Back in 2016, if someone had asked me where I saw myself in six years’ time, I would have laughed in disbelief at the very thought that I’d have gone from a trainee bid writer to the managing director of a bid writing consultancy.
Looking back at the ‘one month in’ blog that I crafted after just a month of training, I get the expected shivers and jarring sense of embarrassment a person always gets when faced with their early work. The stilted sentences with their simple structures and crass repetition make me cringe!
During a sales call, potential customers will always agree with me when I explain that the key to tender success is to write bespoke material from the bottom up, and that when we look at tender responses from six months ago they instinctively look and feel outdated… well try looking back six years!
Interestingly, the processes and systems touched on in that blog that have served us well for so many years do not feel outdated. Our own iterative continuous improvement activities have certainly resulted in marginal gains and gradual changes to refine how we work, but in essence, the basic methodology of our approach to bid writing is still intact. More importantly, it’s still delivering winning results and satisfying those who entrust us with their growth strategy through public sector tendering.
Some of the faces have stayed and some have changed, but the ethos of the business has remained the same. When I joined the team, I was attracted to the idea of joining an ethical and highly professional organisation which holds a firm commitment to embed excellence in everything it does. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a bid writer in a challenging role that gave me the most satisfaction and pleasure in adding value for customers. A fair pricing policy, a customer-focused approach, and a philosophy of providing the highest quality service possible stand out as consistencies from the outset.
As the company grew, circumstances presented me with the chance to progress into a client relationship director role. I was able to apply my business experience and resume a bit of travelling to meet up with customers across the UK. I had missed the sparring of sales meetings and client presentations and it was fun to be clocking up the miles, enthused in the knowledge I was representing a great team of bid writers.
The opportunity to study for an MBA part-time with Durham University was offered as a condition of my appointment to the managing director role, which I gladly accepted. The MBA represented a new challenge, although the fortuitous pandemic-induced lockdown periods meant I had less distractions to endure. Studying alongside mature students from around the world added some wonderful insights into new industries and cultures, offering sources of inspiration and new ideas to aid our consultative approach.
Since taking on the role of managing director, the challenge has been to maintain our unique culture whilst leading a business in a new era of hybrid working. Technology for remote working has been embraced and a watchful eye is kept on developments in artificial intelligence, assessing how this can be used to continuously improve the bid writing process.
Executive Compass will continue to flourish, evolving and developing as the tender market slowly changes. New regulations and shifts in public-sector procurement processes will be comfortably navigated by our expert bid writing team as we remain true to the core values we cherish. Ambitious plans are in place to expand the bid writing team and the services we offer, and we will continue to grow our own next generation of new bid writers, enabling us to safeguard our DNA. As we quietly do this, our loyal customers can have total assurance of our commitment to excellence and that we will always do business the right way.
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