IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, announced that it has launched a new service which digitizes the tracking of base metals inventory, such as aluminum, for trading firms and manufacturers.
Commodity Tracker reduces operational risk by providing traders, salespeople, logistics managers, and finance and treasury departments a consolidated, near real-time view of commodities inventory. The automated system replaces the need to reconcile inventory documents manually, making firms more accurate and efficient.
Anshuman Jaswal, Senior Analyst at Celent, said: “Commodities is a prime area for digitization and automation. Firms realize they need to modernize how they manage physical inventories and eliminate time consuming, costly and error-prone reconciliations and other manual processes. We expect that solutions such as Commodity Tracker will be welcomed by the large population of financial institutions and manufacturers operating in physical commodities.”
Previously, the high number of warehouses and transporters each reporting information in different formats about metals shipments made it difficult for firms to maintain up to date and accurate data on inventory. Commodity Tracker extracts inventory data from bills of lading, warehouse receipts, warehouse releases and stock reports. The system digitizes, normalizes and delivers the data via a Web portal and an API to bring inventory data directly into commodities trading and risk systems (CTRM). Users can also access original source documents through the system, for audit purposes.
Garth Leonard, Director of commodities services at IHS Markit, said: “Our service bridges the gap between the physical world of inventory and the electronic world of trading. Digitizing commodities management ends the historical reliance on paper-based processes and enables hedgers and traders to modernize risk management and meet today’s zero tolerance expectation for errors and risk.”
Commodity Tracker currently covers nine base metals and draws data from over 75 commodity warehouses integrated to date. The service uses optical character recognition and machine learning to process unstructured data in five languages.