Case Studies

System selection and implementation

One of three actual case studies.


A major energy client made a strategic decision to select and implement a new Energy Trading and Risk Management (ETRM) system to better manage market dynamics, improve control, time to market and reporting, and increase efficiency and reduce support and maintenance costs.

Main challenges

The existing system landscape had evolved over the last 20 years, with a main purpose and design to support a business focused on hedging the production of the assets of the group, rather than becoming a high performing and profitable European energy trader in liberalised and competitive energy markets. Furthermore, the landscape consisted of a mix of internally developed applications and systems purchased from various external vendors, some of which had been heavily customised to suit the previous purpose. While some of the external systems were getting closer to end-of-life and would not be supported for much longer, many of the in-house developed applications had grown far beyond their original purpose, with few original developers remaining and often with insufficient documentation, which in turn had generated extremely long development and testing cycles that greatly delayed time-to-market and led to unnecessary costs. There was also no clear and common view on:

  • What the new solution should look like.
  • How it would affect internal processes.
  • How to structure the selection and implementation process.


CommodityFirst was appointed to:

  • Initiate and plan the project.
  • Lead and manage the system selection and implementation phases.
  • Assist in identifying and onboarding resources to the project.
  • Support in negotiations with system vendors.
  • Coordinate and manage all internal and external project resources.


CommodityFirst took responsibility for organising, structuring, and running the system selection phase, ensuring that the business requirements were aligned with the business strategy, including the preferred ways-of-working of the FO, MO, and BO. Further, CommodityFirst identified the ”As-Is” and ”To-Be” conditions, agreed on selection criteria, developed a scoring model, and sent out a request for proposal to various system vendors.

Based on the responses and the first meetings, a first short list of possible solutions and system vendors was compiled and further reviewed until the preferred solution was identified, negotiated, and approved by the Steering Committee. Together with the selected system vendor and the customer, the implementation phase was planned, structured, and executed using an agile approach.


The client experienced a well-managed system selection process, delivered on time and with a unanimous view on the best solution. A decision was made to start implementation
and the first transaction on the new ETRM platform was completed within six months.

Lessons learned

In CommodityFirst’s experience, many systems selection and implementation projects tend to be oversized, both in terms of requirements and manpower, which often slows down the projects, makes them more expensive and compromises quality. Instead, we are strong advocates of bringing in a few but senior resources early in the process with extensive industry experience, combined with a deep understanding of both Business and IT, who together can challenge the organisation and keep requirements to a minimum while effectively implementing change. 

A team whose background and commitment can cover multiple roles, enabling a leaner project team, shortening lead times, ensuring quality, and reducing unnecessary costs. This project was a perfect example of what such an approach and team can deliver, and reinforces our belief that sometimes ”less is more”.

Selection of case studies

Trading landscape transformation

Delivering a new trading business


Contact us

We can help you assess current strengths and weaknesses of your business, processes and IT landscape.