Engagement in Procurement at its Best

‘Engagement in Procurement at its Best’ – APMP London Event

It was an interactive session on Monday night at the APMP’s London event, emphasising the importance of collaboration with procurement when bidding. Gill How, bid leadership coaching expert, facilitated an open forum to find out how bidders and procurement can get the best out of each other.

We want to know your thoughts – how do you work / communicate with ‘the other side’ to secure the best outcome for everyone involved? Email us at enquiry@bidsolutions.co.uk or join the discussion on our LinkedIn group.

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, Infrastructure and Rail Update

This week’s Construction, Infrastructure, and Rail news:

Highways England is seeking contractors to help look after their northernmost motorways and trunk roads (Areas 13 and 14). Area 13 is in Cumbria and Lancashire and Area 14 is in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Durham and North Yorkshire. The construction works framework has been divided into 11 lots by specialism all totalling a different contract value. The estimated maximum value of the project is £434m over a 4 year term. Contractors have until 15th August 2016 to register their interest.


Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) have started construction on a new renewable biomass energy plant in Kent. The plant is being built in Discovery Park in Sandwich and will eventually produce all power and heat requirements for the park. The £140m plant will create an estimated 300 jobs during its 2 year construction phase.


Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin has granted plans to extend the Midland Metro light rail line in Wolverhampton. The £18m project will see the route extended along Pipers Row with stops at the bus and railway stations. The project is scheduled to open in 2019.


Groupe Eurotunnel have said the decision taken by the UK to leave the European Union ‘will not affect the activity of the Channel Tunnel concession’. The Channel Tunnel operates under the terms of the 1986 Treaty of Canterbury between the British and French governments. Groupe Eurotunnel Chairman & CEO Jacques Gounon said ‘Our Anglo-French vocation is to offer our customers a constantly improving and more competitive transport service. I am confident that we will achieve our goals.’.

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.

APMP Foundation Training in Manchester

Thousands of bid and proposal professionals across the globe have boosted their salary and improved their influence in their organisations by achieving APMP Foundation training (Association of Proposal Management Professionals). Bid Solutions recent salary survey showed that certified members earn an average of 15% more than their peers.

Previously in the UK, the one day course and exam was almost always held in London but as a new ATO (Approved Training Organisation), Sixfold think the event should be more easily accessible to those who do not live in the South East.

Dates for APMP Foundation workshops in Manchester are listed below and we would urge you, if you wish to benefit from the increased status of certification, to sign up for one of these dates.

  • Tuesday 5th July
  • Thursday 13th October
  • Thursday 8th December
  • Tuesday 7th March 2017

Author: Peter Lobl APMP Director, Sixfold International


To discuss training please contact the team on 020 8158 3952 / enquiry@bidsolutions.co.uk

To learn more about bid training, click here.

Construction, Infrastructure and Rail Update

This week’s Construction, Infrastructure, and Rail news:

Transport for London (TfL) is looking for contractors for a £500m framework as part of a road modernisation programme. They are expected to select three companies to undertake pre-construction and main construction activities as well as diversions and temporary works. The framework duration is four years with the option for TfL to extend for an additional two years.


Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University are teaming up with Legal & General for the £350m Newcastle regeneration project – Newcastle Science Central. It is set to be one of the UK’s biggest urban regeneration projects, creating more than 4,000 jobs, 450 new homes and 500,000 sq ft of office space. Legal & General have invested an initial £65m which will provide more than 200,000 sq ft of the office space. This deal will be the fourth project to be delivered since Legal & General partnered with the Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO) in January 2015, having invested more than £7bn already.


FirstGroup will be partnering with MTR to complete their bid for the South Western franchise. MTR will be taking a 30% stake and together the partners have promised an ‘innovative and value for money proposal that will deliver better connectivity and significant improvements’. They go up against the present franchisee, Stagecoach with the contract set to begin in June 2017.

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.

Teasing out the Winning Themes in your Bid


Do you have too much information, too many sources of data and too many entangled ideas for your bid? How do you tease out your Win Themes?

As a bid professional you are only too aware that creating win themes is a key part of developing a winning solution. A solution that excites your in-house bid evaluators, and then excites your client even more once your bid is flashing on their screen.

You already know there are very many ways you can collect information – client engagement, stakeholder consultation, workshops, Blue Skies thinking, top-down input, bottom-up data, trends and patterns from elsewhere. You also know that the most creative (sometimes wacky) ideas come from the most surprising members of your team, and the best ideas from the most surprising combinations of possible ideas.

