Client: G4S

G4S is a leading security services provider with a track record of winning but even successful companies need additional help for that must win bid.


G4S is a global, integrated security company specialising in the delivery of security and related services to customers across six continents. It has revenues of almost £7 billion per annum. Bidding for work is part of what G4S does and it is very successful at securing work through competitive tenders. Even a company as successful at bidding as G4S sometimes needs additional help and since 2011, The Bid Team has provided that help to the Care and Justice division.

The Care and Justice division of G4S accounts for 5% of its global revenues and provides custody, detention, rehabilitation and care services primarily in the UK and Australia. In 2010, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced that it was looking for companies to bid to operate a series of new build prisons; to market test the operation of publicly operated prisons and to re-compete some of the privately-operated prisons. This competition was later to be known as Prison Competition Phase One (PCP1). This announcement had been widely discussed by the MOJ and represented the first stage in a multi-stage revamping of prison operations in the UK. PCP1 was identified by G4S as a must win programme and it needed a dedicated team to produce several bids for what was a four-stage procurement exercise.

The G4S Care and Justice division had the domain expertise to provide the technical content and vision for the PCP1 implementation. They identified a need for additional bid direction, bid writing and production of the graphics. They engaged The Bid Team to provide these services over a period of 10 months. The team we provided flexed up and down as the various stages proceeded. The flexibility of resource meant that G4S could secure bidding resource only when it was needed without having people “sitting around” at quiet times. The bid direction was provided throughout the bidding stages and included the bid strategy, bid storyboarding and mid-bid reviews of technical content. G4S were awarded the following three prisons as a result of this procurement:

Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Birmingham. The first prison in the UK to be transferred from public to private operation. This required the transfer of almost 500 people and a complex mobilisation of the whole prison estate.

HMP Oakwood. The first of a series of new build super-prisons that was still under construction and needed to be phased in to operation.

HMP Buckly Hall. A small prison that had been in private operation and was now in public operation. G4S chose not to take up this contract due to the mobilisation commitments of HMP Birmingham and HMP Oakwood.

The award of three prisons and the agreement to operate two of them represented a significant win for the whole G4S bid team. The Bid Team, as a strategic partner to G4S, played a part in this win but it was down to the hard work and commitment of all involved.

Bidding Services

Clearly after such a significant win, all were very keen to preserve a winning combination of G4S domain expertise and the bidding expertise offered by The Bid Team. Over the last seven years we have helped G4S develop its own internal bid teams and now provide advice and guidance on key bids at the bid director level. This has helped G4S reduce the cost of bidding as it continues to develop its own bidding capabilities. Many of the people involved in the original PCP1 bid are now senior members of the G4S central bid team. This was always a strategic objective of G4S and we facilitated knowledge transfer through both training programmes and mentoring schemes. Some of the significant bids that we have supported G4S on are:

Gatwick Immigration Removal Centres. The Bid Team provided full bid strategy and writing review for the rebid of the Gatwick centres.

HMP & YOI Parc. The Bid Team supported a bid by G4S to expand HMP & YOI Parc. This was a major expansion. The Bid Team provided writing and graphics support for this successful tender.

HMP Northumberland. This was a proposed merger of two prisons, HMP Acklington and HMP Castington. This was run under the Prison Competition Phase Two (PCP2) process and The Bid Team provided direction, management, writing and graphics. G4S came first in the technical scoring for this bid.

HMP Onley and HMP Wolds. Two bids run under PCP2 fully supported by The Bid Team. G4S scored first in the technical evaluation.

HMP Yorkshire. This was a cluster bid for HMP & YOI Moorland, HMP & YOI Hatfield and HMP Lindholme. The Bid Team provided full support under PCP2. G4S came first in the technical scoring for this bid.

MOJ – Electronic Monitoring. When the MOJ re-competed the Electronic Monitoring contracts, G4S hired The Bid Team to lead the work developing the operational solution. We provided bid management, writing and document management for three lots within this complex bid.

North East Prison Health Service. G4S provide health services to prisons in the North East of England on behalf of the NHS. The Bid Team provided bid strategy review to the team preparing this re-bid.

Prisoner Escorting. The Scottish Government running under similar procurement rules to the MOJ market tested the escorting of prisoners between prisons and to and from courts. The Bid Team provided full bid support to this successful bid including the writing, editing and graphics for technical content.

Bid Functions Provided

For G4S we have provided almost the full range of bid service from strategic bid direction to drive the key themes of the bid; bid management to ensure deliverables are met; bid writing and bid graphics to turn technical content in to bid copy; and reviewing the submission mid-bid to ensure that the bid strategy was being implemented.

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