Commodity markets are constantly evolving. Extreme weather conditions disrupt food harvests and slow trade routes while new tariffs shift alliances and drive price volatility. New sources of energy provide flexible fuel options while changing consumer preferences require constant innovation in ingredients and sourcing. The list is endless.
According to a survey of over 100 medium to large manufacturers, 92% of companies use complex pricing structures and 100% of them manage pricing fully or partially in spreadsheets. This is just one example of manufacturers’ continued reliance on spreadsheets. It makes sense. They are easy to use, everyone knows how to use them, and they are cheap. However, relying on spreadsheets for complex reporting is more expensive than you think.
With the growing proliferation of data borne out of industrial sensors via the internet of things (IoT), and the seemingly unlimited processing power of the cloud, energy companies are seeking opportunities to leverage expanding oceans of data to improve their operations. They are increasingly investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to provide answers to many of the critical questions they face.
Blockchain is receiving a lot of hype these days. The number of corporate investors in blockchain companies hit a record high in 2017, with large banks, financial service organizations, and even technology leaders like Alphabet investing heavily in the technology. But, blockchain isn’t just for technology companies. Agriculture companies can gain tremendous benefits from blockchain.
Imagine a world with no spreadsheets…. sounds scary, right? Many years back, I remember how apprehensive I was when smartphones were introduced and people told me I had to get rid of my ‘keyboard’ phone that I proudly used. It was white, I could snap the keyboard out and type so easily, and it would snap back in, become compact, and fit right into my jeans pocket (yes, I am short so size does matter!). I couldn’t dream of parting with it until the inevitable happened. It caught the attention of my 2-year-old and the rest …
The procurement process can be complicated for consumer products, food and beverage, and industrial manufacturing companies. It involves sourcing hundreds, or even thousands, of commodities and raw materials from many different suppliers worldwide. Often there are several systems in place to manage this process – including ERP, MRP, broker statement and siloed spreadsheets – making it challenging to track coverage, hedge performance, and spending.
Over the last few years, regulatory uncertainty has become almost a fixture of European energy markets. Unfortunately, the impact of Brexit on the wider whole energy market is even less certain. With just over a year until Britain leaves the EU, the whole process seems bogged down in a regulatory quagmire with no real progress on the key political issues that will determine the rules for how Britain’s wholesale energy market will interact with that of the remaining members of the EU.
Coffee is a $100 billion industry, with more than 500 billion cups of coffee consumed worldwide each year. That number is predicted to continue growing as coffee consumption increases in developing nations; however, coffee supply is facing a global crisis – climate change.
Renewable Energy Group (REG) is used to being a global leader. Founded as a single biodiesel facility in 1996, the company has sold over two billion gallons of biomass-based diesel fuel and built a strong network of state-of-the-art biorefinery production facilities. Today REG is a global force in advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals.
Four years ago, Mexico ended the 75-year monopoly of state oil company Pemex and replaced Mexico’s state-owned utility company. The Mexican government established its first independent power producer market; encouraged investment, innovation, and competition from around the world; and liberalized the value chain from energy generation to storage facilities and petrol stations.