CzechTrade helps to find new suppliers for a German energy utility

27. 6. 2018 | Source: BusinessInfo.cz

The representatives of twenty Czech companies met the purchasers of the German electric utility Uniper in the premises of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. CzechTrade’s Düsseldorf office together with its Prague headquarters organised an all-day series of meetings there to open the possibility of cooperation with an important German company for the local suppliers.

Representatives of twenty local companies used the occasion to win the opportunity to act as a supplier for this important energy utility operating on several European markets. “Germany is an important target market for us. New big partners from the area of industry are important clients for us for long-term future cooperation,” said Martin Vozňák, sales manager of CubeSpace, a company selling residential containers. They are used to building not only reception centres, but also lodging houses, kindergartens, facilities of industrial objects, mines or building sites.

He was satisfied with the results of the interviews. “Our expectations were fulfilled. We will get a chance to take part in a competitive tender for a supplier of module buildings as the facilities of their power plants, for revisions and similar actions on their key markets. At the moment it is in Germany, but later maybe also in Great Britain and Sweden, which are also very interesting markets for us. It is only necessary to arrange the ways of funding and logistics because it is supposed to be a lease relationship,” said Martin Vozňák, adding: “We are very happy that CzechTrade arranged a meeting on this basis for us, without a complicated search through the German databases. We could meet right here in the Czech Republic.”

Also the other participants appreciated the possibility to meet representatives of the German company. “Personal negotiation is the strongest discipline of every sales representative. Thanks to the use of some advice and recommendations of the CzechTrade employees, I came very well prepared, which resulted in a successful negotiation,” said a representative from the sales department of Ateko Jiří Racek, appreciatively. The company develops technologies. In the case of Uniper, the systems for processing the crude oil and natural gas were discussed.

Time-proven tool

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade similar events are very beneficial. “The pro-exporting tool called Sourcing Day is time-tested. It was always worth organising it with business groups from Great Britain, Germany and other countries. We have an opportunity to provide the business partners with maximum of information of general character and also very specialised information, at one place and in a concentrated time, to meet potential suppliers. It is a great time saving,” explained the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Vladimír Bärtl, who added: “CzechTrade has our strong support in this area.”

Also the representatives of the German company were satisfied with the results of the negotiations. “We came here to broaden the supplier base for our key activities in Germany, Great Britain and in Sweden. It is difficult to look for companies via telephone and e-mail, which is why the personal contact is totally irreplaceable for us,” emphasised the purchasing manager of Uniper Benkt Lie, who added: “The event is very professionally organised. The companies are very well prepared. The opportunity to meet the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade shows how important this event is for you.”

In January 2016, Uniper separated from the German energy utility giant E.ON and restricts its activities in the area of conventional energy production and trade. The company employs almost twelve thousand people, and its annual turnover is more than EUR 1.7 billion. Apart from Germany, its most important markets are especially Great Britain and Sweden. It operates in more than 40 countries in the world.

Czech companies offered their products and services in the areas such as engineering structures, electric motors and generators, water turbines, valves and armatures for power plants, building and demolition work, etc. After the evaluation of individual offers the German purchasers will continue negotiations with perspective suppliers in the following months.

Careful preparation pays off

Preparation of a similar meeting can take three to four months. “Here at CzechTrade, we try to contact the purchasing headquarters of important companies actively, not only in the area of energy production, but also in engineering, retail and other branches. Whether we do organise such events or not depends on the interest and willingness of German companies to look for suppliers in the Czech Republic. Then we have to persuade Czech companies that it makes sense to negotiate with a German company,” described the director of CzechTrade foreign office in Düsseldorf Adam Jareš.

Local suppliers are introduced to the purchasing managers by a rather detailed supplier profile where they have to enter key information about their company. “Not only the workforce, turnover, but also references, certifications, technological skills. Based on this profile the purchasers choose the suppliers who are interesting to them. More than fifty Czech companies applied for this event. In the end, the purchasers chose about twenty companies for personal negotiations,” added Adam Jareš.

Interest in the Munich branch

Foreign offices of CzechTrade from Sweden, Great Britain and other countries are preparing similar events. Also, negotiations about orders for Peru are currently being prepared. Still Germany has a key role in this area. “It is no secret that German industry is closely linked with Czech industry. We have been trying to move higher in the global chains for a long time and the link with Germany helps us a lot with this. The fact, that we have detailed knowledge of German industry is decisive for being able to work in third countries,” emphasises Vladimír Bärtl.

Dalibor Dostál

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