Author: Martin Smith

2018 Salary Survey Announced

We are excited to announce that we will shortly be launching the 2018 Salary Survey. This promises to be the largest and most comprehensive survey ever undertaken of the UK bid & proposal profession. We will be shining a spotlight on many of the issues identified in the previous 3 surveys, such as the gender pay gap, the north-south divide, industry disparities and overall satisfaction of the workforce.

To pre-register your interest in the survey, please email salarysurvey2018@bidsolutions.co.uk

As ever, Bid Solutions is committed to making the results freely available to everyone in our profession. As well as publishing a comprehensive report, we will also be updating our Salary Calculator Tool.

Bidding Quarterly – Issue 2 Now Available

Issue 2 of BQ explores the concept of Bid Utopia and I’m delighted to say that our panel of experts have delivered up some fantastic ideas and views on this somewhat intellectually challenging subject. We have nine different perspectives for you to peruse – some of our experts certainly share similar views whilst others are somewhat more ‘out there’.

Download it here. 

 

Crafting & Conveying Value

There’s very little clear guidance or tools available to help bid teams to develop value propositions. Bearing in mind that research suggests that only 14% of a seller’s unique benefits are actually seen as such by buyers, our partner Strategic Proposals decided to embark on some research to delve deeper in to value. Their aim was to try and help organisations to answer the ‘So What’ question better. This paper, written by Jon Williams and Graham Ablett is the result. It’s a fascinating read and explores all the different ways that a buyer looks at value and provides you with thoughts and ideas to help ensure you build these in to your proposals and presentations.

Click here to view the full report.

Massive congratulations to WSP ׀ Parsons Brinckerhoff, winners of the 2016 UK APMP People Development award, sponsored by Bid Solutions. Read how they did it…

wsp parsons brinckerhoff
In 2014 WSP acquired Parsons Brinckerhoff and its UK proposals team doubled in size. Their challenge was to integrate people who worked to different processes, procedures and practice.

The management team recognised the need to define a common language for business and invest in its people to improve skills. A dual purpose programme was designed to integrate teams whilst improving proposal quality.

Step 1: Best Practice Training

A leading training provider worked with them to develop a course based on APMP theory. Six successful months of training followed: four UK locations, 50 newly-integrated staff and an average feedback score of 96%.

Step 2: A Competition to Promote Ongoing Best Practice

The impact on bid quality was immediate and showed in bid reviews, but sustaining this required a continued focus and application of best practice.

With a brief to showcase new skills and an incentive of £250, the ‘2016 Best Practice Competition’ was launched.  This was the opportunity to apply and showcase the valuable techniques learned during the training.

Step 3: Integration of Process & Governance

To further support people in making good business decisions, they reviewed process and governance. They took the best from both legacy organisations and introduced improvements that reflected APMP best practice.

The Outcome: A Refreshed Perception

The combined team’s ability to qualify with rationality, influence the impact of a document and develop content has resulted in a renewed respect from technical teams for a professional proposal function.

The Evidence

APMP accreditation has been the backbone of this upskilling initiative and their objective is for all proposals staff, including new starters, to achieve Foundation level.

  • From 18 to 41 people CF APMP in 12 months
  • 13 people progressing to Practitioner, four achieved this during 2016
  • Attendance at eight Foundation courses
  • Hosted two APMP events
  • Inclusion of APMP Practitioner accreditation in a financial incentive scheme to reward professional achievement

Overall win rate increase – increase in win rate of 39% in 12 months.

Their best score yet – 100/100 for quality recently recorded on a bid (combined quality/financial score of 99.55/100).

And here is some of the feedback received…

“The final decision was made in the board room. Your competitors were the recommended consultant. Based on the compelling document and your evident thirst for this project, we selected WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff over them.” Skanska

“If you asked me yesterday to write an introduction to why I’m a relevant Project Manager, it would be very different to the one I’ll write tomorrow. Tomorrow, it will be relevant and benefit rich!” Andy Poole, Following 5 Ways to Improve training

“The submission is extremely compelling.” Darrell Wilson, BDP

The feedback speaks for itself. The focus on people development has empowered WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to produce powerful proposals, inspired careers and shaped an expert team to deliver the vision to BID LESS, WIN MORE.

I think you will agree with me when I say very worthy and impressive winners. Congratulations from all the team at Bid Solutions!

 

‘Ask the Expert’ Launched – Free, Impartial Advice from Recognised Industry Professionals

Bid Solutions is delighted to announce the launch of its ‘Ask the Expert’ service.

With so many different approaches to bidding and a growing recognition of our profession globally, we understand just how hard it can be to get an objective opinion on best practice or industry-specific challenges. Having personally worked with some of the best people in our profession for over 20 years (and having benefitted from their counsel on many occasions), I’m pleased that we can now extend this fantastic service to our wider network.

The panel is comprised of 15 experts and is actively expanding to cover more industries and disciplines. Our current range of expertise includes: Apprenticeship Programmes; Benchmarking; Cost Modelling & Pricing Deal Management; Public Sector Bidding; Leadership & Coaching; Innovation; Proposal Management; Business Transformation; Proposal Training; Organisational Design; Professional Development; Content & Knowledge Management; and Microsoft Word.

The industries currently covered include: Construction; Professional Services; Financial Services; Aerospace; IT; Defence; and Telecoms.

