Our client was a global player operating in an international business-to-business sector. A Division within the large International Group had been established for a number of years to break into new markets but was still losing money as overheads were too high and propositions were not attracting sufficient new business. Orders were at approximately $200m, revenues at $130M and EBITDA at negative $17m with a bid success rate of around 12%. The Division was slowly going out of business.
The market was competitive but buoyant with plenty of potential business and the teams were struggling to cope with a large number of requests for proposals (RFPs). Many tenders were being delivered only to effectively provide the buyer with competitive information. Some opportunities pursued were not a strategic fit with business plans resulting in excessive set up and servicing costs.
Bid managers were working to meet volumes rather than producing winning propositions, typically presenting standard feature sets rather than looking for the upside opportunities. The price that business was won at often resulted in losses and the cost of bidding was too high for the returns.
In summary, the client priorities were to urgently address costs in terms of sales and bidding effort, increase success rates on targeted opportunities and re-build team morale.
TRIMENTIS were invited to lead a detailed analysis of the issues and develop a capability based on best practice approaches to radically improve the performance of work winning.
TRIMENTIS approached the review by first establishing the facts, working to gain a wide acceptance of the issues facing the business at a time of heightened stress and defensive behaviours. Once issues had been analysed, priorities were set with the client’s senior management team to focus effort on both short term fixes and on longer term strategic transformations.
The overall approach featured all three core Performance Leadership Processes. Change Management to direct the effort, Strategy Formulation to clarify the business goals, and Performance Management to lead the ongoing work winning performance and drive continuous improvement through successive learning cycles.
The work winning process was substantially re-engineered, including agreed high level purpose, objectives, KPI’s and a detailed process design. Key to success was implementation of gating criteria to drive up the quality of opportunity qualification, align activities to the strategic plan switching off unfavourable opportunities early in the process, establish a learning loop through a rigorous win / loss analysis, enabling experts to apply their knowledge more effectively.
Process management was implemented based on the Performance Management Process including the appointment of a full time Bid Process Manager bringing together cross-functional teams in a monthly Process Review Meeting to routinely identify improvement opportunities and drive fast-track change teams.
A new rigour was brought to bid activities (cultural changes) including clarified roles and responsibilities at all levels, increased transparency of operations through shared goals and performance measures supported by changes to the reward systems to encourage behavioural changes.
An improved operating environment was established with a higher quality of information, better informed and faster decision making and increased clarity on business priorities. Systems development was enabled resulting in the start of implementation of a process automation approach to further streamline the process.
Over the following two years the business went on to achieve a bid success rate up from the original 12% to approaching 80% with Orders at approximately $540M, Revenues at $350M and a positive EBITDA of $24M.
This initially inflicted a lot of pain on the business as we literally shut down whole sales teams to focus our efforts on the strategic priorities. Time has proven our severe decisions to be the right ones and now we can all look forward to a more stable future together.
Learn more about our expertise in the rigorous use of management and leadership best practice, and how we help get the most out of an organisations processes, people and knowledge through our systematic, results oriented approach called Performance Leadership.
Client Success Stories
Learn how we have worked with clients to achieve significant results through our client success stories. Each client success story illustrates how we have helped define client priorities, what approach the team took and the results the client achieved … turning priorities into results.
Start using Performance Leadership
To start using performance leadership across your organisation today get in touch with us through our Contact page. TRIMENTIS has been working with clients for nearly two decades across a range of sectors and we have supported over £9 billion worth of major infrastructure projects.