Executive Compass has provided bid management, bid writing, PQQ and training services to a variety of industries across the whole of the UK, Europe and the United States since 2009, with the rail industry being one of the core sectors.
Recent rail projects include bids for Crossrail, Network Rail, LU and TfL for a variety of different products and services, such as London Underground station refurbishment (value: £600,000), platform doors (value: £20 million) and bridge repairs (value circa £40 million). For contracts of all shapes and sizes, the same tried and tested bid processes are used and the team of bid writers has offered a variety of support – from ad-hoc external support to full bid management.
Bid Management is the key service we offer when asked to assist with large contracts, especially when working as part of a team, all of whom are contributing to the final submission. It allows the bid to be led by an individual to ensure conformity, coherency and that all deadlines are met. In previous rail bids, we have run workshops and interviews with the organisation, and then subsequent review meetings and feedback sessions. This not only keeps the bid running smoothly, but it makes sure all staff are kept up to date and involved in the procedure.
The Executive Compass proven bid process:
1. Read and understand the specification: too often firms begin to write the bid without fully understanding the specification
2. Develop win themes and differentiators and align them to the specification and client, making sure the latest innovation, system, process or investment is aligned to the client’s requirements and not just those of the bidder!
3. Appoint a project/bid manager, giving the individual positional power and the authority to really drive the bid forward
4. Create a delivery plan with clear milestones and gateway reviews. Without a clear plan with achievable, realistic and very specific goals and timelines bid timelines may drift
5. Create response templates and write up the responses
6. Review, review, review and then review again. Bid submissions cannot be reviewed by committee but each element of the bid must be reviewed by staff who really know the subject and the specification
7. Edit, edit, edit and then review again
8. Review the submission as a whole, and use a document map to ensure all win themes are included and that there are no contradictions.
An organisation can easily find themselves “off track” in the bid process. As we find time and time again, a bid team may be fully competent at writing PQQs and tenders in-house but need an external perspective to ensure their work is of the highest possible quality; this may be in a management role or simply a second eye to undertake a review.
Large bids can demand a vast amount of information, which needs managing, processing and putting forward in a persuasive narrative response. The London Underground bid we assisted a client with was a 42 page narrative response, not including policies, supporting evidence and all design work, so it is easy to see how companies fail when collating all aspects of the project together and lose focus on the task.
Neil Capstick, Managing Director of Executive Compass, said:
“We offer professional services to firms who either do not have the expertise, the understanding, the resources or the time to undertake bids themselves. We are involved as much or as little as they want us to be, but whatever our level of involvement, our single objective and priority is to win.”
To discuss with one of our bid writers how we can support you through the PQQ and tender process, contact us today on 0208 424 413.