Got a burning questions or struggling with a particular challenge? Simply find the relevant expert and submit your question at https://bidsolutions.co.uk/bid-hub/ask-the-expert/

Our experts have already offered up some fantastic advice and you can benefit by following the links below:

·         De-risking cost escalation & exchange rate fluctuations

·         Bid Consultancy Advice

·         Automated Bid Tracking Software

·         Incorporating original thinking in tender responses

·         Direct award options for unique services

·         Team motivation and engagement in times of change

·         Post Brexit Procurement Regime

·         APMP Training

·         Word Templates

As recognised thought leaders, our experts will be regularly sharing new ideas on best practice and discussing industry trends. Follow all their updates on our website and LinkedIn feeds.

How often do you achieve a win / win deal?

It was a compelling evening with the International Proposals Academy in London on Monday evening. Ian Law, Head of Commercial Support at Deloitte, led the session on how to secure a win / win deal. Drawing upon his experience of 8 years as Head of Procurement at Barclays, Ian gave great insight into typical bidding pitfalls and guidance on how to create compelling proposals that truly resonate with their audience.

With experience of both sides of the table, Ian provided thought-provoking insight into how to get the most out of commercial negotiations.

We want to hear from you – how much planning do you put into negotiations? Do you try and achieve win / win deals or simply the best for your organisation?

Construction, Infrastructure and Rail News

This week’s Construction, Infrastructure and Rail news:

Viridis Real Estate have awarded a £40.8m design and build contract to McLaren Construction. The contract will see McLaren redevelop the former offices of The Guardian newspaper on Farringdon Road, London into 9,300m2 of office and retail space. The project is due for completion at the end of 2018.

 

The Peel Group have secured planning permission for the second phase of the MediaCityUK development. The £1bn project will see the estate double in size, providing more than 1,400 new homes and 50,000m2 of office space. The plans include –

  • Northern Edge – a new gateway to MediaCityUK including 3 buildings with 632 apartments, 6 two-storey live / work units, office space, 3 multi-storey car parks and more.
  • The Arcade – retail / leisure space around a pedestrian arcade with office space.
  • Studio Square – offices and a small park.
  • Georgian Square – a public courtyard, six-storey podium on top of which would be 2 blocks of flats with residents terraces, 18 three-storey live / work units and separate commercial office space.
  • Market Square – a village hall and square for markets and events.
  • London Square – 14 three-storey town houses with 460 apartments on the upper floors and gym, cinema room and shared office space.

 

Carillion will continue their long running relationship with Centrica to deliver facilities management and project services in a new 5 year contract. Carillion will provide hard and soft FM services including security, cleaning, catering and planned and reactive maintenance in 115 Centrica locations across the UK and ROI. The new contract is worth £90m and has the potential to be extended to 7 years.

 

Department for Transport have issued an Invitation to Tender for the West Midlands rail franchise. The competition is between West Midlands Trains, owned by Abellio (with minority partners East Japan Railway Company and Citsui & Co Ltd) and the current provider, London Midland owned by Govia. The ITT sets out several improvements including

  • An increase in Sunday services
  • Bespoke local branding of trains forming part of a separate business unit managed by West Midlands Rail
  • Space for over 30k additional journeys into Birmingham during peak times
  • Increased frequency of some services and a new service from Birmingham and Wolverhampton to Crewe via Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Expanding smart ticketing and providing free Wi-Fi on all local services by 2019.

Research findings – “Gender in Work Winning”

This week saw the publication of startling new research into gender disparities in the bid / proposal profession. The study, led by Krista Takkala of Strategic Proposals and supported by Bid Solutions and the APMP UK, makes for some very challenging reading.

Although the data is primarily UK-based, respondents elsewhere suggested that there are concerns to be addressed worldwide.

Following the salary surveys published by Bid Solutions, it should come as no surprise to the profession that there are gender disparities. What does shock however is the scale of the problem; fundamentally affecting women and their career advancement. It clearly isn’t just affecting salaries, the research suggests there is widespread discrimination across all roles and all industries.

The report offers some excellent ideas and suggestions for tackling these problems head-on and is available to download here.

I know Krista would welcome further suggestions as to how to tackle the important issues raised. The full results and findings will also be debated at this year’s APMP UK conference in October. Full details of the conference can be found here.

Construction, Infrastructure & Rail News

This week’s Construction, Infrastructure and Rail news:

Perth & Kinross Council have awarded Balfour Beatty a £35m contract to deliver the first of four phases to the Perth Transport Futures Project. The project aims to ease congestion, improve accessibility and promote economic development. Balfour Beatty will build a new separated junction on the A9 dual carriageway and a new link road creating access to development land to the west of the city. Works are due to start in September with completion expected in early 2019.

 

The Alstom Transport (UK), TSO and Costain joint venture has been awarded a £26m contract to build an infrastructure maintenance depot at Plumstead. The depot is scheduled to be operational in August 2018 and was the last of 100 major contracts for the railway to be awarded.

 

Kier have won a £48m contract to add office space and 2 multi-storey car parks to the ARM campus at Peterhouse Technology Park, Cambridge. The project will see an additional 18,000 m2 of office space, allowing ARM to increase their Cambridge headcount to 3,000.

 

East Ayrshire Council is seeking a main contractor to build a new Learning and Enterprise campus in the planned development of Knockroon. The project value is estimated at £50m will include the merge of 2 primary schools, further education and business enterprise facilities. Work is currently planned to start in April 2017 for completion by July 2019. Interested contractors can register their interest until 26th September.