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ACME industrial services

As part of a multi-national group, the UK office has a turnover of around £60 million - spread across three divisions. They have approximately 600 employees, and operate from 12 offices, nationally.
Executive Compass® provided bid management, bid writing, design and printing services and competitor analysis services.

Bid Writing 3 Ps

Type of Project

Bid management, bid writing and
planning

Delivery model

Two staff on site full time, one
writer working remotely

Lead writer

Neil Capstick, supported by 3
members of staff

Duration of the bid

Two weeks

Value to the client

£320 million

Service

Rail

Main Challenges

Short timescales

Lack of existing material or process documentation

The client had no previous experience in bidding

100 pages plus mobilisation and delivery plans

  • Geographical region – Midlands
  • Output – 100 pages plus mobilisation and delivery plans
  • Weighting – 70/30 quality
  • Submission – Electronic upload and hard copy
  • Outcome – Won

Part of a multi-national group, the UK office of ACME has a turnover of around £60 million spread across three divisions. They have approximately 600 employees and work nationally across the UK from 12 offices. We provided bid management, bid writing, design and printing services and competitor analysis services.

The company had progressed through a PQQ but had received poor feedback from both this submission and another tender. The project was worth in excess of £320 million and they did not feel confident that they could win it without external help. They did not have an
internal bid team and had only limited experience of tendering, as most of their work came from relationship building and price led projects. They had had very little success in previous tenders, and on more than one occasion had scored lower than all of their competitors.

We assigned two writers to the project full time (Neil and Luke). Neil and Luke worked on site for seven weeks, five days per week, from 08:30-17:00 each day. Michael undertook all of the quality assurance and design work remotely, but attended site to support the printing and to write the environmental section. John also provided support remotely on a number
of occasions. Having a fully functional and experienced bid team helped to keep the bid on time and allowed for effective problem solving and innovation.

We held an initial “kick off” meeting and agreed:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Bid theme
  • Methodology
  • Key milestones and timeline
  • Contingency
  • Quality assurance and authorisation protocols including version control methods

A series of functional analysis workshops were held with key employees who were classed as subject specialists. All outputs from workshops were recorded digitally using a Dictaphone and digital camera/video. Following each workshop, we undertook a gap analysis for each response and either obtained the necessary information from the company or researched it ourselves. Competitor analysis was also undertaken and this influenced the overall bid theme and the structure of the tender.

Brainstorming and team meetings were held every day and all new ideas were logged. We utilised ACME’s intranet for storing company documents, certification and evidence, and our own bid management software to control the actual bid. Bid progress meetings were held every two days and feedback to the Board was provided weekly.

Writing began in Week Two and continued up to Week Six, with all drafts being approved at board level before being sent to an independent proofreader. The template design was finalised in Week Two, as were the presentation folders, dividers and cover pages. Printing was completed in Week Seven and included two spare sets: one set for the company library
and one extra set “just in case”.

Problematic responses included environmental, social value and procurement/suppliers. Significant amounts of research on best practice, client aims and objectives and emerging technologies was undertaken and informed the bid writers and the Board on the best way to proceed.

The bid was delivered on time, mainly owing to ACME’s early recognition that they needed assistance, and having sufficient resources to write the bid. Very often companies leave it until the last minute before contacting us, and so weaken the overall quality of the bid. We have provided assistance to ACME on one further occasion and have trained existing
employees in bid writing and the bid management process. ACME won this bid, surprising both the client and their competitors.

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

0203 507 0314 or direct to mobile: 07590 276 006