A new venture

In the world of construction, Carillion, Eiffage and Kier need little introduction. But as a joint venture, we knew CEK sounded less familiar. All three of them are adept at building infrastructure and rail engineering but could they come together to build a lasting relationship with HS2?

HS2’s task was clear: delivery on time, on budget and on good terms with the stakeholders up and down the line. Their vision was for a high-speed network which will be the envy of rail users the world over.

If this was going to happen, CEK needed to think in a way they had not before.

A vision for the team

Getting in early, to start the whole bid in the right direction, we needed to embrace the huge variety of people, skills and geographic locations of our clients’ bidding team.

We designed and facilitated a launch workshop for the whole team, a full day of focusing on the project and building an understanding of both HS2 and the other team members. We challenged the whole team with the question, “What do you want this procurement to achieve?”

A belief in change

We devised a bold campaign which reflected the teams’ desire to deliver more than expected.

The joint venture was provided an identity, the rallying cry was formed.

Let’s go to exceptional. An aspiration to go further than just delivery, to go beyond HS2’s requirements and deliver something ambitious.

The bidding begins

To build a successful outcome for this bid, we needed to build a story of opportunity and future investment with HS2. Across two years of procurement, it was essential to show we were listening and ready to adapt.

With Blue Edge embedded in the bid team, we needed to drive the challenge needed to demonstrate to their desire to win. In this project, we needed three strengths to be evident:

  • A simple and aspiring message
  • A team hub to manifest strong team behaviour to promote innovative thinking and smarter working
  • A process of internal challenge to elicit the best results from everyone.

Making the space for a bid

We insisted CEK created a central bidding office for co-location, as our 19 years of experience showed this works to create a better bidding process and align behaviours.

We created materials to dress the space and regularly updated the messaging around the office in the form of posters, signage, and a website. Whenever the opportunity arose to help them put forward a stronger presence such as suppliers’ days, press ads and booklets, we gave voice to their overriding messages.

The mechanics of bidding

Guiding the CEK team toward their eventual win, our bid lead, bid writers and bid integrator, held pivotal roles throughout the JV team. This meant we understood everything happening, supplied solid writing expertise, provided opportunities to re-enforce a strong challenge and gave a guiding hand for communication in every corner of the bid.

Everyone needed to be inspired to deliver more and we needed to sound like a cheerleader of potential. During early engagement with HS2, we laid the path for CEK winning not just one, but two lots.

When projects of this scale and complexity come along, what should we say to ourselves and everyone involved?

Let’s go to... EXCEPTIONAL