Living Wage as Competitive Advantage?

A Living Wage strategy isn’t for every supplier or for every situation.

But a Living Wage may be the next competitive advantage to secure new business.

That may sound scary for suppliers who sell in price-sensitive industries (think janitorial, security, engineering, etc.).

However, Living Wage is a voluntary strategy that can be used in select opportunities when responding to Request for Proposals (RFPs).

Fully Comply with Stated RFP Requirements

First, suppliers should always bid to, and comply with stated scope and requirements of RFPs.

Typically, this means using “market-rate” labor to drive lean pricing.

And that’s what buyers (building owners and managers) look for in a competitive bid – the most value at market-rate PRICING – without necessarily considering how that may impact labor wages.

Living Wage proposals are Voluntary but Powerful

Most technical RFPs rarely say DO NOT provide an alternative proposal. Some RFPs even request alternative proposals – asking suppliers to propose new technologies, equipment, or processes that buyers might not be aware of.

And the alternative proposal is where Living Wage proposals can become competitive advantages.

Living Wage proposals give buyers (companies) the opportunity to do good while doing business. Those buyers who are committed to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) responsibilities are seeking ways to prove their commitments to their customers and stakeholders.

Living Wage proposals provide them opportunities to “walk-their-talk.”

And while these proposals are typically higher priced than proposals at market-rate labor,

“Living Wage proposals change buying conversations from “higher cost” services – to “investments” in Living Wage services.”

For suppliers, this can be a competitive factor tipping the buying decision in their favor.

Right Buyer in the Right Situation

Living Wage as Competitive AdvantageSuppliers will want to only submit Living Wage proposals after fully complying with RFPs’ market-rate request.

Living Wage is complex and nuanced but can help suppliers win contracts with the right buyers in the right situation.

Here’s a 27 minute interview that explores more about Living Wage and using them as alternative proposals:



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