AM Bid Services Interview with Andrew Morrison.
Ahead of our breakfast seminar on Bid Management and the current challenges of hiring into the bid sector, I spent a few minutes with Andrew Morrison, Managing Director of AM Bid Services, to ask him a few questions and get his take on creating successful bids and tenders.
By way of introduction, Andrew, with years of experience in Bid Management behind him working for FTSE-100 organisations as well as SME’s, set up AM Bid Services in 2014. Since then, the business is developing it into one of the UK’s leading bid consultancies active in a diverse range of sectors including: Accountancy, Construction, Energy, Environmental, Facilities Management, Grounds Maintenances, Higher Education, Highways, Housing and Care, Legal, IT and Telecoms, Marketing, Materials Supply, NHS, Rail, Renewables and Water. AM Bid Services posted 195% growth in its second year and first half growth of 121% for Year 3.
What are the main challenges currently facing a business as they go through a bid process?
These can include: lack of experienced bid resource; short turn-around timescales; complex documentation; pressures of the day job; and importantly creating differentiation within their response.
What is the best way for a business to improve their conversion rate if they getting rejected at bid stage on a regular basis?
Make sure you are getting detailed debrief feedback;
Do you have a robust Bid / No Bid process in place – perhaps you are going for too many or the wrong type of bids;
Consider marginal gains – improving all elements, even by 1% can have a far greater knock on;
Engage a bid consultant who can diagnose the problem and help with the solution.
What new trends have you currently witnessed/anticipate coming up over the next few years to submit a successful bid?
Brexit will take on increasing importance. Will your goods or services be impacted by exchange rate fluctuations and/or the potentially reduced availability of EU labour? If so, you will need to articulate your mitigations within bids, especially where contracts are for more than 2 years. Outside of this, the recurring themes will be doing more for less, so having a very sharp pencil on the price and driving efficiencies in your own organisation and supply chain to maintain margins. Otherwise, being content that margins will be lower and adjusting your organisation accordingly.
In your opinion, what is the key to a successful bid?
Being very clear about the type of organisation you are and bidding where there is a good fit between the client’s needs, available budget and your services. Your bid then needs to be written in a compelling way that adds value for the client. In short, the bid needs to be client-focused rather than inwardly focused. If you can get all your staff to Think Bid, and pass on good news stories, successful resolutions of issues and testimonials, then you will have achieved bid gold dust.
The bid management process is getting harder, the need to respond to the brief clearly and directly but also to create real points of differentiation from your competition are recurring theme’s when talking to bid professionals. Easier said than done but if you want more tips and information about how you can improve your business’s bid conversion rate and get a better feel for the challenges of hiring bid professionals in the current market place then why not come along and meet with Andrew, David (Bid Development Director at AM Bid Services) and myself on Friday 30th June in Manchester. Book your place via the following link and we will look forward to meeting you there:
Should you want to discuss the current job market in more detail and find out about hiring into your team or finding a new role for yourself, then please contact Pat McLean at Hatch to discuss.