Bid teams of the world, listen up. This is your story. In this compelling Huddle case study, we go behind the scenes of the Go-Ahead Group to find out how one of the UK’s leading operators of public transport franchises works on bids released by the Government.

Using Huddle, the Go-Ahead Group’s bids for rail franchises stay on the rails. Collaboration, security, version control, and knowledge management are helping the company to simplify the bid management process.

Let the bidding begin

It begins when a bid is issued. Go-Ahead needs to bring together a mix of specialist skills, including internal Go-Ahead staff, consultants and specialists. Responding to an invitation to tender launches an intense period, during which the company must capture the work streams, draft documents, research and create a final submission for The Department for Transport.

Prior to Huddle, the challenges were two-fold. First, to retain post-bid knowledge. Go-Ahead works with many consultants, but once the bid process was complete, that experience and thinking was lost as individuals moved to other projects. The second was version control. With so many people working on one document, it could get very confusing, very quickly. Which the right version? Where was the document in the editing process? Who had responsibility for it?

Go-Ahead’s go-to solution for collaboration used to be a shared drive, but the team found it to be unwieldy and cumbersome.

The IT department were already in discussions with Huddle, and once the platform was implemented Go-Ahead set up three distinct workspaces. The first was for knowledge management: a central reference library for all staff. Now, when new documents are uploaded, staff are notified via Huddle.

The second was pre-qualification. This is a workspace dedicated to the first part of the bidding process when Go-Ahead must write a submission based on limited criteria before it is invited to respond to the bid in full. Go-Ahead wanted to keep this area discreet from the dedicated bid team to avoid confusion. Here, the company stores information that relates to the prequalification stage, such as company results, and people can be sure they are accessing the latest version.

The third workspace is dedicated to the bidding process. Work streams are created for each author responding to a different part of the bid. Once the individual elements of the bid have been created, the final submission can then be worked on. Editors are also able to lock files down so that only the production team has access at this stage, creating more control over the current version and who owns it. The audit trail also enables users to see who made amends last.

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