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Hyper-optimizing public tendering with AI

Article summarizing the discussions from the webinar organized on 18 Apr 2024, hosts being Stefan Morcov, CEO Hermix & Michael Mathieu, Sales Director at Westpole Benelux

The B2G – Business-to-Government market is relevant and different from other markets such as B2B or B2C – retail, consumer. The B2G market is huge, stable, and distinct. The public sector represents 53% of the global GDP, and public procurement represents 14% of GDP. We’re in a huge market that keeps getting bigger and busier. To stay ahead, you need more competitive advantages. But here’s the thing: even though it’s getting more competitive, it’s still really hard to get into. Our analysis shows that only 1.3% of European companies access public contracts. That’s surprising considering that European governments spend 54% of their money, totaling 2 trillion per year, through 250,000 authorities. According to a World Bank study last year, 25% of this money is lost due to inefficiencies.

Our solution

At Hermix, our mission is clear: we provide an innovative online platform designed to assist companies in securing public contracts effectively. Our commitment lies in bolstering businesses across three key domains: tender monitoring, tender analysis, and market intelligence.

  • Tender monitoring forms the backbone of our service, delivering daily updates on new tenders, alterations to existing ones, alongside essential documents and Q&A sessions. Drawing insights from various reputable sources like the Belgian procurement portal and the European Commission’s funding portal, we ensure our clients remain informed and prepared.
  • Moving on to tender analysis, we delve into both the commercial and technical realms, leveraging cutting-edge conversational AI technology to streamline processes. From understanding complex tender requirements to automating tedious tasks, our platform empowers businesses to navigate the procurement landscape with ease.
  • Finally, our market intelligence segment focuses on positioning companies strategically within their chosen markets. By providing in-depth analysis and insights, we enable our clients to make informed decisions and seize lucrative opportunities.

In essence, Hermix is more than just a platform – it’s a trusted ally for businesses seeking to thrive in the competitive world of public contracting.

Challenges we face

At Hermix, we tackle a big challenge: sorting through loads of data in the public sector. There’s so much information that companies are overwhelmed. Our goal is to make sense of it all. Take, for example, the European Parliament’s changes in their IT contracts. This shows why it’s crucial to understand active contracts. There used to be 1 tender with several lots, then some lots were transformed into independent tenders, and then some split again. Now there are a lot of past and future IT tenders and EP, with many lots and many winners. Shifting through all this information is very difficult. We need a single place to organize all this information, and this is what Hermix does.
With the help of AI, we can automate tasks and streamline document creation, saving time for companies. We aggregate context information and provide insights to help companies make informed decisions. For instance, we offer profiles of authorities, previous contract awards, and supplier information.

The key for success in public sector

Strategy. A company, however large, has limited resources, and tendering in the public sector is expensive. This is why it is crucial to understand the market and to know where to concentrate your efforts. The best strategy is to position in the market with the biggest budgets and with the lowest competition. It’s like the strategy of Napoleon of “defeat in detail”: a good general concentrates all of his forces where the enemy is weakest. Hermix supports this by analyzing and aggregating big-data from various sources to provide a comprehensive, holistic picture of the entire market.

Tender analysis. In public sector sales, analyzing tenders from both commercial and technical perspectives is vital. Understanding market dynamics, strategic positioning, and prioritizing impactful opportunities are key. Leveraging technology and data analytics can boost competitiveness and contract-winning chances.

Presales and bid management. Another crucial aspect is pre-sales. In public sector tendering, it’s like taking an exam; you’re evaluated based on what you write, not what you know. Therefore, pre-sales activities are critical. Many tasks in pre-sales can be automated, starting from understanding tender requirements to summarizing them and even generating tender proposals.

Sales. Actual sales include having a physical presence. Boots-on-the-ground is always important.

Technical excellence. Delivering high-quality services and/or products establishes brand and reputation. 

This comprehensive approach, from understanding the market to monitoring tenders, qualifying, and writing proposals, is what leads to success in the public sector.

Why AI?

Having access to organized, cleaned-up data, i.e. intelligence, is essential for developing an effective strategy. This data allows you to analyze your clients, competitors, and market trends, helping you make informed decisions. The use of AI can further enhance your strategy by providing insights and suggestions based on your data usage patterns.

By leveraging tools like AI and data analytics, you can gain a competitive edge in the public sector market. These tools enable you to streamline processes, analyze vast amounts of data, and make strategic decisions that drive growth and success.

Our vision for using AI

We launched a great feature based on AI: the automated summarization of technical specifications and tender documents. You can analyze and summarize thousands of public tenders with AI in Hermix. 

The tool allows users to check, in a matter of minutes, which is

  • The scope and objective of a project, 
  • The eligibility and financial selection criteria, such as turnover and certifications,
  • The technical and professional selection criteria such as CVs, and references for similar projects.
  • Or the award and evaluation grid.

We use several generative LLM tools, such as ChatGPT, Mistral, LlaMa, and PrivateGPT. We are part of the Microsoft Startup programme, accessing tools such as OpenAI.

Looking forward, we’re exploring advanced AI applications like price analysis and proposal generation. While AI holds great promise, it’s crucial to stay practical and focus on solving specific, practical problems. Our approach involves creating a framework with specialized services, or agents, that work together to solve individual issues and produce valuable outcomes.

We prioritize transparency

In terms of data coverage, our platform includes European institutions as well as national, federal, regional, and local authorities across Europe. We’re always expanding our coverage to include more agencies and sources.

We prioritize transparency by showing the source of our data, which was based on user feedback. With just one click, users can access the original source of the extracted information. We’ve made efforts to ensure accuracy and avoid errors in data extraction. We tested and worked with various language models, with GPT-4 being the most reliable for the tasks we perform. While AI has its strengths, it may struggle with complex topics and nuances, so we’re mindful of its limitations.

Our accomplishments

With over 800 users and approximately 30 customers across Europe, we’re honored to collaborate with esteemed clients like Indra, Unisys, Capgemini, Luminess, Euroforce, Vass, Westpole, and Technopolis. Our platform offers access to extensive data, empowering users to analyze diverse dimensions and make informed decisions.

Remarks from Michael Mathieu – Sales Director at Westpole

”Hermix helps me tremendously, to build a pipeline and receive reminders, especially for tenders I may have forgotten about or didn’t have time to look at. It also allows me to discuss with partners or competitors to better understand their position in the market and their market share. I can also conduct vertical analysis by client and sector, which used to take hours and hours of work. I remember when I first started, it took me six months just to get familiar with the main product we used, Ted. It took me six months of full-time dedication to understand what was available in the market and to establish a pipeline for the next five years. Your product is truly invaluable in supporting both pre-sales and sales efforts.”

Reach out to us for any questions or assistance.

The article is based on the topics presented at the webinar “Hyper-optimizing public tendering with AI.

See the video recording.

Summarize thousands of public tenders with AI

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