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Published Date: 7-05-2024
Author: Ciaran Brass
Category: News & Insight
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Today marks the 15th anniversary of the creation of Executive Compass. Founded by local businessman Neil Capstick, the firm has grown considerably and now supports a wide variety of local and national clients with over 700 bids completed each year by the dedicated in-house team.

The last 15 years have been marked by year-on-year growth, resulting in excess of 7,000 PQQ, SQ and ITT submissions, an 85% success rate and more than £5 billion in revenue secured for our clients.

In this blog, we reflect on the last 15 years and examine how our services will be adapted to the continually evolving and fast-paced world of public sector procurement.

Expansion and growth

The company quickly achieved success supporting clients bidding into a wide range of sectors, including construction, grounds maintenance, security, mechanical and electrical maintenance, gas servicing, and health and social care. The high quality and success of these early tender submissions drove demand for our bid writing services and acted as the platform for continued growth.

Neil opened an office at the i4 Quayside building in Newcastle and quickly expanded the team necessitating another relocation to the Hoults Yard business village in 2015. In 2021, we reached the milestone of more than 20 members of staff, growing to over 30 in 2023.

“Driven by a client centred ethical approach to business and supported by a professional, knowledgeable and skilled team, the growth of Executive Compass has exceeded my expectations. The longevity of the firm and its success in such a competitive market is testament to the hard work and dedication of the existing team.” – Founder Neil Capstick

Today, we operate a hybrid-based working model, with a mix of office and remote-based staff. With writers based in the North East, North West, South West and Yorkshire, the sustained success of the business has allowed us to develop into a truly national firm.

Equally, members of the team have seen their careers progress as the company grew. Examples include:

  • Promotion of Amy Lawson to Sales and Marketing Director in 2017, the first to be appointed as director
  • Managing Director Christian Rowe, initially recruited as a trainee bid writer and following three years as Client Relations Director, Christian took control of day-to-day business operations in 2021,
  • Appointment of Matthew Walker as Technical Director in 2021, following a six-year stint as General Manager, originally joining as a bid writer.

The success of our graduate programme

Our unique graduate training programme and recruitment strategy is central to the continued growth and expansion of Executive Compass. Applicants must pass a writing test and two-stage interview, before entering our intensive bid writing training programme. The initial training period effectively teaches new bid writers how to:

  • Navigate and interpret tender packs and their associated purposes, quickly reading and processing relevant information
  • Break down quality questions into constituent parts to understand precisely what content should be covered within a bid response
  • Write persuasive, evidence-based tender responses, incorporating the client’s key differentiators or win themes (such as experience as the incumbent provider) to score marks.

Many entrants of the graduate programme have been promoted to other roles within the business, including bid manager, senior bid writer, proposals manager and quality reviewer. Their development has also reinforced knowledge and subject matter expertise across the business as a whole, ensuring new cohorts benefit from collective experience gained across thousands of bid and tender submissions.

With numerous successful cohorts to date, we are currently beginning preparations for what we anticipate will be another highly competitive and successful recruitment drive for 2024 – keep an eye out on our social media pages for further information.

Key statistics and achievements

Over the past 15 years, the scope and breadth of our support has allowed us to achieve key milestones, inclusive of the following:

Equally, we have been privileged to support long standing clients in acquiring ‘must-win’ contracts, which has ensured their continued success and growth. With approximately 75% repeat business, many clients have been with us for more than a decade, and return each time they need support with a business-critical tender submission.

Planning for the future

2024 not only marks the firm’s 15th anniversary, but an expansion of services with new and exciting plans for the future, solidifying our reputation as a dynamic, constantly evolving consultancy within the bid and tender writing sector.

“The extensive experience within the team gives us confidence that we can expand our services and apply our expertise with the delivery of more specialist consultative support. Having built a large team, this expansion will create opportunities for our home-grown talent, and we will support them to fulfil their potential.” – Managing Director Christian Rowe

Key developments to watch out for this year include:

  • The launch of our new Executive Compass Care division, supporting new and existing clients alike in acquiring key public sector contracts.
  • Continued development of our bid training services, with bid writing courses tailored to the level of experience, bid writing needs and industry/sector of each client. New and exciting courses have been developed including social value, writing for success and shorter high impact courses on issues such as the new Procurement Act.
  • Our partnership with local procurement organisation NEPO, delivering various training modules as an approved partner for their Supplier Partnership Programme
  • Expansion of our pre-bid consultancy services, allowing clients to proactively prepare for critical, ‘must-win’ contracts through capture planning, storyboarding and developing key ‘win themes’ or differentiators.

While the scope of our support will continue to evolve in accordance with changes to legislation and industry needs, our approach to producing high-quality, compelling tender submissions remains the same as it was in 2009.

If you would like to discuss the bid and tender services we provide, our sales and marketing team are contactable at

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