Project Acquisition is grossly summed under the term Business Development. But what does the scope of Business Development include? The general perception is the work includes High-Profile Lunches, Super-bowl tickets, Executive Golfing, etc. But in realistic sense its scope includes creating social circles with direct clients or with those that are source of providing projects to the company. But do they really secure projects through such Business Development activities? Let’s see principally, they are either creating relationships (buddies) with individuals through such activities, who believe that if placed side-by-side with the equal companies then the buddy will prefer my company over the competition for future opportunities. Isn’t that interesting, that the idea of brand is precisely the same that if equal products (by price and quality) are placed side-by-side to consumers then the consumer would select the brand. Should we question this way that through such extravagant activities of Business Development they are creating brand for the selective few? Or should we consider it is branding through alternate means, i.e. with Personal or Business relationships? Or shall we consider Business Development as a Business-to-Business (B2B) process for the same as Branding stands for Business-to-Consumers (B2C)?
Although what is achieved by Business Development in B2B and by Branding in B2C appears to be same (that is making preference over the competition) but the call through which such preference is made are different. In B2B Business Development the nature of influence is through a personal relationship call and in branding it is the preference constructed through the desirability rebound and attested through the society. There is little over-simplification performed here. The above statement is quite right for B2C products, if we are talking about products that one desires for himself/ herself use, like a BMW 5 series car. But can the statement still stand true, if we are talking about Mapie self-leveling concrete product? As Mapie’s branding cannot be in the same fashion as iphone’s or BMWs. Mapie products’ direct users may be different but the decision makers are still other businesses, like concrete applicators. Thus most of the construction products still have to follow B2B path of marketing.
The primary call in B2B Business Development is through the positioning of the company or its products in relation to others’ services and products that are considered to be of good Quality. The most easy way to do Business Development in such conditions is by aligning with the big names, that I call Anchoring your service brand. But the most unfair part is that Anchor is given a lot of powers by all the aligning group. Business Development activities primarily mentioned above are primarily to seek alignments with groups and several anchors and create strategic partnerships. With such strategic partnerships, success of Anchors are dependent on the other aligned companies and vice-versa. But the primary question still stands, Are the Anchors positioned rightly to control the project distribution channels fairly? Canadian Government does not believe that, as this is the formula for creating construction syndicates. That is the reason that provinces and federal government have kept a separate and independent channel of participating into the opportunities, through https://buyandsell.gc.ca/ or http://www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca/ etc.
The independent Government controlled opportunities remove dependency of Business Development activities mentioned above and shift that towards writing good solid proposals and bids. But there is one hindrance, not all commercial projects are advertised and delivered with open procurement process, as there are legal requirements around it, for example the obligations of both Bid Calling Authorities and Bidders in Contracts A & B (see CCDC 23 document). There are more commercial projects that circumvent those requirements than those who follow it. There is lesser awareness in the industry to follow and lead the industry based on; What is the Right Thing to Do?’, than how to circumvent the requirements. And there is also a reason behind it. Participation in open procurement is similar to someone hiring by the resume and not by the previous work performed. The argument is valid, if one says that I should only hire an employee once in the company and not for every project that the company is engaging. There are risks, costs and training associated with hiring different individuals for different projects within a company. The similarity is not different if one developer hires a contractor once and has good understanding of their performance, train them in the method that the company works, then why should that company hire different contractors for different projects?
There is the need in the industry to ensure that project distribution are on decentralized on fair terms rather channeling jobs through certain powerful organizations or disciplines and feeding more and more authorities to them. There is also a need that procurement of contractors or consultants should not mean adding unacceptable timeline, or risk to working with new companies. With better procurement process the cost should be readjusted with more competition. And more cost savings would be materialized than the traditional activities of Business Development. Making relationships among businesses must be turned around from personal favors to quality matches among organizations. BizInterface promises to fulfill all these industry needs in some novel ways that are not yet seen in the industry