Welcoming Lisa Chan – Bid Manager
It’s been a few weeks since Lisa Chan started in our London office as Bid Manager. We caught up with Lisa to see how she is getting on…
Lisa, you have been with us for a few weeks now, how’s it going?
It has been crazy hectic, it’s only been a few weeks and there is a lot I want to do. I’ve worked at several companies before but have not experienced team culture like at Charles Edward, I actually look forward to going to work in the mornings now. No more ‘Miserable Mondays’!
Over the past few years it seems bids are becoming more and more competitive leading to hard copy submissions becoming more elaborate with some companies running full in-house design teams. Do you think this trend will continue?
Absolutely! Most companies will need an in-house design team where the brand is controlled. This trend will continue because its difficult to automate creativity, to deliver a bespoke bid where you have really got to know the client and to then manifest that in the document really does require a human touch. Proposals are your first impression – whoever is on the other end will see your document more times than you and your company. So, that is why companies are spending more on their bids, proposals, and tenders. Wouldn’t you rather look at something that is visually compelling with infographics that quickly draw out the key information than a standard A4 Word document full of page after page of body text?
Time management is absolutely key to a successful bid – can you let us in on some of your secrets for managing the time between receiving a bid and submission?
Time management is definitely a key factor in the success of a bid but the secret is having a joined-up thinking team and having project management and leadership skills. Without both it’s very hard to compile a bid by yourself (unless it’s a small job). Think of it like creating a magazine in a small amount of time. Most of that time is spent by individuals researching, reporting, writing, fact-checking, and editing (and on the art side, design concepting, photo research and assignments, and colour work). A proposal is very similar in that you have all the different elements from estimating, design, logistics, supply chain, sustainability to health and safety, all which have their own sections but need to be compiled so as to read as one voice.
What was your most successful bid to date, and how did it feel when you found out you were successful?!
My most successful bid was for the Royal Household – Buckingham Palace. It felt like getting my first A+ all over again, it gives a natural buzz when your brain releases endorphins. After a while the feeling wears off and you want more…
What words of advice would you give to a graduate thinking of getting into construction, based on your experience?
Construction is a very fragmented industry. Get some work experience or internships if you can and try to see the many sides of the construction industry – there is a very creative side emerging in the bid management and marketing areas. If you are a design or architecture graduate and don’t know what pathway to take, I would recommend trying construction.
And some quick fire questions…
What’s your spirit animal?
A Pallas’ cat.
What’s the last Netflix series you binge watched?
Ozark and The Adventures of Sabrina just before I started at Charles Edward, I’m currently on Sons of Anarchy!
Would you let us hook up your ‘Recently Played’ list on Spotify to the office speakers?
Probably not… I’ve been listening to Hamilton, Westworld and GoT theme music.
And lastly what are you known for in the office?
I’m the only person that likes Hawaiian pizza… I’m allergic to peanuts and dislike any kind of sauce.
Thanks Lisa, we are off to Google what a Pallas’ Cat is… all the best in the new role!