The business development function is key to the success of any organisation.
Sadly, within many construction businesses, it does not have the status of other functions, nor is sufficient management time afforded to it to ensure it is both effective and efficient by providing the appropriate opportunities to meet the strategic aims of the organisations. As a consequence, considerable unproductive and costly work is spent on tenders that the organisation is unlikely to secure and new markets and trends are not identified.
An effective business development function should have in place:
Our team at Leading Edge has extensive experience in both setting up and evaluating and developing the business development function and ensuring it is both effective and cost effective.
- Systems to identify all opportunities at an early stage and a filtering process to pursue only those works that are most appropriate
- Strategic account management process to develop and strengthen relationships with clients who will provide long term sustainable returns
- A bid management process that is structured, identifies client's key issues to be incorporated and 'personalises' pre-qualifications and bids
- Proper reporting procedures to inform management of client issues, market trends and other matters related to managing the business
- Staff who have the required competency, skills and training.
Evaluation and Restructuring
A CEO of a mjor company was concerned that the business development team, bid, marketing and communications teams were not operating effectively. He consequently requested that we review each function and put forward recommendations for reorganising the teams to achieve a fully integrated service to meet the strategic aims of the business.
A number of staff were interviewed to understand the issues and shortcomings from their perspective. An assessment of the existing systems, quality of bids, staff capability, as well as marketing and communication objectives was undertaken.
Based on these interviews and the review, it became evident that the systems and objectives of each function were not aligned - and there was little or no coordination between the functions or with operations. This had led to inappropriate opportunities being targeted and inconsistent messages being projected to both internal and external audiences. The review also identified training needs for the some of the staff.
Following presentation of the report, cross functional workshops were held to clarify key objectives for each team based on the aims of the company and to develop processes and systems, which allowed a holistic approach to be applied in all areas.
Within the business development function, opportunity and key account management systems were introduced, the bid management process refined and reporting/monitoring procedures introduced. Structured coordination was also introduced between the business development and operational functions to select and implement plans for targeting of key opportunities and to develop new products and services.
Within the communication function, clear plans were developed to improve information flow within the company. To raise the profile of the company external publications were developed, website reformatted and events held.
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