February 17, 2022
Types of business data in the energy business

Data on tenders: direct business and oil for future business

Regarding Sales and Business Development activity, having access to public tenders is a direct way to capture opportunities and to bring business to your organization. Nevertheless, accessing tenders is often the starting point of your Business Development and shall rarely be seen as an end result. Indeed, you need to keep in mind the following points:

  • Majority of the public tenders published by Utilities, Governments, or Organizations will provide just enough basic information to determine if it could be an opportunity for your organization. Indeed, few tenders will give you directly exhaustive information and many of them might be of poor quality with very few details or no attached files. This is not necessarily due to the quality of services of the Business Intelligence Platform or Tender Aggregator Service you use but, in most of the cases, due to a lack of quality when the Tender is published on the original website.
  • In some cases, to access complete specifications and all details of the bid, you may have to go directly to the original source (Utility having published a tender for example) and register as a vendor and maybe pay some fees.
  • For some tenders, theoretically, any organization can participate in the bid, however, in reality, you will never be able to win this bid if you had not been involved at an earlier stage (upstream Bus Dev or spec-in phase) or were already in discussion with the end-user.

In fact, public tenders have to be distinguished into two different categories:

  • Tenders as direct opportunities to win business in the short term: This type of tenders are real short-term business opportunities: You will identify the interesting tenders through automatic notifications of a Business Intelligence Platform or Tender Aggregator Service, investigate the opportunities, assess them, participate in them and potentially win the tender.
  • Tenders as Business data to understand the market in the long term: This type of tenders are not short-term business opportunities but shall be considered on a longer Business Development approach. This will be the case where you are not in a position to win a bid that you have identified (for example because you have only tiny chance as you were not involved at an earlier stage, you do not fulfill eligibility criteria, you have no local partners or you do not meet exactly the technical specifications…), the tenders shall nevertheless be considered as valuable data to understand the potential market and prepare your long term Business Development strategy.

Indeed, analyzing the data of tenders that were published will give you strategic information such as:

  • Which buyers do you need to approach for being considered in the next tenders?
  • What is the volume of the market? What is the potential business you could get? This information will be oil for your market assessment?
  • Which regions and countries do you need to consider in your business development?
  • What are the manufacturers used in the tenders? You will know who to approach as a direct channel.

You can refer to some solar energy bidding projects here

Data on Procurement News: detect future business opportunities

An organization shall always try to detect business opportunities at the earliest stage because in some industries or market segments when tenders are released it might be already too late if you were not involved at an earlier stage. Some reasons are:

  • Your organization do not fulfill eligibility criteria
  • Your organization have no local partners
  • Your organization do not meet exactly the technical specifications
  • Your organization do not have any relationships with the Utility
  • Your organization is not on the vendor list
  • The scope is too large and your organization need to find a partner in a time limit
  • Your organization has no knowledge of local legal and tax constraints

A reactive sales and tender team might be able to bid and win a tender identified at the last minute but that requires a lot of effort for a hypothetical result.

That is why in order to improve your tender success hit rate, you need to build an Upstream Business Development Strategy: Your organization needs to be aware of future business opportunities in order to “cook” them in advance.

Example of news published in August 2021:

(Source: Screenshot ofScreenshotof Deepbloo platform)

The (very) brief: description was written as follows: “DMCI Power Corp. (DPC) is investing PHP3.5 billion to add at least 27megawatts (MW) of power in the off-grid market of Masbate and Palawan between 2022 and 2023".

In this case; there is no tender published yet but this is key information to start Business development and get ready for when the tender will be published: The Business Developer shall contact DMCI Power Corp. to get to know more about this opportunity. 

You can sign up to see solar power projects here

Data from Contract Award

Contract awards are precious data: they are difficult to find, difficult to extract and analyze but can be very valuable.

  1. Scrapping Contract awards on a large scale for business analysis will always be a challenge as in many countries, Public Organizations will not publish them. Nevertheless, serious Tenders data Aggregator and Business Intelligence Platform will provide access to Contract awards information.
  2. Analyzing them on a large scale is an as well a challenge as they are generally short unstructured notices; the use of Machine Learning will enable you to analyze Contract awards and understand basic information such as:
  • The organizations which are awarded
  • For which type of project
  • In which country

The value of Contract Awards can be increased drastically if they are correlated with other data types containing more content which will help to make a better analysis. For example:

  1. If you manage to make the link between a Contract Award and the exact past tender it refers to; you will be in a position to understand much more about it. However, this is extremely challenging unless there is a clear ID common number.
  2. You can make interesting correlations between Tenders and Contract Awards which are not in direct relationships but are so similar that you are in a position to make some suggestions. For example: If Company A has been awarded in this Country for this scope of work of the substation of this Voltage, they might be in a good position for this Tender which is very similar in the same sub-region.

Data from Organizations

Any organization (Companies, Utilities, NGO’s, Business associations…)  has a website with a huge amount of available data such as:

  • Organization profile
  • Products and services
  • Customers
  • Partners
  • Local offices
  • References list
  • News and events
Data Categorization Summary
Short Term Direct Business Long term Business Development
Some Tenders YES YES
Majority of Tenders NO YES
Procurement NO YES
Organizations website YES YES
Contract awards NO YES