May 18, 2023

Why built-for-purpose software beats custom for commodities

Should commodity companies buy built-for-purpose solutions to manage their physical cargo operations, or invest in building their own from scratch?

Like any industry, the commodities sector faces unique operational challenges. Complex physical supply chains involving multiple counterparties and geographies make managing logistics, transportation and storage difficult. Fluctuating weather conditions, geopolitical events and supply and demand imbalances lead to price volatility; and the highly regulated environment in which commodity companies trade makes compliance complex, time consuming and costly.

Companies need a software tool that effectively manages these trade idiosyncrasies while helping to protect their portfolio’s value, generate additional value and reduce risk (price risk, counterparty risk, operational risk and regulatory risk among others).

But what’s the solution? Built-for-purpose software or custom-built?

Built-for-purpose is software that has been specifically designed and developed to meet the specific needs of a particular industry, organisation or use case. It’s usually created by a third-party software vendor and is intended to be used by multiple organisations with similar pain points.

Custom-built, on the other hand, is software designed and built by an in-house team of developers, or by a contracted external development company, to meet the specific needs of a single organisation or individual.

At first glance, building custom software may seem like an attractive option for companies looking for complete control over their software environment, but there are a number of reasons why investing in built-for-purpose may be the better option.

1.     Built-for-purpose is more cost effective because the significant costs of development, testing and maintenance are spread across many customers. Plus, the costs of upgrades, bug fixes and tech support lie with the software provider.

2.     Time-to-market is also much faster with built-for-purpose software, which is typically available off-the-shelf and can be implemented quickly. Building custom takes years to get right.

3.     Built-for-purpose software is scalable – often it can handle increased usage and data volumes without sacrificing performance. Building custom software that is scalable, cost-effective and meets a users’ specific pain points effectively is a significant challenge, especially for companies with limited resources and that lack specific software development skills.

4.     Built-for-purpose software benefits from considerable industry expertise – built-for-purpose software is usually designed by vendors with extensive experience in the specific industry for which the software is intended. This means it is likely to incorporate best practice for industry standards and compliance, and is more effective at addressing specific industry needs.

5.     Built-for-purpose benefits from robust security, support and maintenance – built-for-purpose software is often underpinned by ongoing support and maintenance, provided by the software vendor ensuring your tech investment continues to meet its needs, and remains up-to-date with industry changes and the latest technology. Tech companies are also required to adhere to strict security and data privacy standards, meaning the security of your data is one of their main priorities.

6.     Built-for-purpose software often integrates – designed to integrate seamlessly with other applications and systems, built-for-purpose tech allows companies to retain their existing tech infrastructure. Rather than replace their entire framework (an expensive and disruptive process), built-for-purpose simply slots into the network.

For commodity companies looking to streamline their operations, reduce risk, comply with regulations, and make better-informed decisions to stay more competitive in their market, built-for-purpose software is likely the most affordable and effective solution.


GLX CARGO is next generation software purpose-designed and built to manage all aspects of cargo management in real time.

The software’s modern tech stack and data hierarchy allows it to integrate with all existing systems, updating data across the organisation in real time. This allows commodity companies to better protect their portfolio value, improve value chain efficiency and manage risk more effectively.

GLX CARGO is validated by current leaders in the commodity industry and offers a range of flexible licensing options. To see how GLX CARGO can bring value to your business, get in touch at



How purpose-built technology benefits cargo operations

By leveraging purpose-built technology, commodity companies can streamline their cargo operations by reducing costs and risk exposure, and increasing their competitiveness in the market.

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