AM BID, Scotland’s largest bid and tender specialist, is pleased to report further rapid growth during its fifth year of trading.
Turnover to the year-end September 30, 2019, was up £169,000 to sit at £898,000, an increase of 23% (net profit remains positive).
The company is happy to note this has been achieved with no external financing and the business remains completely debt-free, with no bad debt across the five years.
Staff numbers also continued to grow with 12 employees now based in Scotland and England. There is also a pool of 25 experienced Bidding Associates located throughout the UK and Ireland who provide increased capacity during busy periods.
2018-19 saw continued governance via the Board which is led by David Sole OBE in the Non-Executive Chairman role. The Board met quarterly setting the strategic direction for the business and reviewing both business and financial performance.
In addition to David Sole, the Board comprised: Andrew Morrison (majority owner and Managing Director), Emma Morrison (minority owner and Company Secretary), David Gray (Bid Development Director), Alasdair Oliphant (Head of Operations) and the company’s accountant (Christa Cameron of Cameron & Co of Haddington).
To assist with the strategic development of the company, 2018-19 saw the establishment of a Senior Management Team with the appointment of an additional two senior managers. Andrew Loughlin joined the business from Babcock International Group on 8th October 2018 in the Head of Bids role, with Alasdair Oliphant joining from The City of Edinburgh Council on 3rd January 2019 as Head of Operations.
Looking ahead, business opportunities remain strong as the company continues to grow and deepen its client base, with owner Andrew Morrison targeting at least 25% growth in 2019-20 with a greater focus on profitability.
He said: “Whilst there are continuing political and economic uncertainties around Brexit, the make-up of future UK Governments which may either increase or decrease the amount of public sector tendering and the possibility of a second Scottish independence referendum, we remain of the view that the future for outsourced bidding services remains strong.
“There are unlikely to be any material changes to public sector procurement in the short to medium-term and there is evidence that the private sector is adopting an increasingly procurement-led approach to its sourcing of goods and services.
“As many organisations move away from direct employment of support services, including bidding, we see opportunities to grow our customer base.
“We are also further developing our services in both funding applications (assisting organisations to obtain external funding e.g. from Innovate UK and Scottish Enterprise) and award submission writing.
“It is intended that Board-level employee directors will be given the opportunity to purchase shares in the company providing the business with both additional capital for investment and greater long-term buy-in from business-critical senior executives.”
The business places a high premium on continuing professional development and holds Corporate Membership with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP UK) – which is recognised as the professional body for the bid world.
In November 2018, all permanent members of staff (and three Associates) successfully attained professional bid qualifications. For the past three years, different members of the AM Bid team have been invited to deliver presentations at the industry’s annual best practice conference held in London.
AM Bid has also continued to win awards, lifting the APMP UK Award for People Development in October 2019. This prestigious award is important peer recognition by the bidding industry’s professional certifying body of AM Bid’s ongoing commitment to personal development across the business and the enhancement of the capability of people involved in bids and proposals.
In March 2019, David Gray was recognised by his professional peer group at APMP by being included in their coveted global ‘Top 40-Under-40’ class of 2019 award recipients.
Andrew Morrison was named for the 3rd successive year in the shortlist for the Director of the Year Award at Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce (February 2019) and as an Award Finalist at the Causeway Ireland Scotland Business Exchange Awards in the Inspirational Business Leader category (September 2019).
As indicated in last year’s Directors’ Report, a clear succession plan has been in place for some time. This came to fruition on 1st October 2019 with David Gray taking over as the Managing Director. Andrew Morrison moved into a newly-created Business Development Director role to focus on continuing to grow and scale the business.
The business also moved into offices for the first time, setting up its Scottish HQ at the new WeWork facility at 80 George Street, Edinburgh. The move coincided with a change in the company’s accountants to a larger Edinburgh-based firm, Thomson Cooper. Carrie Campbell, a Thomson Cooper partner, joined the Board on 1st October 2019.