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Case Study

Sapphire Utility Solutions

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How did you first hear about Thornton & Lowe?

We previously had experience of working with another similar bid consultancy but a number of factors led us to look around for an alternative.

Initially, we used Thornton & Lowe to source a member of the bid team but as the workload increased, they suggested the option of a bid partnership, essentially with Thornton & Lowe providing a tailored solution to our needs and fully outsourcing our bid management team. This was a clear statement of commitment from Thornton & Lowe and one that we greatly appreciated and have since benefited from.

What have you been most impressed with?

The whole process - from the contact we have at a partnership level with the Directors through to our account managers and administration staff, all of our contact points are fully up to speed with Sapphire’s processes and procedures. We have also been really impressed with Tom Daniel and his bid team, the structure that they’ve set out for all of our bid work; creating templates, organising corporate documents to be produced with Thornton & Lowe’s designer and massively increasing the quality of our written content and overall aesthetic. We’ve now been successful in securing over £50m of new projects through Thornton & Lowe in 2020/21, with much more in the pipeline!

We have also been using Thornton & Lowe’s Search & Selection service, provided by Emma McCarroll and effectively outsourcing our bid administration process. Emma now actively searches for opportunities on our behalf, as well as managing our content databases, CVs, boilerplate responses and any additional administration. This is of huge benefit to us, as it allows us to focus on growth and our day-to-day activities.

What were you looking for in a solution?

We were looking to partner with a bid specialist to enable us to leverage the capability of our business by harnessing the creativity and bidding ability of a work winning specialist. Thornton & Lowe offered a solution to act as an outsourced bid team but also more crucially, an extension of Sapphire’s own internal teams, working closely together.

What made our solution stand out from the others that you researched?

We looked into a number of options but the close initial contact with their core team members showed a commitment from Thornton & Lowe that we really appreciated. From the outset, any questions that we had were answered promptly and the whole strategy was explained fully and up front. Thornton & Lowe were always on hand to help and nothing was ever too much trouble, that really set them apart and continues to do so.

We have been working with Thornton & Lowe as our strategic Work Winning partner for over 12 months and working in partnership we have secured numerous new contracts, which will see our turnover double and significantly increase our geographical coverage and client base. This success would not have been possible without the ‘can do’ attitude, skills and dedication of the whole Thornton & Lowe team.

Ralph Powell

Business Development Director

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