by Bob Zaruta, President/CEO, NWIRC

Several economic development partners within the 13-county footprint of the Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) will soon begin an initiative aimed at assisting companies impacted by declining contract revenues from the Department of Defense (DoD). Their mission will involve a comprehensive analysis and business evaluation of manufacturers within the DoD supply chain. This includes exploring challenges and opportunities with operations, workforce, and diversification efforts. The end goal of their outreach will be establishing a plan and linking the company with the regional expertise needed for implementation. The outcome of these evaluations may point to a need of finding new customers in current private sector markets or the need to diversify into new markets altogether, whether known or unknown. NWIRC is here to assist the leads of this initiative and the participating companies in a variety of ways. Here are just a few:

Small companies often don’t employ an inside sales team with the time and skills required to find potential new customers. Through Revenue Growth Services, manufacturers gain the benefit of NWIRC resources to fine-tune value propositions, research prospects, execute an outreach campaign, and secure qualified leads for the company to pursue. Technology-Driven Market Intelligence (TDMI) is a process for conducting market research that can find new market opportunities for a company’s product or process. NWIRC recently worked with a company in St Marys, PA to research new markets for their product and identify prospects. We identified 14 potential markets and narrowed to the 5 being most viable. The final deliverable included 10-20 prospects within each market. The company’s sales team then got down to business and the first 2 leads contacted became customers. They have seen continued success from this work.

If your company is within the DoD supply chain with a significant percentage of your business relying on this work or you’ve already experienced at least a 5% loss in revenue, it is worth your time to explore. While the initial focus of the DoD initiative may begin with prime contractors, major emphasis will be given to 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers that aren’t always as obvious. If you are a company in NW PA and know (or think) you are within the DoD supply chain, NWIRC can assist in making the connection to the appropriate contact in your region to complete the evaluation process and explore opportunities.

On a similar note, NWIRC and many other economic development resources are available in northwestern PA to help companies grow their business…whether in the DoD supply chain or not. We are here for you, so proactively loop us in before you actually start to see any sort of negative change in your business.