by Mary Shaw, Director of eBusiness Standards, IDEA
When I first started getting involved with the generic UPC discussion, I became attuned to products that fall into the generic category, like apples. I realized that fresh produce is handled generically. When you go into a grocery store, you don't see separate bins of similar types of apples each labeled with the name of the grower. What you do see are apples in bins grouped by type (Macintosh in one bin, Granny Smith in another, Fuji in another). You have no idea if all of those Granny Smith apples came from the same orchard and are similar quality. As a consumer, you usually shop for apples by type, or what it is, rather than where it came from.
Similarly, when a contractor is bidding on a contract and they make pricing requests to distributors, they simply need to price out a job, time and materials, in hopes that they win the contract. They don't typically ask for a specific brand, they just want to know what the price is and if the distributor can supply it. If the distributor replies with a good price and has the materials in stock, there is a good chance they'll get the business if that contractor wins the bid. Read the full article.