One of the major events in the wireless communications industry is the International Wireless Communications Expo being held in Las Vegas, NV next week. IWCE features over 350 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends in the industry. Over 7,000 individuals will attend from a diverse group of industry professionals including government/military; public safety (law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical and 911); utility; transportation and business enterprise. IWCE provides the foundation for the technology, operations, engineering and governance for communications technology networks, systems and services. One of the reasons Onvia attends is the wide variety of seminars and speaking engagements related to the challenges wireless communications manufactures face in the global market. One interesting challenge that will be addressed at the show is about U. S. manufacturers and the increased presence of global competitors in the U.S. digital radio market. Wireless communications devices are used in every aspect of government from public schools, to military bases, to police and fire stations. Every department needs a way to communicate internally, as well as externally, and digital communication is the most effective way to do that. Digital communication needs are an ever changing marketplace with government agencies wanting to have the most updated products. According to Onvia’s Project Center, there were over 200 digital radio related projects awarded in 2013 and 2014 combined. Educational institutions had a big increase from 2013-2014: In 2013 only three digital radio-related projects were awarded - in 2014 there were 10. The challenge for communications manufacturers selling into the public sector revolves around three main themes: Government market visibility, monitoring and affecting dealer loyalty, and building brand and product awareness with agency buyers. Here are a few of Onvia’s best strategies for manufacturers in this space to help address these challenges. Identify Agency Buyers and Decision Makers One tactic that manufacturers in the wireless communication industry should consider is to strategically build relationships with the correct agency buyers and decision makers. Identifying key stakeholders is essential to help manufacturers find out when future opportunities will be available and influence their targeted agency’s bids & RFPs. Getting specified (spec’d) in project scopes of work and descriptions is essential to increase the likelihood of a sale, regardless of which dealer wins the bid. Collaborate with Dealers Collaborating with targeted dealers is another tactic wireless manufactures and OEMs should use. The leading wireless manufacturers do not wait for dealers to include them in bids - they are directly involved. Successful manufactures will provide dealers with detailed product information and will contribute to the marketing, agency lead management and specification writing process in order to influence the project outcome in their favor. Make the Most Out of Consultants Consultants can play a key role in increasing sales of a manufacturer’s product when they have confidence that a specific product or brand will best meet the needs of the project or agency buyer. Consultants rarely have a formal business relationship with the manufacturer, but they can act as a highly effective yet indirect sales channel influencer, earning manufacturers spec’d in status in government bids & RFPs. Key Takeaways for Communications Manufacturers The full list of our best practices for the manufacturers and OEMs in the wireless communications industry can be found in Onvia’s recently published white paper that outlines strategies to increase government business. The paper is available for free download here. Our sales representative, Nick Scott will be in the exhibit hall at IWCE visiting booths. If you would like to set up an appointment with him, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s going to be a great show - we look forward to seeing you there!