Czarnikow XMPro Case Study


Managing & Mitigating Risk

Czarnikow XMPro Case Study

Executive Summary


Czarnikow Group Limited has been in the sugar business since 1861 and is the premier provider of world sugar market services.



The organisation sought to manage and mitigate risk by delivering a shared business
information platform, across the entire organisation. The goal being to deliver adaptive business processes to support knowledge workers, orchestrate data and documents across business systems and improve operational decision making.



The organisation was heavily reliant on manual systems and processes to manage
their vital counter-party relationships.



XMPro iBOS was implemented and integrated with Microsoft CRM, Microsoft SharePoint,
Infor SunSystems and the Allegro Commodity Trading Platform, to provide the
organisation with digitised processes covering, amongst other things: counter-party compliance, credit checks and on-boarding as well as trade credit control and counter-party on-going review and renewal.

Key Wins

  • Manage and mitigate operational, commercial and financial
  • Seamless links between front, middle and back office
  • Strong proactive business rules and process flows to enable delegate of authority
  • Underpinning the business operations to support growth and development plans    

Czarnikow Group Limited has been in the sugar business since 1861 and is the premier provider of world sugar market services. With a head office in London and 11 regional offices around the world staffed by around 200 employees, the organisation supports over 300 customers across 90 countries and deals in approximately 10% of the 50 million tonnes of sugar that is traded annually. Czarnikow is focused on enhancing value through the supply chain. Czarnikow offers the full range of market services and meets the differing needs of sugar producers, consumers and processors [].


The Business Issue

Czarnikow was wholly reliant upon business information management to support its global operations. The combination of manual and unstructured office-based processes lacked the
control, clarity, efficiency, security and governance required within the business.


Information flow across the business and its counterparties was handled through custom spreadsheets, email (both user mailboxes and Microsoft Exchange public folders), Word documents and specific business function systems such as Infor SunSystems for accounting and Allegro for trading/ shipping. A lack of flexible and compliant process management in trade registration, credit risk and counterparty onboarding was leading to
unacceptable levels of risk in day-to-day operations. This was increasingly threatening operational capability and failing to support the strategic growth plans of the business. The business issues included:

  • Too many manual, cumbersome processes with inconsistent hand-offs and duplication of data entry
  • Pre-execution enforcement of internal compliance procedures, ensuring adherence to external regulations with improved reporting and transparency
  • Manual processes and retrospective visibility were leading to unacceptable levels of operational risk   
  • Inability to delegate authority across the business due to insufficient auditability and control   
  • Limited visibility and accessibility of real-time, accurate management information to inform business decisions  
  • Lack of global standards in compliance processing.

The Options Considered

Czarnikow's ICT Manager, Stuart Durrant,  says "We had a number of  options available to us, and decided to work with PTS Consulting [an  independent third party] to assess which solution best met the needs of the  organisation and provided a platform for business improvement and sustainable  long term growth." 


Purely utilising a CRM application: this option was rejected due to the inherent limitations of CRM for extended process management and its limited ability to expand beyond core functionality. 


Czarnikow's ICT Manager, Stuart Durrant, says "It was clear that some of our business process flows would not be linear  and would require a flexible framework that supported unstructured process and  human interactions. Whilst CRM has an element of workflow it was not seen as sufficiently  flexible or robust to support the requirement." 


Upgrading and expanding an existing CTRM packaged application: rejected due to its limited ability to expand beyond core functionality and critically the costs and timeframes associated with the upgrade and expansion.


Czarnikow's ICT Manager, Stuart Durrant, says "Our CTRM [commodity trading & risk management] application is a core business system and delivers those functions that you would expect from a CTRM application. Whilst we did not want to change the CTRM system, extending its reach beyond core functionality would have only provided limited capability to meet business improvement objectives, and not provided the capability and
flexibility to meet the broader business process management requirements from
the non-trading elements of the business."


The Solution

Czarnikow ultimately decided to implement XMPro iBOS integrated with Microsoft CRM, Microsoft SharePoint, Infor SunSystems and Allegro [Commodity Trading Platform].


