Meet the Winning Tenders Team
Meet our team of tender writing consultants and other essential personnel we call on at Winning Tenders to ensure we maintain our 75% tender win rate average. Starting with…
Ian M Smith, CP APMP – CEO, Bid Director and Senior Technical Writer
Ian has over 30 years’ experience of winning substantial contracts for a huge range of companies entirely through the bid process. After many years in the corporate world, Ian set up Winning Tenders with a mission to help SMEs to win public sector contracts. Ian uses his considerable experience of sales and general management to help ensure that clients submit well-structured bids and proposals.
Ian says “Bid preparation and writing are skills in their own right that have to be blended with your subject matter knowledge if you want to be successful. We have a track record of helping companies to win business through delivering effective proposals and tenders. Winning is rarely about having the lowest price: having an advantage (fair or otherwise) over your competition requires mastering the bidding process and knowing what clients need to see and hear.”
Jonathan L Davey, Sales and Marketing Director
Jon’s career in sales and marketing began with Nestle, then Johnson & Johnson. He was an early adopter of web-based technology, building websites and helping clients to engage with social media. Throughout Jon’s career what he has always done is to put business people together, ‘joining the dots’ as a sales enabler. He says that the end game is always the same – don’t waste anyone’s time and get the right people talking to each other for their mutual benefit. “Growing your business to the multi-million mark requires you to win bigger contracts and, while a few years ago such deals might well have been done over lunch with the client and a handshake sealing the deal, today you’ll need to fill in tender documents which put the fear of God into most sales people!”
Jon’s job is to help Ian grow the business and achieve some key milestones over the next few years. He sees Winning Tenders as a business for which the time has come. “Winning Tenders have been securing lucrative contracts for our clients for over 10 years and we have a win rate averaging 75% because of the processes we have put in place: that includes NOT bidding where we think the client doesn’t stand a good chance of winning. Our shared risk policy means that you only pay our full fee if we WIN the contract for you.”
Ed Hyland, Bid Manager and Writer
Ed has over 7 years’ experience of tender writing. He worked for 5 years as in-house bid writer for a healthcare company in London and, following a merger, was appointed Bid Manager for all tenders across the group, winning contracts of up to £1,000,000 in value with central government including DEFRA, local authorities, emergency services, schools and ALMOs. Private sector wins included £1 million contracts with GSK and Rolls Royce.
Ed re-located permanently back to Devon in 2014 and, having taken time out to write a novel and convert an old cob cottage, is now in his second year with Winning Tenders. He has recently written successful bids for a variety of clients winning contracts with Crown Commercial Services, NHS trusts, councils and ‘not for profit’ organisations for healthcare, transport, recruitment, catering and office equipment companies.
Claire Meredith, Bid Manager, Trainer and Writer
Claire is a law graduate with over 5 years’ experience helping companies with the tendering process, tailoring her style and approach to each client’s experience, strengths and way of working. She works predominantly with owner-managed businesses and occasionally larger companies, compiling their tender documentation and producing high quality tender documents for submission and presentation.
Claire previously worked for an independent construction project management firm in the business development and marketing team. Her role, as part of the team, included coordinating writing and managing all tender and marketing documentation, for projects between £1m and £200m. After a period abroad, Claire became part of Winning Tenders, where she combines bid writing and management for a variety of small and medium sized businesses. She also delivers bespoke training in bid writing and management for private companies and supports individuals with coaching around the process.
Claire says: ‘I enjoy the variety of bid writing and management for a variety of small and medium sized firms, preparing them for tendering, developing their bid documents and managing the bid process.’
Kate Holmes, Bid Manager and Writer
Kate has over ten years’ experience as a bid writer and bid manager. She worked at Adecco Group in Bristol for 9 years, supporting a number of different recruitment companies, managing the full bid process, building relationships, often remotely, with people across the business hierarchy.
Now based in Exeter, Kate is also a trustee on a local charity Park Life where she has been involved on fundraising bids writing for grants and other funding. Kate has achieved key client wins in the public sector including NHS framework agreements, ESPO MSTAR Agreements and a number of local government and county council contracts. Private sector wins across the whole of the UK included RWE Npower and EE.
Trevor Whelan FCILT, Bid Writer and Quality Assurance Assessor
Trevor has had a long and varied career, taking in white collar and blue-collar roles in the public, private and third sectors, from the shop floor to the boardroom. Public sector experience included drafting specifications for tenders and the subsequent evaluation of submissions.
