A growing Newcastle bid writing company has moved into larger offices as it targets new clients in the North East.
Executive Compass employs a team of eight at its new Hoults Yard premises, preparing bids and pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) for clients ranging from SME’s to multi-national companies and government organisations.
The firm, set up on the Quayside in 2009 by former British Rail and Jarvis management executive Neil Capstick, mainly works with businesses in London and the South East but is now focusing on new clients in the North East.
Neil, from Stanley in Co Durham, said: “We are a North East company, but until now, we’ve tended to work with businesses in the South East. I’m keen to change that and work with clients in the region to win more business for North East companies.
“I’m a big supporter of the North East – my team is made up of graduates from Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham universities – and we are now aiming to bring our winning formula to new clients in the region, just as we’ve done for businesses in other parts of the country.”
Based on this year’s projections, Executive Compass will have achieved a £0.7 million turnover in just six years and credits much of its success to its different approach. Bid writing is usually associated with older freelance staff but Neil took the decision to recruit and directly employ young graduates as part of his business model.
“We have a passionate, enthusiastic and youthful team, with different skills and specialities,” said Neil.
“Traditionally, talented young people leave the region to work in London and the South East, because that’s where the majority of the work is. But we’ve made it our policy to retain North East graduates in the region and create the same kind of high-quality jobs that they would find in London.”
All Executive Compass’s people are staff rather than contractors and the company is currently preparing to recruit new bid writers to join the team. It is also looking to take on its first apprentice as part of its policy of employing talented young people.
Executive Compass’s approach to employment is part of the firm’s ethical way of doing business. The company, which holds an ISO 9001 for quality management systems and is now working towards the ISO 140001 environmental management qualification, does not take on jobs its believes clients have little chance of winning. And as an SME, it has a policy of paying suppliers’ invoices the day it receives them to help with their cash flow.
In the last 12 months, the company has won business worth more than £2 billion for its clients, including a £360 million contract for a Tyneside firm.
Neil said: “We have a 87 per cent success rate for local and national contracts, based on our proven method using quality assurance. We are now developing a new management software system for our larger clients to use with support from our staff.
“We work with everyone from owner managed businesses, NHS Trusts and multi-national corporations, using the same criteria to give our clients the best possible chance of success in the incredibly competitive tendering environment. Smaller firms don’t always realise there are funding streams available for firms seeking professional help with their bid writing.
“We’ve worked successfully with companies in the US and Malaysia as well as all around the UK. But now we’re keen to raise awareness among North East businesses that a company with our strong track record is operating in the region. You don’t need to go to London to find this quality of service.”