So far, so good. But when you reach the “too much data” stage – when it looks like the rope in the picture – which maybe is how it feels right now – it’s colourful and pretty – but how do you tell which are the winning themes, how they connect, and how they join up into the whole picture? And also importantly, which are the themes to leave behind for a different bid, a different solution or a different day?

When it’s all entangled as you know the bid team needs to have great skills in stepping back, seeing what’s happening and trusting their judgment. When expectations are high, pressure from above is looming and anxiety is starting to raise its head, this can feel a lot easier said than done.

I’ve worked with bid, sales and leadership teams for over twenty years. I’ve learned a lot from working with high caliber professionals such as you. This is what I’ve seen you do. Let me know what else works too:-

  • You expect interconnection. You know that the interdependency and impact of the winning themes on each other can be more important than the themes themselves. You know, with all of your being, that interdependency can be such a rich source of new ideas, quality, and opportunity for cost reduction.  It’s a highly exciting as well as a necessary place to be. You make sure everyone knows to think this way and look for a new perspective.
  •  You allow for emergence. You know that vital information can be late or need re-working and that winning themes or combination of themes continue to show themselves over time. You allow early ideas to step aside gracefully as their successors and nuances emerge. You give your team permission to talk to each other as many times as they need to, to create the best ideas. You know it’s the conversation about the technical expertise which is essential, helping to clarify the wheat from the chaff.
  • At the end of the day, you trust yourselves. You stay true to yourselves, firm in your own judgment and understanding of client focus. You trust your gut and intuition as to what will genuinely be the winning themes – for this bid, this client, this time. After listening to everyone you know it is your job to draw out and hold the “Aunt Sally”, the framework of win themes and move to bid production from there.
  • You thank your full team. You know that they all contribute to the creation and clarity of winning themes. Acknowledging their contribution keeps them working hard in the next stage, describing the themes in full and glorious detail in the bid, writing in a compelling way to win.

Author: Gill How, Director Buonacorsi Consulting

If your bid team would benefit from some extra facilitation challenge, support and perspective when all you can see is entangled rope, do get in touch on 020 8158 3952 / enquiry@bidsolutions.co.uk.

For more expert advice to help you write winning bids and proposals, check out our Ask the Expert page.


Construction and Infrastructure Update

This week’s Construction and Infrastructure Update:


Queensberry Real Estate has been selected by Sheffield City Council as a strategic development partner for the £480m Sheffield Retail Quarter project. The Council hopes that the project will revitalise shopping in the city. Queensberry Real Estate has previously delivered award-winning schemes in cities such as Bath, Belfast, and Manchester.


Higgins Construction has been awarded the contract for phase 2 of the Colville Estate redevelopment in Hoxton. The contract will see Higgins build 70 new council homes, 40 for private sale and 6 for shared ownership. In addition to new housing, it will provide new street lighting and landscaping to the estate and 129m2 of new retail space.


Brighton & Hove City Council is advertising for a contractor to complete the first phase of the Royal Pavilion Estate refurbishment. The estate includes the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Pavilion Garden, Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Corn Exchange, and Studio Theatre. Following requests to participate received by 22nd July, they will be selecting 5 contractors to submit full bids. Phase 1 will include improvements of the Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre and essential conservation work.

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.

Upcoming APMP Events

APMP UK has released event dates in London and Leeds for the end of the month.

The London event will be held on Monday 27th June at Thomson Reuters in Canary Wharf. The topic is Exploring Engagement in Procurement at its Best and will be presented by our partner Gill How – Buonacorsi Consulting.  For further information and to reserve your ticket visit http://tinyurl.com/h38zv9d.


The Leeds event will give those of you unable to attend the Guildford event in March a chance to see Sarah Hinchliffe present Ethos, Pathos, Logos: Write more compelling proposals by using Aristotle’s three persuasive appeals. The event will be held on Tuesday 28th June at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in Leeds. For further information and to reserve your ticket visit http://tinyurl.com/jnb4fn4.


Tickets for the events are limited so do book your place now. You can also buy your tickets for the 2016 annual APMP UK conference and awards dinner here. Voting for this year’s awards is also open, the categories are

  • Innovation
  • Best Newcomer
  • Bid Excellence
  • People Development
  • Writing
  • Fiona Flower – Knowledge Management

Give your peers the recognition they deserve by nominating them here.

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.