I was travelling to a meeting when the traffic began to slow. Eventually we all came to a halt; and waited. After a while an ambulance sped down the outside of the line of stationary traffic, confirming my suspicion that there was probably an accident ahead.
After almost half an hour we started to move forward slowly until we approached the scene. A car had left the car and demolished a fence. A man, who I presumed to be the driver, was receiving treatment by the side of the road. Thankfully, he didn’t seem badly hurt. Unfortunately I could see there was another victim and tragically, she was obviously dead.
The circumstances seemed clear. Breaking the fence down had allowed at least one cow to stray onto the road. She had been hit by a lorry coming around the corner from the other direction and now she lay lifeless in the road. We all passed by slowly – it seemed only right.
My meeting went ahead, albeit much later than planned. A few hours later I passed the same spot on my way home. The car, the lorry and the cow had gone. Skid marks on the road were the only indication that something had happened there earlier.
I got home safely and, to be honest, I didn’t give it any more thought. Well, not until I started working with a small family business that wanted to tender for a contract with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), worth around £0.5million, that is.
Using their specialist lifting gear and lorries designed for the purpose, they would be transporting animal carcasses to one of a regionalised network of licensed disposal sites spread across the country. Usually collected from farms, most of these animals would have died of natural causes. But the work also included animals infected by disease and slaughtered on the instructions of DEFRA: or as a result of culling: or those that had been victims of road traffic accidents. The image of the dead cow lying in the road flashed across my eyes and I realised I hadn’t given any thought to how the cow had been removed from the scene of the accident.
This small company is one of the few that are taking advantage of the willingness of public sector organisations and Government departments to award a significant amount of business to SMEs.
They recognised that winning this contract represented a major growth opportunity for their previously localised business. But they also recognised that they lacked the resources and the expertise to deal with the daunting pile of paperwork and apparently complicated processes they would have to navigate to win the contract. Drawing on their knowledge and experience, we were able to compile a winning tender submission for them.
With the prospect of continuing reductions in Government funding, more outsourcing to the private sector is inevitable. Forward-thinking companies looking for growth opportunities should be looking at this area closely.
Just like the business in this example, if your company has the capability to take on the work but the processes that you have to pass through to win it simply look too complicated, why not engage a consultancy to do the work for you? Can you afford to allow major opportunities to grow your business continue to pass you by?
Member since: 6th August 2015
Locally-based, Kelvin is a Business Communications Consultant with www.eXceeding.co.uk, the business services provider.
In a successful career, he has held senior positions in retail operations with some...