Strategic Proposals proud to be Finalists in BESMA Awards

We’re impressed to hear that our business partner Strategic Proposals is in the final of next week’s British Excellence in Sales & Marketing Awards. This competition – organised by the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management – is the most prestigious in the country for sales teams and the awards ceremony is hosted by comedian Dara O’Briain.


After reaching the finals in two categories in 2015 – including “Sales Trainer of the Year” for Strategic Proposals’ MD Jon Williams – they’re shortlisted in 2016 for the “Sales Team of the Year” award. This recognises their success helping clients to capture nearly £3bn of revenue in 2014/15, with a win rate pushing 90%. Reaching the finals is especially notable for a company of fifteen staff, when they’re up against major corporations such as British Gas, EON and Virgin Media.


We’re also delighted that Hymans Robertson – with whom both Bid Solutions and Strategic Proposals have worked collaboratively over the past two years – are finalists for the “Sales Support Team of the Year” award. This recognises the remarkable achievements of the team that we’ve jointly helped to design, build and train there – which has had a huge impact in improving win rates and reducing their cost of sale.


Wishing them well in both categories next week.

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.

Construction & Rail Updates

An update on the Construction and Rail industries after another busy week:


The new Crossrail £15bn east-west railway line being built under London has been named the Elizabeth Line, in honour of HM The Queen, who visited the project this week. The line is due to open in 2018 and will link parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire to Essex.


BAM Nuttall secured the deck refurbishment contract for Tower Bridge. The programme of work will be the most intensive undertaken on the bridge since 1962 and is likely to involve the replacement of substrates beneath the running surface of the deck, carry out steel repairs to the bascules and waterproofing to the approaches. Once the design has been approved by London City Corporation it is anticipated that the construction work will commence in October 2016 with a view to completing the programme by the year-end.


The first picture of the six £1.5bn skyscrapers set to transform the skyline when they replace the Met’s world-famous headquarters was revealed. The striking towers of between 14 and 20 storeys planned for New Scotland Yard will be visible from Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.


AECOM has been appointed lead designer for the Fusion joint venture, which is bidding for work on the HS2 rail project. Fusion is an Anglo-Dutch-Spanish combination of Morgan Sindall, BAM, and Ferrovial. The joint venture has formed primarily to bid for civil contracts on HS2, including enabling works, surface route, viaducts, and tunnels.


Essential Living won £100m North London build-to-rent tower scheme by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The scheme is to build a 24-storey block of flats in Swiss Cottage. The current 1980s building on the site, which was one of the first to be diagnosed with sick building syndrome, will be demolished to make way for the Theatre Square development.


Department of Health procurement has started a bid race to secure a place on the successor framework to ProCure 21+. The existing framework is due to end in September and will be replaced by ProCure 22, which could see a spend of up to £4bn over four years. Existing framework partners Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try hps, Integrated Health Projects, Interserve, Kier and Willmott Dixon are expected to fight to renew.


The Environment Agency has gone out to tender with a contract for the provision of a flood and coastal engineering higher education programme. The new contract will run for five and a half years in total with an option to extend for a further 2 years. The tender is divided into 2 lots – Lot A — FdSc & BSc and Lot B — MSc – suppliers are being invited to bid for either or both lots. Estimate value of the contract is between £2m and £4m. The time limit for receipt of requests for documents or for accessing documents is 1st April 2016.


Scottish Water announced the appointment of two joint ventures (Atkins and RPS ARC jv and MWH and Mott MacDonald’s jv m2) to provide technical consultancy support in the 2015-2021 investment programme. The contract is worth £120m over six years divided between the two ventures, with an option for Scottish Water to extend the agreement to 2027.


VolkerFitzpatrick won the £12m London Royal Mail job to design and build a new delivery office and vehicle workshop in Nine Elms, London following a competitive two-stage tender.


Also this week Sweett Group became the first company to be sentenced for bribery over corrupt payments it made to a member of the investment board of Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company to secure work on a luxury hotel project in Dubai. Sweett Group received a fine of £1.4m and an £851k confiscation order at Southwark Crown Court after it admitted that it had failed to prevent the bribery.

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.

