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A&D Insights: How to Monitor Contract Awards and the DoD Budget

AlphaSense

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August 2, 2022


The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been a “boon” — as The Hill recently put it — for the defense industry in the United States.

The same can be said for dozens of other countries around the world. Canada approved an additional $8 billion in defense spending over five years in response to the conflict, Germany added €100 billion to their Armed Forces budget, and the European Union pledged in April to “substantially increase defence expenditures.”

This means a flurry of new contracts and spending that firms and investors in aerospace and defense need to stay on top of. The AlphaSense platform has centralized more than 100K of the top industry sources — including actual DoD budget documents — that users can access to stay in the know about new happenings in the A&D sector.

AlphaSense customers in the A&D industry have shared some of their top challenges in doing so, and in this article we’re going to walk through specific ways you can leverage the platform to address them.

From curating data in just a few clicks, to AI-powered algorithms that deliver hyper-relevant results, to automated alerts sent right to your inbox, you can be confident that with AlphaSense, you’ll never miss an important piece of information that impacts your business again.

Challenge 1: How can I monitor new contracts and awards?

The DoD is quite transparent about the contracts they award, publishing daily updates on their website of contracts valued at over $7.5 million. But this doesn’t include every contract, and it definitely doesn’t allow for more granular research around the contracts and awards most relevant to a particular firm.

But that’s often what strategists and professionals need. In the platform, you’ll find DoD budget documents plus other important publications like GovConWire, Defense Monitor Worldwide, Defense & Aerospace Daily, Flight Global and more — plus individual company press, call transcripts, and filings — all centralized in one place.

Let’s look at an example of how you can drill down into some of these larger sources to find exactly the information you need. We’ll look at how much money the DoD is spending on eVTOL vehicles.

First, we’re going to go to the source list in the AlphaSense platform and filter it to include only DoD budget documentation and contract award announcements:

Next, we’ll enter eVTOL in the search bar:

In less than seconds, we see a list of 30+ sources — sorted automatically by relevance — showing mention of eVTOL and related terms in DoD budget documentation. Of course, we can expand our source list as needed/preferred to find further information as needed.

If we want to expand on a more product-specific search, we can quickly switch our source over to GovConWire, a daily feed that looks at contracts, for more results. Again, we’re quickly delivered a list of 30+ sources that shows contract activity related to eVTOL (both from the DoD and other entities).

Challenge 2: How can I monitor my peers?

Every firm and investor in the A&D industry has organizations they need to track closely, but without a business intelligence platform researchers are often blocked by paywalls and other privacy measures. In addition, these organizations often have a myriad of segments that do different things.

“It’s not enough just to know that M&A is happening at Lockheed Martin,” says AlphaSense’s Key Account Director, Robin Alexander, “often we want to know the specific division or segment where this forward business motion is happening.”

The number one way we empower our users to do this is through watchlists. So, in practice, you could create a watchlist on AlphaSense of all A&D organizations important to your firm. Then, you can do a query for results specific to those companies.

As you can see below, a query for “M&A and mission systems” limited only to a preset A&D watchlist (we included Boeing, Raytheon Technologies, and Lockheed Martin) yields results for this search related to all three.

Challenge 3: How Can I Monitor Specific Programs?

Last but not least, we know how important it is to monitor specific A&D programs for news, new contracts, filings and more. To do that, you need to be able to cut through the noise about other happenings in the industry.

Consider, for example, that you’re tasked with monitoring everything related to JADC2. A quick search for the term in AlphaSense reveals that there are more than 1400 documents in the platform related to that program. It’s a lot to go through — but AlphaSense’s proprietary AI algorithm has automatically sorted the results by relevance, meaning we see the most helpful sources at the top of our list.

Further, it isn’t practical for researchers to manually search for programs daily, weekly, or even periodically amidst a high volume of research projects on their plate. That’s why AlphaSense has created the automatic alert feature, which allows you to have the most important updates delivered directly to your email inbox at the frequency and time that works best for you.

To set an alert, click “Create Alert” at the bottom of your results list, add your preferences, and you’re set to receive notifications whenever something new comes out about your topic.

For a video demo on using AlphaSense for these use cases and more, watch our recent webinar: Aerospace & Defense Insights: How to Monitor Contract Awards and the DoD Budget.

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