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  • #979459
    Greg_M
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    I’m not to sure exactly who’s inbox this request falls in but a company that I do a lot of work for needs to “polish up” it’s corporate presentation, especially when submitting tenders.

    This company has traded as a major subcontractor in the commercial construction sector for over 15 years and works on a regular basis for some of the biggest principal construction contractors in Australia. These contractors don’t care about presentation, just whether you have sufficient compliance in place and your price is right.

    In the last year the business has moved more into a niche market where there are fewer players and better margins but it involves in many instances becoming the principal contractor rather than a subbie, this has been achieved up to point and we’ve successfully won tenders (up to about 400K) for both Shire councils and State Government departments the tender presentations were a bit sloppy but the projects aligned very closely to in house skill base and equipment, plus we were competitive on price, so we got a run.

    But.. here’s the rub, we recently tendered a project for a State Gov. Dept (invited) value about 600k, our price was the best by 18K (it involved regional work and we had a distinct geographic advantage) but missed out because our “corporate presentation” wasn’t good enough, possibly because of a history as subcontractors we failed to convince them we could manage the total package.

    IMHO this came down to presentation and spin because in house skills included project management up to millions over a number of years and the actual contract was a walk in the park.

    Since then we have paid a lot more attention to presenting packages and have a few out there at the moment, too early to tell but my suspicion is they’re still a bit amateurish, they may get over the line on price.

    So who can sort this out? In house skills are definitely adequate for contract execution but the other stuff, probably not.

    I’m after some hard numbers or realistic budget to achieve this so I can present the argument to fix it properly.

    Happy to provide more detail here if needed, or contact me via email (available via signature) if anyone’s interested, can also provide a link to company website which has a lot more info about the business.

    Hope someone has some clues, ta.

    #1114441
    bluewoodstudio
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    Hi there,

    I just tried emailing you at the email on your website but it has just told me it has bounced back? Will send you a PM here.

    Heidi :)

    #1114442
    Leisa D
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    You probably don’t need to go as far as hiring a graphic designer for this. I recommend a good personal assistant with experience in desktop publishing, to ensure your documents have a consistent style throughout (margins, columns, heading styles, etc.) and any images are of sufficient quality.

    #1114443
    Greg_M
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    Thanks for the replies,

    @Leisadent … you are probably right about this, in house skills at this sort of stuff are poor, too much cut and paste, poor grammar and lousy proof reading, plenty of skill with MYOB, contract admin et al, just colour blind and poor English expression skills where they’re needed.

    Regional location makes finding the right person tough and probably not enough consistent work to offer a position, I know someone will say outsource … may be a solution down the track but I’m avoiding it ATM because I know who’ll have to organise it and this sort of work is outside what I normally do.

    In the meantime, a prompt response from Heidi at Bluewood Studios has started me in the right direction into getting the bigger “image” picture sorted, if this can be organised then it should become a straight forward job that could be handed to a VA or someone with the desktop skills to keep it consistent.

    #1114444
    PowerofWords
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    estim8, post: 128317 wrote:
    Thanks for the replies,

    @Leisadent … you are probably right about this, in house skills at this sort of stuff are poor, too much cut and paste, poor grammar and lousy proof reading, plenty of skill with MYOB, contract admin et al, just colour blind and poor English expression skills where they’re needed.

    In the meantime, a prompt response from Heidi at Bluewood Studios has started me in the right direction into getting the bigger “image” picture sorted, if this can be organised then it should become a straight forward job that could be handed to a VA or someone with the desktop skills to keep it consistent.

    If I could add my extra two cents… Although I am a copywriter (e.g. marketing copy) I have helped one construction company make their tenders more persuasive and more polished (word-wise). Similarly I have helped another company with polishing long leasing strategy documents.

    Sometimes it’s about meeting unsaid objections and backing up those promises with evidence. (e.g. You might feel that the cheapest materials will do, however, our engineers experience has proven time and again that quality materials save a company xxx in the long run). You can contact me at Power of Words.

    #1114445
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Have just flicked you through an email.

    Looking forward to chatting further with you.

    #1114446
    ImprovisAsian
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    Not sure if it helps, but I was helping a builder to grow their business, and to comply for bigger projects, we hired a person to write their proposal templates and systems manuals to comply with ISO9001, etc. I think it costed around $8K…?

    #1114447
    Greg_M
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    Hello Ivan,

    Thanks for the reply, I think this is where we’re headed, a bit of professionalism in creating the doc’s that accompany a tender submission.

    The company has all the compliance’s in place, Q&A, OHS, Enviro et al, not to ISO9001 but good enough for our target market, it just lacks coherence in the way it’s presented.

    Although we work in the construction market this move is more into the civil infrastructure market but targeting niche stuff that suits the skill base and plant and hopefully gives us an edge when pricing and we are more than happy to never go near another commercial construction (building) site if possible, they have become a complete nightmare to operate on, we still “pinch hit” smaller construction jobs for proven clients for a bit of turnover but generally the market is dodgy (I know two subbies in our skill set that took a $1.2 million hit between them in the recent Ararat prison disaster).

    Strangely enough, there is actually no desire to grow the business in size just change who we’re dealing with ie builders, who generally speaking do nothing but contract admin and screw their margin and project financing out of suppliers and subcontractors, to principals like councils and gov depts, who may be painful at times but do pay their bills.

    #1114448
    KB
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    Hi

    From what I am reading, I would suggest that you need to look at their overall branding and bring all of their documentation in line with this (eg in-house templates etc) so that all documentation is presented in a similar manner, the logo is used consistently and presentations are done in a professional way. Once all of this is in place, internal staff members (sometimes with a bit of education) are able to pull all of this together, saving time and money.

    You may then have to look at some “corporate spin”

    I’d be happy to talk to you further, please email me if you’d like to do so.

    Kathryn

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