Anti-slavery legislation

You could lose public sector tenders if you do not disclose your company’s measures to comply with anti-slavery legislation. The law, which came into effect in October 2015 will affect commercial businesses with a turnover of £36m or more carrying out business in the UK. Those businesses will now have to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year, stating the steps taken to ensure their business and supply chains are slavery free. The statement will have to be published on the company’s website and a failure to comply can lead to an injunction. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the Government would be prepared to take such a step.

Anti-Slavery Legislation Statements


The statements will have to be prepared for each financial year ending on or after 31 March 2016. A statement should be published as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the financial year and the guidance states that this should be done within six months of the year end. It also notes that organisations may choose to publish the statement alongside any other annual or non-financial reports they are required to produce.


These statements may also become a requirement for tenders for certain work from Government and other concerned bodies. Therefore we would recommend you read the practical guide published by the Government

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.

New APMP Foundation Syllabus & Training

With the help of over 100 APMP industry volunteers over more than 3 years, the refreshed APMP Foundation syllabus has now been launched.

It was refreshed to make the course more accessible and update areas such as persuasive writing, graphics and action captions, and virtual team management.

Take the APMP Foundation Training

You can be among the first to achieve accreditation under the new programme at one of the following courses in London run by our partners at Strategic Proposals.

  • 1st April
  • 8th July
  • 8th September

You can complete the course for a special discounted rate of £530 +VAT. This rate assumes candidates have an APMP membership. Price includes training, all materials, the new APMP Study Guide and Glossary and refreshments / lunch on the day.

If you have already achieved APMP Foundation training under the previous exam, your certifications are still valid and there is no need to repeat the exam.

If you are interested in finding out more please contact the team on 020 8158 3952.

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.

Understanding the Bid Lifecycle: How to be a Bid Winner – 16th March 2016, QE II Centre, London

Our partners at Bid Academy have announced details of a fantastic event on 16th March: Understanding the Bid Lifecycle: How to be a Bid Winner. This full-day event breaks down the Bid Lifecycle into its key phases and looks at how you can improve your chances of winning at each phase.  All guest speakers are experienced Bid professionals and will discuss lessons learned from real life bids. Whilst Bid Academy’s interpretation of the Bid Lifecycle differs slightly from Bid Solutions‘, we have a shared passion in engaging bid and proposal professionals earlier in the cycle and improving their chances of winning.

Full details: Understanding the Bid Lifecycle & How to be a Bid Winner

Click here to book your place.

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.

Construction and Rail Industry Round-up

A number of large projects have been won this week in the Construction and Rail industry including:

Carillion has been named as South London’s Lambeth College development partner for a major new college complex in Vauxhall worth £120m. At present, the plan is to build a specialist Lambeth College Skills Centre for vocational learning and potentially including a training hotel, restaurant, and conferencing facilities.

Galliard Construction has been confirmed as the principal contractor for Developer Sager’s £400m Islington Square development. Demolition and site clearance is currently underway and the fit out of new tenant facilities will begin in early 2017 and due for completion late 2017.

A re-signalling contract worth £34.5m for signalling between the seven main stations from Ferriby to Gilberdyke in the East Riding of Yorkshire has been awarded to joint venture agreement Ansaldo STS and Linbrooke Services.

Also this week, construction begins on Europe’s biggest floating solar panel project in London Queen Elizabeth II reservoir. The installation will be eight football pitches worth of photovoltaic (PV) panels to help Thames Water meet its target of generating a third of its own energy by 2020.

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.


Will government action finally bring an end to the gender pay gap in the Bid and Proposal profession?

In the 2015 Salary Survey we highlighted the significant pay discrepancies between men and women. When taking an average across all roles, men earned 24% more than women (the difference was 29% in the 2012 Survey).

Whilst some of the discrepancies were smaller when we analysed specific roles within our profession, the overall gulf in pay inequality could not be ignored.

Naturally, we are delighted to see that the government is finally taking gender pay issues seriously. Whilst only a first step, we believe its plans to force large employers to reveal the number of men and women in each pay range and show where pay gaps are at their widest is at least a step in the right direction.

Government Requirements to Address the Gender Pay Gap

From April 2018, employers (with more than 250 employees) will be required to publish their gender pay gap on their websites. They will have to report every year and senior executives will be expected to be accountable for the numbers.

