Skip to content

Call us free today on 0800 612 5563

Article Details

Published Date: 21-02-2024
Author: Amy Lawson
Category: News & Insight
Connect with Amy Lawson

2024 sees us celebrate a decade of Technical Director Matthew Walker and Sales and Marketing Director Amy Lawson at the business. Over the past 10 years, Executive Compass has seen sustained growth, the introduction of additional services and continued success for our clients.

We sit down with Matthew and Amy to gain more insight into their career trajectory, what’s changed and what has stayed the same over the years, and what the future holds for Executive Compass.

What was your first role at Executive Compass?

Amy – I joined Executive Compass in April 2014 as Marketing and Admin Manager – I had just moved back to Newcastle after living in Australia. At that time, the business was around 5 years old and had less than 10 employees, so it was a very close-knit team.

Although we have grown significantly over the years, a lot of the company’s processes and values have remained exactly the same. We still work with a lot of the clients that we did 10 years ago! The company prioritises and boasts high quality in all that we do, which has led to our strong repeat business and success over the years. Over the past year we have grown the sales and marketing function in line with business growth, which has been great to see.

Matthew – I joined the team as a bid writer in January 2014. Prior to applying for the role, I wasn’t aware of bid writing or the public sector tender process. However, I had always been passionate about both writing and business, and was excited at the prospect of supporting organisations to grow their businesses.

Although I did also support organisations in other sectors and industries, I very quickly found my niche in health and social care. In the first six months of my time with Executive Compass, I was predominantly supporting providers of care at home, supported living, supported accommodation and extra care services.

How has the company supported your professional development, learning and progression?

Amy – I have been lucky enough to work with a really great senior leadership team; from the founder Neil and Managing Director Christian, to my colleagues, whom I have learnt so much from over the years. I think my role and skillset have grown alongside the company in many respects. As we have encountered growth, change, various challenges, and a global pandemic(!), this has allowed many learning experiences. I was appointed director in 2017 and have undertaken various training courses as part of that progression.

Matthew – I feel like a completely different person today compared to who I was when I started! I owe a huge proportion of my personal and professional growth to Executive Compass, and specifically to our founder, Neil.

A large part of my role has been delivering training, both internally to colleagues and also externally to other organisations as part of our training services. Being entrusted to deliver those services has helped to develop my confidence, as well as my skills and knowledge. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with some fantastic clients from the beginning of my career – many of whom we continue to support from this day – and I have learned huge amounts through my contact with industry experts.

How do you see our visions and values reflected in day-to-day operations?

Amy – One of our core values is ‘trust’ which I can certainly see reflected in our day-to-day approach, both internally and externally. Our mission is to be the trusted partner for bid and tender writing services, which I think we are doing well given our 75% repeat business levels year after year.

‘Communication’ is another value, which is certainly required in such a fast-paced industry. At any given point we are working on around 60 bids, which requires a lot of communication, both with each other and clients, to ensure everything is on track and delivered successfully. We are a very responsive company, and pride ourselves on this.

Matthew – One of our guiding values is ‘quality’, and I see that reflected in everything we do. At face value, it includes a commitment to writing high-quality tender responses but actually it permeates every part of the business, from how we respond to enquiries and manage the sales process, to the way we conduct client interviews, and the importance of our quality review processes themselves, in addition to wider bid management support.

We are seen as trustworthy experts in our industry and form long-lasting relationships with our clients, who view us as their partners for bids and tenders. Within our own team, trust also means having confidence and belief in one another. I have experienced first-hand the benefits of being empowered and supported to work autonomously, and all the development that that can bring.

What has changed within the tender process for bidders over the last 10 years?

Matthew – One of the big changes in procurement has been the growth in social value. Although I joined the company after the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 came into force, it was still largely in its infancy. Now, we see a much greater focus, with questions being more frequent and carrying higher weightings in the evaluation. Now, buyers often have higher expectations around what constitutes a detailed, impactful social value offer.

More generally, I do feel that tenders have become more and more competitive over the years. The general standard of responses has improved in such a way that, to continue to be successful, organisations need to keep pushing the envelope, innovating and building on the quality of responses.

Amy – Although the bidding process has changed, there are still some aspects of tendering that have remained the same. As Matthew has alluded to, the tendering process itself is challenging for many organisations, in terms of both time and skill set required. As we have grown, being able to support more organisations to grow has been really rewarding, even more so seeing the same clients come back to us year after year, building some great business relationships. Our core focus and service hasn’t really changed at all; we just have to move fast to keep up to date with the changes in procurement.

What do you see EC looking like in the next five years?

Matthew – If history is anything to go by, I would say bigger and better!

We welcomed six new writers to our team towards the end of 2023 and have already introduced one more in 2024. I fully expect that we’ll continue to see stable growth throughout the next five years, bringing our support to more organisations, and with more of our colleagues developing and progressing into senior roles.

Amy – I see our growth and success continuing. We haven’t grown drastically overnight – this is very much a planned and steady approach and one which we will continue pursuing. We have some exciting plans in place for 2024, developing certain divisions of the business and extending our services slightly, as well as focusing on the ongoing training and development of our team.

I’m looking forward to being part of the next five years!

Back to 'Blogs'
Newsletter Sign Up

    Get In Touch

    Call us now to speak to a member of our Bid Team:
    0800 612 5563

    Contact Us