Marcellus Is Waiting for Your Technology

December 16, 2012 by
Filed under: Business Growth, Marcellus, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized 

With all the hoopla about the Marcellus Shale, no one has talked about the role technology has played in making Marcellus a reality. It’s time someone did.

The fact is, without technology, the opportunities Marcellus has spawned would never exist. In all the talk about the cracking technology that drives natural gas extraction, we’ve overlooked that cracking came as a monumental, technological breakthrough.

But more to the point. It’s now time to hone in on how you can inject your technology into the Marcellus opportunity. And the best way to do this is to understand Marcellus not as a single, monolithic opportunity, but as three tiers of opportunity—direct, indirect, and induced. Look at it this way and you can find a way to inject your technology into serving this emerging-energy marketplace on your terms.

Let’s first take a look at how you can target the tier-one, direct opportunity, admittedly the riskiest of these three tiers.

In a recent conversation with the heads of supply-chain management for Seneca, Chesapeake and Range Resources, they all insisted that new vendors must first address a proven need they already have and then fill out a Master Service Agreement (MSA) before they can do business in the energy sector. Generally, a Master Service Agreement specifies generic terms like payment terms, product warranties, intellectual property ownership, dispute resolution, and the like.

They further emphasized that those vendors who stand the best chance of successfully entering the Marcellus market will:

  • Focus on their Best and Highest Use (BHU). This means concentrating on what they do best, what they like to do, and what a market values and pays them for.
  • Build on their customer base and not try to be a total-solution provider
  • Avoid trying to grow too fast, if doing so risks jeopardizing their service levels.
  • Under sell and over deliver.

One of the speakers also let it slip that if you’re going to serve the energy industry, you have to be ready to work at three in the morning, if needed, and to be on call and on-demand as if you’d been hungering for months to secure the piece of business you land

This tells me that an opportunity can exist for you to be ready to breakthrough with your disruptive technology if and when another vendor slips. That’s when you’ll most likely be able to leapfrog over any existing MSA and serve a client who needs you and will work with you.

Nonetheless, if you insist on going after the big boys, then keep reminding them of FUD–Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The more you convince a purchasing agent of the downside of not solving their problem by going with your services, the more likely you are to appeal to their inclination to avoid personal career risk.

Next time, I’ll discuss the less risky opportunities in the indirect and induced tiers, where more opportunities exist for your technology.

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