By John DiPisa, Founder and CEO, Bid Desk Analytics –
Occasionally you read through the line item product list on a city or school district bid and realize that the product descriptions are so vague that they could cause confusion. For example, a bid that requests pricing for an eight-inch scissor can accept an expensive stainless steel scissor with plastic coated handles or an inexpensive cast iron scissor with painted black handles.
Why would the school district use language that is so ambiguous?
This type of vague product description in a bid request is there to protect the incumbent vendor. Realistically, most of the vendors that bid on this type of requirement don’t have a chance to win, and even if they could guess correctly on some of the items, they would surely miss on others.
This ensures that the current vendor keeps the award going forward.
So, what can other manufacturers do to possibly get a piece of this business?
As a manufacturer not bidding directly, you should seek out the vendor (dealer) that is currently servicing this contract. Knowing that the vendor controls the product selection and could be supplying your product on this requirement, you should offer a profitable dealer program that will compel them to include you in the bid response.
Competing for tax-supported contract business can be challenging. Often, the rules and best practices used for typical wholesale and retail business simply do not apply.
At Bid Desk Analytics, we’ve spent more than three decades partnering with manufacturers to help strategically and profitably secure business from state and local government and public schools nationwide. Our proprietary live data feed of competitive intelligence is product-specific, predictive and actionable, and our experienced Bid Support Team helps manufacturers to successfully leverage it using time-proven workflows.
If you’d like to learn more or to schedule a brief demo of our product and services, please contact us today.