How to Distinguish Your Brand When Bidding on Contracts for Generic Products
Client Problem: A staple manufacturer wanted to create a unique advantage when bidding on school supply products. The company wanted its brand specified in school districts’ requests for bids.
This presented a major problem because bid specifications for staplers tend to be generic. Bid writers may mention size, but that’s about it. This means that any stapler manufacturer – no matter the quality of its product or country of manufacture – operates on a level bidding field. Price typically becomes the only distinguishing factor in a bid.
Our client had a unique advantage – an anti-microbial finish on its staplers designed to protect users from viruses and other germs – but no bid specifications included this feature.
Bid Desk Analytics Solution: We identified a target group of school districts with upcoming bids. We specifically targeted districts that spent the largest amount of money on school supplies, including staplers, for their students.
We approached these school districts with an offer to help them rewrite their bid specifications. In many cases, the bid specifications used outdated language that hampered the districts’ ability to obtain meaningful bids. Our proposed improvements included the word “anti-microbial” as well as the client’s name and product number.
Result: Not every school district accepted 100 percent of our revisions. Our client’s name and product number were often omitted. But a large number of school districts kept “anti-microbial” in the bid language. Since our client was the only manufacturer to offer this distinguishing feature, it faced zero competition for these contracts and won the bids year after year.
Strategic Lesson: The last thing most companies want to do is compete on price. Winning a bid on price alone often means reducing profit margins to untenable levels. At Bid Desk Analytics, we strive to find a non-monetary competitive advantage for every client.
And when price is the only competitive issue, we conduct the research to find the highest possible winning price. Bid Desk Analytics helps clients win bids without leaving money on the table.
Learn more about client-tailored strategies to win government contracts.
How to Introduce New Technology to Government Bids & Win Contracts
Client Problem: When digital cameras first came out, we were approached by a manufacturer that wanted to explore the opportunity to sell its new technology on government bids.
Since the technology was new, no one was writing bids with language that specified, digital cameras.
Any bid our client proposed to local or state government agencies was likely to be discarded for failure to comply with bid specs.
Bid Desk Analytics Solution: Our approach was to create a need for digital cameras. We conducted research to find the largest users of photographic film–the government entities with the greatest potential to save money by switching to digital cameras.
We identified a number of law enforcement facilities that spent heavily on buying and developing film.
We researched facilities across the country and identified those with film processing equipment. Using that as a filter, it allowed us to identify the largest users.
We presented our research, including contact information, to our client and recommended they directly approach this vetted list of law enforcement facilities to pitch the advantage of digital cameras.
Result: Our client used the information we provided to teach the most receptive audiences about the money they would save by switching to digital equipment. The law enforcement agencies, in turn, proposed the change to their city councils. With the help of Bid Desk Analytics, our client was able to both create and fulfill a need for digital cameras. This initial success led to many other special projects we helped develop.
Strategic Lesson: Innovators struggle to obtain government contracts because bid specifications are written to reflect old or current technology. An innovator may provide the best, most cost-effective solution to a city, state or school district but lose to competitors who offer existing or outdated products.
Bid Desk Analytics helps companies find and develop their competitive edge and identifies the government agencies most likely to be receptive to their standout offerings.
It could take many months–or years–for an innovative company to wade through thousands of RFPs before finding one applicable to its products. Bid Desk Analytics uses Smart Data to find and analyze prospects and connects clients with high-profit bids they can win.
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How to Win Government Bids When a Competitor Dominates the Market
Client Problem: A manufacturer of specialty adhesive notes, the branded kind that companies use as part of their marketing collateral, wanted to sell large quantities of plain adhesive notes to government agencies and school districts.
The manufacturer was willing to reduce its usually high price in order to move large quantities of product. But most bids were won by a well-known competitor.
Bid Desk Analytics Solution: We searched for state government bids coming up during that year. We successfully changed the language of the bid specifications for two very large state bids.
We also examined the list of vendors that had participated on those bids in previous years. We identified a vendor that had successfully completed on some office supply products but always lost the adhesive note portion of the contract on price.
We encouraged our client to develop a relationship with the vendor and position themselves to offer a winning bid to the vendor.
Result: Our two-pronged solution – change the language in contract bids and facilitate a relationship between the client and vendor – paid off. Our client won the business.
Strategic Lesson: Research and analysis help small and mid-size manufacturers win school and government contracts against larger, well-known competitors.
Bid Desk Analytics identifies a client’s strengths and its competitors’ weaknesses and pinpoints the ways a client can triumph against difficult odds.
Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn more.