Bidding for Business: Getting the Edge with Intellitender

There can’t be many start-ups that, in their first year alone, can boast working for the UK’s biggest non-bank financial services company, along with the largest Fortune 500 commercial real estate and investment firm in the world, to name a few. But then, there can’t be many people with a record of winning 87% of competitive tenders over the course of their career. Meet Vicki Jackson. Remember the name and keep an eye out for her rapidly growing business development consultancy, Intellitender.

Set up in Exeter in November 2016, Intellitender is the latest stage in Vicki’s stellar career. At just 31, this is the woman who holds a law degree, a postgraduate diploma in legal practice and yet declined the opportunity to become a solicitor; all because she had the bidding bug.

Her past experience at FTSE 100 defence company Babcock International and her post heading up the Business Development function of the largest NHS Foundation Trust in the country (South West Ambulance Service) have given her valuable experience of both the public and private sector. She‘s also a Director on the board of the UK Association for Proposal Management Professionals, the worldwide authority for professionals dedicated to the process of winning business through proposals, bids, tenders and presentations.

So, when she came to return to work after having her second child, it was no great surprise that Vicki had a plan to offer her tendering talents to the open market, giving her clients the opportunity to improve their own win rates, while flexing their investment to meet their bid pipeline.

“It’s been an exhilarating journey. In under a year we’ve launched, we’ve grown and we’ve helped clients win major contracts with the MoD, Home Office, Department of Education, Local Authorities and NHS England. As well as bid writing and management, we help our clients design and embed effective business development processes. We’ve also helped businesses learn and improve by providing first-rate, CPD accredited training in the art of Creating SMARTER™ Bids. By facilitating proactive market intelligence, we ensure that when competitive tenders arrive, our clients are ready to respond effectively and successfully.”

With such success, Vicki has needed strong guidance to help build her business, which is where Simpkins Edwards has stepped in. “Seb Beard, a partner at the firm, was introduced to me by one of my clients”, says Vicki. “They really rated him and, having had a poor experience with a previous accountant, it was refreshing to see how quickly Seb identified and understood the challenges facing Intellitender. I was so impressed that, within 24 hours of our first meeting, we’d switched to Simpkins Edwards.

“Seb grasped our goals and aspirations and swiftly outlined strategic accountancy advice to put the business in a strong position. The frustration of my past experience was instantly lifted. Simpkins Edwards’ pro-active, solution driven advice has been a breath of fresh air and it gives me the capacity to focus fully on driving the business forward.

“We use their monthly service package which, in addition to the usual tax and accounting compliance, provides bookkeeping and payroll, management accounts, strategic information and quarterly planning meetings. We’re effectively outsourcing our finance department. With Simpkins Edwards’ help our books are in order, we have up to date management information, we extract profit tax efficiently and we have a team of experts on hand to give guidance on matters such as PAYE and auto-enrolment.”

Such has been the success of Intellitender, that Vicki has just taken on her first two full-time members of staff; the first of many. As Vicki says: “We have a dream list of clients that we want to work with and a clear plan for sustainable growth. Our philosophy is to be more than a provider of people, by achieving real results for our clients. We put our skill in the game to strengthen their competitive positions and add value at every opportunity. We have a hunger to grow and a commitment to personal and professional development. With Simpkins Edwards on our team we can look forward to exciting bids, working with the best of the best, growing together.” 01392 268164