Entries for November 2011

IBJ Awards 2011Triple Point’s QMASTOR PortVu bulk terminal management system has won the prestigious International Bulk Journal (IBJ) IT Solutions Award and was recognized for delivering a significant, measurable return-on-investment. 

QMASTOR PortVu was honored with this award because it is the only complete, integrated bulk terminal management system that manages all the complexities of port operations. It is a proven, multi-lingual solution that is being used across the world by leading resource companies and terminals. PortVu optimizes decision-making and delivers substantial cost savings by integrating terminal operations with suppliers, customers, transport providers, agents, laboratories, and other supply chain partners through one common platform.

The award follows on the heels of Triple Point’s acquisition of QMASTOR, the premier provider of mining software solutions to manage the tonnage, quality, and value of coal and mineral supply chains from "pit" to the point of export, import, or consumption. QMASTOR’s advanced solutions manage and optimize all aspects of mining supply chains including mine planning and scheduling, material tracking, logistical movements, 3D stockpile modeling, grade control, blend management for coal, and other minerals such as nickel and iron ore. QMASTOR also offers solutions for managing port operations and metallurgical accounting.

QMASTOR solutions are a perfect addition to the Triple Point portfolio because they supply all the functionality to optimize an end-to-end coal and mineral supply chain, while at the same time being completely complementary to the rest of the Triple Point product set. The companies’ complementary customer bases, target markets, and product sets create substantial opportunities for continued and accelerated growth.

Research and consultancy firm, Finadium, published an interesting report last week on the challenges that new regulations (MiFID and Dodd-Frank) are set to bring collateral management for OTC trading. The report highlights how dramatic the changes are going to be, and according to the market participants they interviewed, how technology is the only viable solution to effectively manage collateral in a post regulation world.

MiFID and Dodd-Frank central clearing mandates are going to change OTC trading forever. The increase in cash collateral requirements and daily margin calls will have a large impact.  According to a recent Bloomberg article the cost of central clearing could setback Europe’s electricity market by up to $93bn.

While decreasing counterparty credit risk, central clearing will bring huge operational risk. Daily margin calls will make position and liquidity management impossible on a manual basis. Additionally, firms with non-standard trades that cannot be centrally cleared, or who are exempt from clearing, need to manage a ‘mixed’ collateral environment which only adds to the complexity and need for automation.

Effective collateral management needs to become a key feature in pre-trade decision making, where costs of collateral may affect where, whether and how to engage in a trade. So, not only is effective collateral management required from an operational point of view but it will be vital to drive the best trading decisions.

In its conclusion the report highlights that the majority of participants have started to look for collateral management solutions now, rather than wait until the regulations have taken effect. Have you started to think about this? With changes this far reaching can you afford not to?

The full report can be downloaded from here: www.omgeo.com/reportswhitepapers

Automotive World published an excellent article on the impact of rising and volatile raw material prices on the automotive industry.

A couple of weeks ago, I noted that commodity volatility had hurt Ford’s third quarter earnings.  This article makes the point that raw material prices are creating difficulty for the entire supply chain.

“Materials suppliers struggle to make a profit; Tier suppliers and OEMs find themselves torn between raising prices and suffering the cost increases.  Ultimately, it is the end-consumer who bears the brunt of increased finished product costs.  The automotive industry is particularly sensitive to price rises, especially in emerging markets and in budget and cost-sensitive segments, where the equivalent of a €200 or US$200 sticker price increase can stop potential buyers setting foot on a dealer’s forecourt.”

Woven throughout the article are quotes by industry insiders that add rich supporting material.  Dr Dieter Zetsche, chief executive, Daimler AG states, “We told the financial markets at our annual press conference that Daimler as an entity will see an increase in raw material prices in 2011 of about €700m (US$963m) versus 2010…On the car side there is very little chance to pass over what comes in from the raw material side.”  Tim Bowen of Dow Automotive adds, “From our perspective, this appears to be the new norm.  We are going to be operating under this escalated cost structure for years to come.”

The editor asked Triple Point for its views on how automotive purchasing needs to change.  It feels a little odd to quote yourself, but here it goes: “According to Triple Point’s Michael Schwartz, ‘Automotive companies have some of the most diverse and complex procurement portfolios, which represent equally complex supply networks and a broad series of commodities markets - any one of which can be experiencing severe volatility at any given moment.’  The choice, he says, ‘is stark, but clear: continue to purchase commodities passively as just another link in the supply chain and be vulnerable to huge commodity price; or adopt a proactive approach to commodity procurement that utilises solutions that enable more accurate forecasts and protect the bottom line.’  By using the ‘right approach, tools and risk management set-up,’ vehicle manufacturers can take control of their commodity supply chains. Fail to do this, says Schwartz, and ‘that’s when the commodity supply chain controls you.'”

Here's a link to the full article. It’s a long article but certainly worth the read.

I’m excited to share the news that Triple Point has announced its acquisition of QMASTOR. QMASTOR is the premier provider of software solutions to manage the tonnage, quality, and value of coal and mineral supply chains from "pit" to the point of export, refining operations, or consumption. As the Australian-based company says itself, their solutions help deliver “the right bulk material in the right place at the right time and at the right cost.”

Consistent with Triple Point’s previous acquisitions (Energy Crossroads, TradeWell Systems, CoralGrid, INSSINC, ROME, Softmar, and Enerbility), the acquisition of QMASTOR is completely complementary to the rest of the Triple Point product set. Triple Point’s vision has always been to provide organizations a comprehensive solution to more efficiently and profitably manage the complete commodity value chain from production to consumption.

With QMASTOR’s flagship product, Pit to Port, we are now able to offer bulk commodity-specific functionality from one end of the supply chain (e.g., the mining pit) to the other (e.g., the power generation plant) for coal and other minerals. QMASTOR’s clients are some of the most prominent natural resource companies in the world and include BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Vale, Anglo American, Xstrata, and Peabody Energy.

You can read the press release here.


Procemin 10th International Mineral Processing Conference

October 15-18, 2013 | Chile

XXV Brazilian National Meeting of Mineral Treatment and Extractive Metallurgy (ENTMME)

October 20-24, 2013 | Brazil

Opinions expressed on this blog are those of its individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triple Point Technology, Inc.