There are of course many factors that can affect pay so this is by no means a guarantee of attaining parity. However, we hope this positive change will accelerate change towards a fairer and more transparent pay system.

To understand how gender can affect pay across roles in our profession, please refer to our salary benchmarking tool.

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.

John Fernau joins the Sixfold Team

Our partners at Sixfold International welcomed John Fernau to their team last week.

John is a senior commercial leader with extensive experience of public procurement and major sporting events. John started his career in international development procurement with Crown Agents before moving on to became a management consultant with Hedra (now Mouchel) and advised on procurement in local and central government.

Whilst a consultant, John began working at the Olympic Delivery Authority and became permanent. In 2009 he became the Head of Procurement and led the delivery of a huge range of procurements including on and off park construction, park-wide logistics and security, transport, security, and other corporate professional services.

After the Games in 2012, John became the Commercial Director of the Home Office, managing a spend of £2.8bn pa, with a team of 220.

In 2014 John left the Home Office to found Fernau Solutions, a consultancy which helps SMEs to successfully navigate public sector procurement.

John will make a fantastic addition to the Sixfold team and we look forward to working with him.

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.

Contract wins for J. Murphy, Admore and McAleer & Rushe

2015 was reported to be a particularly bad year for the construction industry, however, industry experts forecast a positive outlook for the construction industry in 2016. We have already seen large contract wins for J. Murphy who has won the £60m London Overground electrification project that will electrify the London Overground route from Gospel Oak to Barking. Admore has also been awarded an £80m contract to be the main contractor at the first phase of Project Light by Notting Hill Housing and Sellar Developments and McAleer & Rushe have won multi-million-pound deals in Belfast, Portsmouth and Stansted.

Do you work in the Construction industry, have you noticed an uplift this year in comparison to last year?


Murphy & Sons win £60m London Overground electrification project from Gospel Oak to Barking:


Ardmore announced as main contractor at Project Light Phase 1:


McAleer & Rushe win deals in Belfast, Portsmouth and Stansted :

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.



Bowie and Benchmarking

David Bowie (c)

On the morning of his sixty-sixth birthday, David Bowie released the song ‘Where are we now?

I played it the other day as I was reflecting on his music and it struck a chord. This question was at the heart of a recent discussion with an organisation looking for ways to improve their win rates in the new financial year.

Like many organisations, the leaders want the results, the benefits, the outcomes –increased capability, more motivation and improved win rates. They just want to get on with it. There is no time to lose, Carpe Diem, Tempus Fugit and all that. They want improved win rates and they want them now.

The frustration with the status quo and the enthusiasm to get going is palpable. And when there is so much energy focused on driving forward, it can be hard to put the brakes on.

But knowing what to do is not the same as knowing how to do it and, more importantly, how to do it in a way that sticks.

Making change stick is possible only when organisations understand the underlying principles at play. When they do understand, it can be a light bulb moment.

Understanding Change Management

In his book ‘The Primes – How any group can solve any problem’, Chris McGoff describes the core principles relating to change. If an organisation is to successfully carry out and embed change, stakeholders must be part of the programme which not only plans where they are going (the To-Be) but identifies their starting point (the As-Is).

Without parity of time spent on agreeing the As-Is and planning the To-Be, programmes will not generate enough buy-in to convince stakeholders that the pain of change is worthwhile. Without buy-in, stakeholders will exhibit low-levels of engagement, they will focus on other priorities, and the project-of-the-month will die a slow, painful and inevitable death.

Benchmarking is a solution that can engage every stakeholder in articulating the As-Is in terms of the good practice that is worth keeping, and the specific improvements needed. Giving every stakeholder the opportunity to influence the To-Be solution by asking about their priorities during the benchmarking exercise also generates vital buy-in to the programme.

So, if we are to engage people in change programmes and make them stick, we really do need to explore and agree ‘Where are we now?

For as Bowie says:

‘Where are we now, where are we now?

The moment you know, you know, you know’

Bid Management and Rock & Roll, whatever next…?

 Parity (c)

Author: Ian Sherwood PPM.APMP  Bid & Proposals Director, twentysix2

Image Ref: The Primes by Chris McGoff. Published Wiley & Sons (2012) used with kind permission from the author.

To view our latest vacancies for bid and proposal professionals, follow this link. To help us connect you with a winner to add to your team, follow this link.