Dear Sadie

Thursday, June 25, 2015

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Dear Readers,

Sadie here.  Y’all ever bicker with a friend over the silliest thing?  The other night, I went to dinner with a gal pal of mine, and we both insisted on payin’ for dinner.  Fast forward three hours, the restaurant’s tryin’ to close, and we’re still being ridiculously stubborn.  The wonderful staff was so anxious to go home, the manager offered to give us the dinner for free!  Ain’t that so sweet?

Now, Honey, although our bickering had a silver lining, that’s not how it always works out for folks.  I wanna help y’all avoid any friction in your future, so let me answer some questions around matching noms and INSIDEtracc.  Read on…

Dumbfounded, Lost & Baffled - Matching Nominations

Dear Sadie,
My counterparty and I BOTH put in a base load nom for next month, but INSIDEtracc shows nothing regarding our match status.  Is that a glitch?
Dumbfounded in Denver, CO

Dear Sadie,
My counterparty and I BOTH have noms entered and INSIDEtracc shows them as being matched, but after -Timely Confirm I was cut to 0.  If our noms were matched, how come I got cut?
At a Loss in Atascocita, TX

Dear Sadie,
My counterparty and I both think our noms are correct and, as far as we can tell, look the same.  Yet INSIDEtracc says they’re not matched?  What are we missing?
Baffled in Baytown, TX

Dear Readers,

As you’re likely aware, unless BOTH parties match on a two-party nom, no gas will flow.  Consequently, failure to match can often deteriorate into “He said – She said” arguments of blame.  But life’s too short to bicker.  We at CGT think your time is better spent understanding the nuances of INSIDEtracc than getting bogged down in a flame war.

Whenever the match process runs, users will see any of three results in the Match column of the Query/Copy Unprocessed Noms screen – a Yes, a No or a Part.   If nothing appears in the Match column, then the process has not yet run.

What you might not know, is the match process in INSIDEtracc runs every 5-7 minutes but ONLY for noms with a start date of today or tomorrow’s gas day.   It will not attempt to match any noms with a start date beyond tomorrow’s gas day.  So, in Dumbfounded’s case above, he was either too impatient and hadn’t yet waited the 5-7 minutes for the match process to run automatically OR the start date on his nom was beyond tomorrow’s gas day.

All is not lost, though.   You can still see if your counterparty has entered a matching nom.  You simply click on the magnifying glass icon in the Action column to see the Nomination History screen pop up.   There you can see the complete history of the nom including who entered what and when and how.

INSIDEtracc matches nominations on these 10 items – Start Date, End Date, Source ID, Rcpt Pt., Seller Code, Dest ID, Delv Pt., Buyer Code, Package ID and Transportation Exhibit (if the receipt and delivery locations are different). Volume, however, is NOT something used for matching – if all the items match but one nom has a volume of zero, then the noms are considered to be matched but INSIDEtracc will apply the “Lesser of rule” when processed.  That’s what happened to ‘At a Loss’ above.

If a nomination matches ALL of the items, a Yes will be displayed in the Match column, if all the items match EXCEPT for the date ranges (which might only overlap), then a Part will be displayed.  If any one of these attributes FAIL to match, then a No will be displayed.

The most common cause of a mismatched nom is the package field.   One party will mention using it, but the other party may not hear them, so they don’t use it and then, when the noms are submitted (one with a package and the other without), both parties will see a No.  Missing packages are easy to spot, so customers generally don’t need to call the helpline.

There are, however, two other less common causes for nominations not matching and the reasons are not as easy to spot as a missing package.  It just so happened, that one of those affected Befuddled.

Cause #1 – Leading or trailing spaces.   A customer may accidentally add a space when entering nomination information in a field on the Manual Input screen, or perhaps copy a leading or trailing space when copying from one cell to another in a spreadsheet used for importing nominations.   The space is invisible, yet because one party had a trailing space, while the other does not, the nominations won’t match.

Cause #2- The other reason two identical-looking noms might not match is because the pool used in either a Source ID or Dest ID has been inadvertently turned into a TSA.  The Source ID’s or Dest ID’s of the two noms may look identical, but if you were to click on the Loc button to the right, you’d be prompted to choose Pool or TSA – that’s how you know it was changed into a TSA.   How this can happen was covered in one of my earlier columns.

If this happens to you, call the helpline so we can fix it, but you’ll have to take the nom with the bad TSA to zero, and then both you and your counterparty will need to re-enter another nom with the correct package.

Thanks for reading and may you enjoy error-free nominations.

Reading Dear Sadie = Free Stuff?

Friendly reminder that, in late July, I’ll be publishin’ a quiz.  The quiz will be based on Decatherm’s best-selling joke book, A Cat Walks Into A Bar.  I’m just foolin’ y’all, it’s based on all these wonderful Dear Sadie articles!  Make sure to keep up on all of my flawless wisdom, and you may get some amazing prizes.

Catch ya on the next nom cycle, and be safe!