Newcastle-based Executive Compass is celebrating a decade in business

And as it marks the milestone, it is looking forward to helping their clients win even more contracts worth millions of pounds.

The firm specialises in writing tenders for companies bidding into the public sector and is experiencing sustained growth in demand for their services across all sectors. They are proud to have helped many clients, from small owner-managed businesses to household names, to win lucrative contracts. Client wins include contracts for law, IT, health and social care, facilities management, security, the NHS, central government, online gaming and the energy sector amongst others. Their clients receive timely and accurate procurement advice as well as guidance on how they can secure more contracts by having the right ‘bid collateral’ in place.

The Hoults Yard-based business consultancy provides professional bid and tender writing services and training and employs 17 people in its Newcastle and Glasgow offices. Today’s dynamic organisation is a far cry from the one set up 10 years ago by Managing Director Neil Capstick from his home in Tantobie near Stanley.

Neil, who is studying for a Doctorate in Business Administration, is an advocate of the

university system and has based part of his company’s business plan on the recruitment and retention of graduates.

At present, Neil employs six graduates, including Director of Sales and Marketing, Amy Forshaw.

Amy, from Newcastle, completed a business degree at Northumbria University in 2012 and has been with the company for five years. She was responsible for the development of client training aids, including state of the art web-based communications systems, and she implemented quality management assurance standards within the company, including UKAS ISO 9001:2015.

“I’ve seen the business grow exponentially over the past five years and we are consistently moving forward at a fast rate. I believe that our success is partly due to the vibrant, young graduates that we have employed over the past few years,” she said.

Indeed, the current three trainee bid writers have made a positive impact on not only Executive Compass but on the firm’s clients too.

Two of the trainees were recruited independently and later discovered that they had attended the same South Shields school.

Kate Hull (23) from Beaconside in South Shields and Alexander Holt (22) from the town’s Redhead Park both attended St Wilfred’s Roman Catholic School before attending university.

Kate wanted to be a teacher and completed a history degree before gaining a Masters in international business management at Northumbria University prior to starting with Executive Compass last December. Alexander followed his dream to be a writer by studying English Language, a skill that he has found of great benefit in his new role.

“This really is my dream job. I’ve been putting into practice the theory that I learnt at university. The methodology of research is very similar to the work I did for my degree. The technical abilities are very similar. The role combines my love of research and writing with a very competitive spirit: I couldn’t ask for a more fulfilling job.”

Kate agrees: “Our training is comprehensive and we have other team members carrying out stringent quality checks to ensure that our standards are high. I’m learning about areas that I never knew about such as asbestos removal and it’s really interesting to see the amount of work that goes into each bid that we write. We need a detailed understanding of our client’s business to do justice to our bid writing.”

No two days are the same for the trainee bid writers as Joel Willmore (22) explains.

“We can be working on a civil engineering bid one day and the next a grounds maintenance tender. You have to adapt to different sectors of business and really immerse yourself into the role. I’ve always been academically focused and my writing has played to my strengths. I’m a big fan of responsibility and relish the fact that I’m encouraged to deliver excellent results from day one. My portfolio of clients is building as is the success rate.”

The former Gateshead Emmanuel College student progressed to Oxford University where he graduated with a degree in German.

Charlotte Hilliard, from Heaton, but who originally came from Bradford, came to Newcastle University to study for her history degree.

“The company has developed a lot from when I started almost four years ago. It was a small close-knit group and although it’s now grown, I’m glad that it has that same supportive team feeling. My best result so far was the bid I helped to write that won a £150 million contract for a recruitment software solution – it was such a buzz researching the business and making sure all the right boxes and more were ticked.”

The firm have also recently opened an office in Scotland so that they can keep abreast of legislation and business trends north of the border. The Glasgow office is headed up by another ex-graduate, Matthew Walker, who has been with the company for over five years.