will influence the speed, efficiency, and profitability of every trade you make. Backed by hundreds of software implementation projects and millions of people-hours monitoring operations and reports, Value Creed ensures the software and vendor you engage will meet your needs now and in the future. As a managed service provider (MSP) our experience delivering on-demand 24-hour responsiveness by technical teams located both in the U.S. and India. Our dual time zone model gives Value Creed clients the functionality they need to thrive. 

#2: Harness the Power of Management Consultancy and Run-Operate Expertise

 In our former post, we noted the value of having insight into common missteps that can be costly long term when the process of commodities and energy trading risk management (CTRM/ETRM) vendor selection is not informed by a proven vendor selection approach. 

The truth is upgrading or moving to a new CTRM/ETRM software is an arduous, expensive undertaking. The good news is, you should not have to endure the experience more than once or twice during your career. The bad news is that conducting a project as potentially transformative as overhauling and converting your trading software can be especially challenging if you have never done it before.

Proven Vendor Selection Approach + Run Operate Knowledge = Long Term CTRM/ETRM Platform Satisfaction

The best software selection decisions will consider more than just the platforms’ purely technical capabilities. The optimal choice also will assess the software’s capabilities in solving your specific challenges and matches your workflow, strategy, and user demands. New requirements often come to light several months after software is commissioned. An experienced team of run-operated experts on your team can identify potential future conflicts and changes your company may need to undertake to make the software compatible with your business goals:

  • Software customization
  • Workarounds
  • Legacy system upgrades
  • User training
  • Monitoring and reporting

These insights give you the information you need to make informed decisions about the lifetime value each option will bring to your organization. As a basic foundation, you know what you will need to do to make your new software perform all the specified functions.

Double-Teaming Software Selection

In addition to easing the burden of evaluating and selecting the software product and vendor that you will be working with over the next decade, here are some benefits of adding both an operations and productivity guru and a management consultant to your software vendor selection team:

  1. Industry Familiarity – Most software consultants will be able to evaluate the products’ features, but only those familiar with commodities and energy markets will be able to match your needs to benefits and leverage their knowledge to uncover hidden requirements. The best will optimize not only your software but also the logistics, implementation, and deployment.
  2. Focus on Value Rather than Cost – Many companies consider IT a cost center, but when it comes to CTRM software, price should take a backseat to performance.and return on investment. Experienced managed service providers work with all aspects of various CTRM platforms and are positioned to balance cost against capabilities.
  3. Comprehensive Selection Methodology – Competent managed service providers focusing on software selection will help you choose a product that solves your problems with as little customization as possible. Tailoring adds expense without contributing value. A managed service provider will demonstrate why it is more efficient to alter existing workflows and processes to conform to a new platform than to force the application to adapt to legacy processes.
  4. Vendor Agnosticism – Software vendors want to sell their clients the product that best serves their needs, but they all believe their own product fills that need. A consultant has heard it all before and is familiar enough with the market to cut through the sales talk and evaluate offerings strictly based on their merits. A truly agnostic consultant structures the analysis to eliminate personal and systemic bias and leverages connections throughout the industry to get a better understanding of the products and vendors.

As a leading management consultant, Sendero presents a proven methodology for vetting software. This rigorous evaluation is instrumental in eliminating most contenders. The final selection, however, should include analysis by run-operate experts. Value Creed delivers by determining how the software programs under consideration will interact and align with your established procedures, logistics, and timelines. 


Combining Sendero’s experienced management consultancy with the day-to-day run-operate Value Creed’s managed services expertise ensures you will make the optimal decision for your firm.

Upfront investments in licensing and implementation are helpful, but not comprehensive of the entire lifecycle of software ownership.  By combining a managed services provider’s run operate phase expertise with a management consultant’s experience garnered through hundreds of software selection consultations, you have a complete view into onboarding the platform and managing and working with it long-term.  Value Creed’s run-operate expertise aligned with Sendero’s software selection practice ensures a unified approach to achieving your stakeholder’s goals while keeping the budget for licenses and implementation on track. 

Value Creed's Run Smart Managed Services Start at $3,500 a month

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