Celebrating 10 Years in Business
Publication Date: 12 September, 2016, 00:00
Intend Business Development - owned by Gill Joy and Joeke Abbing - has acquired an enviable reputation in the field of public tendering.
Typically focusing on where they are going rather than where they have come from, Gill who looks after the Scottish arm of the company and Rotterdam-based Joeke are currently working towards delivering a support programme for Dutch companies to obtain business at international institutions such as the World Bank, European Commission, UN and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), co-funded by the Dutch Government. They are also expanding their work in Scotland, funded by local authorities and Business Gateway, to assist small and medium sized enterprises to win more national and international contracts.
As evidenced by the feedback on their website: http://www.intend-eu.com/ Intend’s customer care is highly valued by clients in Scotland and across the EU.
Said Gill: “We are one of only a very few European consultancy companies providing tendering support nationally and internationally. We started with helping a few renowned Dutch companies winning tenders in Holland and internationally. We are still working for most of those customers today. From there we have been able to build up a stable client base, not only in Scotland and the Netherlands, but in various countries including Ireland, Germany, Belgium and Hungary.”
With regard to the recent UK Brexit decision, she noted that it is: “business as usual” for the moment in terms of the regulations that companies have to abide by in tendering. However, she added: “Many of our small business clients receive subsidised tender support via EU-funded schemes and these may not continue once the exit process starts. We also cannot predict what this process will bring in terms of procurement (legislation) issues and whether it might be more difficult for UK businesses to apply for EU opportunities. Obviously, we will closely follow the developments and act if and when required.”
Since Intend’s early days, several hundred SMEs, large corporates and third sector clients have received support from Intend through national training programmes and in-company training. The company’s portfolio continues to expand and now encompasses all businesses sectors.
“We offer consultancy support at all stages of the tender process, from finding opportunities to market analysis, getting tender documents and teams prepared, reviews and training,” explained Gill.
Relationships and collaboration are key to the company’s success as they adapt to economic conditions and changing legislation, on both sides of the North Sea.
Said Joeke: “We are proud to say that most of our clients find us through word of mouth recommendations. We often start with helping out on a specific tender and from there we are asked to help out on their more general business development goals. For example, we have recently been asked to help clients with developing policies on sustainability and diversity and to carry out market research and analyse which public sector opportunities exist, in other countries, for their particular business.”
In Scotland, Gill has, for several years, been working with associate Gavin Tosh from Clerwood Legal Services, delivering training for companies seeking to bid as a consortium, funded by Scottish Enterprise. From that grew work for them as advisers on the Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) programme, helping organisations set up a co-operative consortium to tender or to buy together. Successes to date include co-operatives for marketing, IT, graphic design and educational software.
“We are currently delivering a range of procurement workshops throughout Scotland for the Supplier Development Programme (SDP),” she explained.
For Joeke and Gill and the rest of the Intend team, the adage ‘think global, act local,” underpins everything they do in driving change and improvements both in their own company and in the many hundreds of businesses, here and in Europe, which have benefitted from their vision and commitment.
“This important 10-year milestone, which also marks our move into new offices in Stirling and Rotterdam, is something we want to celebrate and share with our clients,” said Joeke.