A period in the civil service included reviewing impact assessments, mainly where new or revised regulation was involved. Trevor’s broad experience includes transport policy, planning, press/public relations, marketing and operations, primarily in public transport, but also in the logistics sector.
Joanne Manville, PA to Chief Executive Officer
For ten years, Joanne worked in senior Executive Personal Assistant positions, working for Managing Directors, Chief Executives and Boards before starting her own company providing Virtual Assistant services in 2015.
Joanne joined the Winning Tenders team in May 2017 and supports Ian and the team with key back office administrative functions. She is familiar with the world of tendering and also liaises with clients on contract opportunities. At a recent ceremony in Bristol Joanne was announced as the Winner South West in the Virtual Assistant of the Year Awards 2017.
Consultants who we work closely with on particular projects
Hugh Graham, Bid Coach and Presentation Specialist
With over 30 years of senior sales and account management experience where face to face presentations and interviews formed a key part of the decision-making process, Hugh has gained deep insights into face to face and other formal and informal communications. This experience has given him deep insights into how to interpret and respond to what clients are seeking during face to face and other formal and informal communications; this is used to give your team additional competitive advantage.
Hugh coaches bid team members individually on how to deliver key messages in ways that ensure they are interesting and memorable, working closely with each of them to further develop their existing communication skills through increased self-awareness. He achieves this by enabling them to express their individual expertise as well as behaving as one cohesive and integrated team, developing rapport, credibility and trust with prospective clients.
He says: ‘I enjoy helping clients sharpen up their bid writing and presentation skills and also coach them as a cohesive and integrated team, developing rapport, credibility and trust with prospective clients that helps to secure the deal.’
Zachary Emmett MBA CP APMP – Bid Director
Zac has over 25 years commercial experience and has led bids for a wide range of clients across the private and public sectors. He has worked at start-ups, fast-growing SMEs and also large global corporates such as Xerox and Vodafone. In 2004, he studied for a full time MBA at Bath Business School. He has UK security clearance and NATO secret clearance which enables him to work with sensitive information in the public sector and the defence industry. He is also a certified practitioner with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP).
During his career, Zac has successfully led and won tenders ranging from £1m to over £100m, covering all aspects of the tender process from initial identification right through to contract signature. In more recent years, he has also developed a passion for coaching others and helping organisations to implement best-practice processes. This more strategic approach has enabled him to move beyond working on individual tenders to helping organisations improve their in-house capabilities and long-term commercial performance.
Zac says “Winning new business is tough and responding to complex tenders can seem very daunting at times. For me, the key to success is to build a deep understanding of the client’s objectives and then to have a set of strong and consistent bid processes in place that you know can deliver success, not just once, but for the long-term”.
Vicki Stewart, MCIPS – Senior Bid Consultant
Vicki studied English Literature at A level and also at degree level, so has had an interest in the written word since leaving school. After graduating from Bath Spa University College with a 2:1 honours degree, she worked for a film location company writing contracts for film and television crews to film at historic properties. Vicki then moved onto the BBC, where she negotiated and managed the writing of contracts for the Artists (actors, presenters, musicians) who appeared in the BBC programmes and output that she managed.
Vicki worked in the Public Sector for 6 years as a buyer for the police, writing the Pre-Qualification Questionnaires and Invitations to Tender that were sent out to potential suppliers. She then marked and evaluated the completed documents when they were returned. Vicki is a fully qualified member of The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (MCIPS).
Imagine how useful this experience and expertise can be when Vicki manages and reviews your bid. What drives her is ensuring that she and the team deliver a high level of service at a price that is affordable to their clients. Of her mission in the world of tenders and proposals Vicki says: ‘My aim is to considerably improve the chances of SMEs winning public sector contracts. We ensure your business improves its chance of winning by writing quality tender submissions.’
Diana Holden – Bid Writer
Educated to degree level, Diana is an experienced and talented Bid Writer with a demonstrable track record of success over the past fifteen years. She understands the language of procurement and knows how to write, structure and present information to improve the impact on bid evaluators.
She work across multiple sectors, however her specialism is in the areas of construction, civil engineering, social housing and transport. Her previous experience as an in-house Bid Writer/Manager for large and small companies enables her to effectively integrate with existing bid teams.
A strong team player with excellent communication skills, Diana is able to converse with internal and external stakeholders at all levels. Enthusiastic and extremely outcome focused, she ensures that all tasks are always delivered to the highest standard and to deadline.