Behind every winning bid is a strong story. It’s what we do.


Bid: Thames Tideway Tunnel

Client: BMB (BAM, Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty)


↑ Strategy workshop

↑ the roots of the identity

↑ Campaign visual

Three of the most established national contractors, one of the largest civil engineering projects to be procured in years and three concurrent bids. Wow. We knew the Thames Tideway Tunnel was destined to be a hugely complex and high profile project.

↑ Project scope

To be successful, our client needed a unique story to underpin their identity as a Joint Venture and helped get their approach across throughout a 14-month tendering period. We considered every communication opportunity from start to finish of the procurement phase and worked closely with them to make the right impact at each.

Understanding the issues

Only by gaining a full understanding of this powerful Joint Venture partnership, could we support BMB in communicating their offer and the approach within their submissions.

Firstly we planned and executed a bid strategy workshop with the core BMB bid team. While the purpose of the workshop was to provide an insight into this project from many different perspectives, it also served to bind together many individual experts from three different contractors into a strong team. Blue Edge managed exercises around understanding the numerous issues inherent in this type of procurement, while filtering the information required to inform the overall winning strategy. We ran a phased action planning session at the end to help the client get the most from the day – and while they left with plans and outcomes we left with a real understanding of what would make this project a success.

The communications campaign

We needed to capture the notion that a clean and sustainable River Thames would be a benefit for ALL Londoners. With the majority of the team living in London, we wanted to highlight that BMB were very much recipients of the project benefits, as much as potential constructors.

Keeping London on course was a real motivation for the team, as the River Thames runs through all their lives.

Getting it into the submission

Bringing together teams from three contractors can mean you get three differing approaches. However, BMB were cohesive from the outset and we helped them deliver that consistency throughout their bid submissions in a number of ways:

Joint venture branding: Highlighting the main contractors’ initials, BMB required a strong marque to identify what they stood for throughout three bid submissions, but also to keep the positive legacy that each of the Joint Venture partners brought with them. We designed a strong and relevant icon to demonstrate strength and integration, while referencing the tunnelling element of this procurement.

↑ JV identity

A campaign overview guide: This document formed the cornerstone of introducing an ever-expanding team to the bid messages in a consistent and cohesive way. This promoted a familiar tone of voice across the team and the submissions, helping the client build confidence in BMB.

↑ Spreads from the guide

Having the bid messages clearly articulated in this way also helping inform the answer planning sessions we ran for specific high scoring sections. It meant the authors for these key responses had a plan for answering the question and evidencing their approach before they started writing.

We find that if you want to say the team are working closely together, it should also sound like they are.

Bid writing: Our bid writer Paul was placed with the BMB team for a number of reasons – his ability to write fresh, persuasive and readable answers that go way beyond the evaluators’ expectations is one. Another is his ability to challenge the ‘same old, same old’ approach while still remaining well-liked by clients. Being one of only two bid writers (out of a writing team of ten) to be retained on all three bids proves Paul’s ability to work with clients to produce an original, compelling bid.

Design and template guide: A wide variety of documents and templates were required by the BMB team throughout the bidding period. From basic A4 pages to press releases and trade banners, Blue Edge provided a comprehensive suite of design tools for the team to use.

↑ Word Template

↑ jv war-room graphics

↑ delivery system identity & overview

↑ marketing brochure spread introducing win themes

Digital tools: A project like this will have a major impact on locals, stakeholders and naysayers. From BMB’s supply chain partners to the London communities living alongside the Thames and the future construction sites, there needed to be a public face to BMB’s profile. We created a public micro-site to convey the message from our client to the public. We also made a digital introduction to the BMB team and their co-located bid office through an interactive tool which was used as a health and safety briefing, information outline and guide to BMB’s brand identity.

↑ JV WEbsite homepage

All in all, Blue Edge supported BMB throughout a 14-month procurement phase, providing a consistent and positive image and tone of voice. Because of the size of the overall project, to de-risk it Thames Tideway Tunnel is split into three stages, with each stage being awarded to a separate bidder. Because of the strength of the team and its clear communication, BMB clearly made the right impression, and were awarded the West contract.