By John DiPisa, Founder and CEO, Bid Desk Analytics –
The market for lucrative government contractor sales is an attractive one for manufacturers and growing more competitive all the time. One thing that has not changed in my 30+ years of working in state, local government and school contracting is the impact of product specification.
Whenever a bid specification mentions your brand, it can be a game changer for a variety of reasons:
- Dealers generally bid what is specified. While it doesn’t prevent them from offering an alternative, most dealers will not ignore the brand that’s specified.
- Dealers that don’t typically do business with you will often reach out to you if your brand is mentioned in the specification. They fear that if they don’t, they may not win that item.
- Dealers that are loyal to your competitor’s brand will often still bid your brand if it’s mentioned and your competitor’s isn’t.
- When a specification reads “your brand only,” the bid will automatically be awarded to your brand, and any dealer that participates on that bid will bid it if they want to win that line item.
- Product specifications are rarely changed from bid to bid. In today’s environment, a bid that is awarded for a one-year term is often renewed for multiple consecutive years, so when it comes up again, it will still carry your branded specification.
- Your product specification allows you to protect margins and reduce volatility in a market sector that traditionally has low margins with complete volatility.
So, what if your brand is not specified? The good news is that it is possible to get bid specifications rewritten. At Bid Desk Analytics, in addition to providing a live data feed of competitive intelligence on state, local government and k12 contracts, our Bid Support Team helps manufacturers to get their brands specified, and provides other proactive strategies to leverage Bid Desk data into actionable revenue opportunities.