XMPro iBOS provides Czarnikow with an enterprise integrated process platform incorporating: 

  • Counterparty compliance, full credit check control and onboarding
  • Integration and master data management across all business systems
  • Counterparty ongoing review and renewal
  • Trade credit risk and compliance control with automated credit checking and update of the front end CRM system with notifications
  • Automated real-time update of transactional information in the Allegro trading system, both at the point of execution and amendment
  • Bi-directional Shipment creation, amendment and deletion in the CRM system and the Allegro trading system
  • Generation of trade sanction alerts to users at the point of trade execution and shipment creation
  • Vessel creation, approval and assignment
  • Integration with MS SharePoint for vessel documentation capture and auditability.


Czarnikow's ICT Manager, Stuart Durrant,  says "We choose a best of breed solution, leveraging the core capabilities of  the new products, but also the existing software which formed the final  solution. XMPro is not only the BPM application which has allowed us to model and control our non-linear business processes, but it has also become the
central point of integration between our business systems, quite simply XMPro is the glue which holds our systems together."


The Project Delivery

The project was delivered through the application of a semi-agile delivery methodology, with robust milestone review points that allow control but have inherent flexibility. This meant that the delivery could be manipulated throughout the project lifecycle, to account for expanded understanding, changing business requirements and resource availability.


Czarnikow's ICT Manager, Stuart Durrant, says "Different approaches to the project were considered at the outset, but our XMPro partner's semi-agile methodology was considered to be the most suitable and was implemented by all parties in the project."


The methodology used has proven to be so successful that Czarnikow have now adopted this for all future ICT software projects. The methodology extended to incorporate post go live review and optimisation of processes, and subsequent releases have delivered significant business benefit at minimal cost. Continued process optimisation as accelerated the ROI which Czarnikow has gained from the system.


The outcome for…

Front-office: rapid responses to requests for trade and counterparty approval; visibility of all statuses, activity and position of each counterparty and trade internally as it passes through; strong robust compliance processes including credit risk assessment; reviews/dashboards provide customised information around position at any stage of the process can be made available through XMPro's built in analytical capability.


Middle office: strong, controlled processes that ensure all steps around compliance risk and credit risk happen in an auditable controlled fashion, but smoothly, with minimal impact on the trading activity. Decision makers are provided with full point of action visibility of all information that has a bearing on the choices they will make, with the
confidence that their decisions will then be effectively captured and re-incorporated in to the data informing their and others future decisions. Additionally, on-going review activities which ensure that trading relationships are reviewed for compliance and credit risk on a periodic basis are visible, scheduled and proactively managed around time critical transaction-based approval.


Back office: straight-through-processing delivers reduced manual workload around the finance and trading system, ensuring accuracy, speed and improved standards. This approach has also reduced the need for reconciliation of data, error handling and dealing with interfacing errors that occur as part of manual processing.


Application Landscape

Process Landscape


Czarnikow's ICT Manager, Stuart Durrant, says "XMPro gives us a robust platform to model the Group's broader business processes, and change management driven by business growth. By selecting a software agnostic, best of breed solution, we can integrate to business systems and processes which we had no previous visibility of. As a result, the thought of upgrading or replacing underlying systems does not hold the same fear, when
your business processes and data integrity are being managed independently."


The Business as a whole: has achieved a single point of entry for all counterparty and trade-based activity, with robust and resilient process control through front, middle and back office teams. The system now offers consistent adherence to both external regulation and internal compliance requirements, and has reduced perceived operational risk.


The application of business rules ensures the accuracy of data which allows delegation of authority and frees up senior management for strategic activities in business development.


Czarnikow's ICT Manager Stuart Durrant commented that "After all the planning and testing, the smoothness of the actual go-live was almost disappointing" and "…crucially the business expects to experience payback on the investment in significantly less than 36 months."


The Future?

Durrant went on to say that "We look forward to working with XMPro and our  implementation partner to deliver additional process improvements in a number of key areas."


Czarnikow have already been through requirement studies and system design with respect to:


  • Payment request capture, approval, and ongoing integration to the underlying Infor SunSystems financial system
  • Advisory agreement integration between Microsoft CRM and the Allegro trading system
  • Loan agreement management, incorporating the creation of financial transactions in the Infor SunSystems solution and ongoing processes for 'rolling', interest charges and repayments
  • Contract document production with variable contract terms control, and integration to Microsoft SharePoint for each counterparty and trade with versioning options
  • Invoice creation and delivery through integration with the Allegro trading system and Microsoft CRM, using multiple different invoice templates based on trade type, company and counterparty.