Our discussion last Thursday on how companies with a unfair advantage utilize their position to dominate a market, made me think of my experience working for Cook County government. As a former local government employee, I recognized when a company has a competitive advantage. In most cases, having a unfair advantage equate success during a Request for Proposal (RFP) bidding process.
For example, on August 31, 2010 FEMA declared a federal disaster area for 7 counties in Illinois. Cook County was one of the areas dramatically affected by the flood. Cook County government buildings were underwater and it was the Facilities Management Department (my department) responsibility to oversee the entire rehabilitation process, from construction to mold remediation. After assessing the damage of the flood, we created an emergency RFP and put it out to bid.
BMS CAT, a national disaster relief company specializing in mold remediation, document and media recovery, moisture control, and construction, submitted a bid and was successful. After evaluation of all the other contenders in the bidding process, no other company came close to offering the services in the field of emergency disaster. BMS CAT understood the climate. They knew that because they were a national brand that they had a competitive advantage over the other bidders. BMS CAT capitalized on our need for document recovery services, because they understood the needs of their customer. Even though the estimate from BMS CAT was more than their competitors, but the bid addressed all of our requirements, BMS CAT was the best company for the job. BMS CATs’ experience at the national level gave them a unfair advantage in: experience, technology, finances, equipment and organizational structure. It was shown in their portfolio.
From now on, when we think about maximizing on personal unfair advantage we should recognize the climate, understand our strengths and incorporate our strength into a plan of action.
ABC 7 News Chicago, “Details on how to get flood assistance through Sept. 3”. [ http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=resources/lifestyle_community&id=7641587 ]
BMS CAT. Company Website, [ http://www.bmscat.com/ ]