Bespoke Software Development: Streamlining Trade Finance with Software Integration

09 / 11 / 2023

Read Time 5 minutes

Fintech companies are increasingly seeking bespoke software solutions to address unique challenges and enhance operational efficiency.  

The Haefele team developed a bespoke software solution for a global trade finance company based in South Africa. The software was designed to streamline the company’s trade finance operations, reduce risk exposure, and unlock new opportunities for growth.  

Through close collaboration with our dedicated development team, the client achieved significant improvements in its processes, making it a shining example of the benefits of bespoke software solutions in the fintech space.  This case study highlights some of the learnings the Haefele development team experienced while working on bespoke software for a finance company.

Background and Project Scope 

A renowned trade finance company sought to revamp its existing manual spreadsheet-based system to a more efficient and modern solution. The project aimed to centralise and automate the business’s trade finance transactions, minimise risk exposure, and enhance overall operational speed. 

The Haefele development team worked closely with the client to define the scope, goals, and objectives of the project. They identified four key sections that would be integral to the solution: 

Loan Management: Focused on managing trade finance transactions, including calculations, currency conversions, and overall risk assessment. 

Customer Onboarding: Streamlining the process of bringing new clients on board by automating and standardising instructions and calculations. 

Governance around Lending: Ensuring regulatory compliance and risk management through automated processes and reporting. 

Cash Management: Providing insights into cash flow, financial exposure, and other crucial financial indicators. 

Key Challenges and Pain Points 

The client faced several challenges and pain points with their manual system. Risk exposure was a major concern due to the lack of real-time data and automated calculations. Additionally, the scattered nature of the spreadsheets made collaboration difficult and prone to errors. Speed and efficiency were also issues, as the manual system required repetitive tasks and lengthy processing times. 

Bespoke Software Benefits 

The bespoke software solution offered numerous benefits to the client: 

Minimised Risk Exposure: The new system centralised all transactions and provided real-time insights into risk exposure, mitigating potential financial losses. 

Increased Efficiency: Automation reduced the time and effort required to complete transactions and calculations, significantly improving overall operational speed. 

Enhanced Customer Onboarding: The system streamlined customer onboarding with automated instructions and data validation, reducing errors and improving client satisfaction. 

Comprehensive Reporting: The solution integrated with Accpac, the client’s accounting package, enabling detailed financial reporting and analysis, as well as insights into cash flow and profit. 

Future Scalability: By adopting an agile approach and building the solution incrementally, the software offered the potential for future productisation or sale. 

Lessons Learned and Areas of Improvement 

The following lessons and key takeaways were learned during this process:

  • The development team recognised the need to prioritise the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to deliver functional value to the client sooner. By better defining and agreeing on the MVP, the client could have started using the system earlier and received valuable feedback for iterative improvements.
  • Early user feedback is crucial for bespoke software solutions to ensure that the final product aligns optimally with the client’s needs and requirements. 


The client’s journey towards a bespoke software solution for trade finance showcases the value of embracing bespoke fintech solutions. By working collaboratively with a dedicated development team, the client addressed pain points, reduced risk exposure, and increased operational efficiency.  

Through an agile development process and strategic prioritisation, we achieved a successful implementation of a bespoke software solution that not only met the client’s immediate needs but also provided the foundation for future growth and opportunities.  

As the financial technology landscape continues to evolve, embracing bespoke software will undoubtedly be a strategic advantage for companies seeking to stay ahead in the fintech industry. Contact Haefele Software for all your bespoke software needs or to talk about your options. 


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