Alan Connolly and Conor Nolan have built Allpro from the ground up into one of Ireland’s leading facilities management companies, supplying services to many state bodies.
“We’ve gone from zero to a company that now employs more than 500 people,” explains Alan, who is head of sales as well as the company’s co-founder. “AllPro was founded in 2002 by Alan Connolly and Conor Nolan, and we initially took off by taking on contracts that other people just didn’t want.”
Headquartered in Oranmore, Co Galway, Allpro provides services including security, cleaning, maintenance, washroom and sanitary services, consumables, and landscaping and grounds maintenance. The company boasts a range of corporate as well as public clients all over the country.
As the holder of contracts with many state bodies, Alan is clearly a man who knows his way around a public tender – but he freely admits this wasn’t always the case. In the early years, he knew that Allpro was not reaching its full potential in terms of the number of contracts and the type of contracts that the business won.
“We have applied for tenders for some time and always had some success,” says Alan, “but I suppose you’d say we always lacked that bit of strategy and direction. We worked with other tendering companies but were never really happy with what we got from them.”
Tenders: A Necessary Evil?
For Alan, tenders were a necessary evil. But when he got in touch with TenderScout, what had been a pain point quickly became a steadier source of business for the company.
“I’ve been writing tenders since 2004 and, to be perfectly honest, I hated them,” says Alan. “However, TenderScout has completely taken the pain out of the process for us – the way they work with us and their knowledge when it comes to tendering is just unparalleled.”
It’s safe to say Alan was not alone in his negative feelings towards the tendering process – it can be complicated, time-consuming and costly, and companies can flounder in their efforts to structure and present their bids. What TenderScout does is combine tendering expertise with technology to make the process easier and significantly increase the chances of winning a contract.
In fact, TenderScout’s clients win between 50% and 70% of the tenders they bid for, compared with the 20% to 26% success rate for non-clients who regularly tender.
So, for Alan and Allpro, TenderScout was the perfect fit. “When I met the TenderScout team, I knew I had found what I was looking for,” says Alan. “I am a salesman and I like to do things face to face. With tenders, you need to be able to perfectly articulate your selling points in written form and that’s where TenderScout are a class apart. And I knew that as soon as I met them.”
Qualification is a key part of the process
Qualification is a crucial part of TenderScout’s model – companies only go after contracts that are a good fit for them, and don’t waste time and energy on tenders they’ve little chance of winning, or are not profitable enough to be worth their while.
“With the platform and working with the TenderScout team, we’ve learned to focus on tenders that make the most sense for our business,” says Alan. “You might say ‘less is more’ to a certain extent. “Beforehand, we focused purely on winning tenders with very little thought put into what the actual profit margin was in each specific case and whether or not the contract would be healthy for our business. However, with TenderScout, we now analyse tenders based on which would be the most economically advantageous – basically, which make the most sense for our business.”
Alan’s relationship with tendering is now much more confident – because he knows TenderScout, with all its expertise, has got his back. “We are not immune to error,” he says. “When you get successful in tendering, you can get complacent and sometimes we still make silly errors and drop the ball. But whenever those sorts of incidents occur, TenderScout comes right into action for us and do everything they can to put it right.”
When it comes to recommending the TenderScout service to other businesses seeking to win tenders, Alan couldn’t be more emphatic.
“I would absolutely, unequivocally recommend TenderScout to any business that is considering taking tenders seriously. They are undoubtedly top of class in their field and their team are extraordinarily reliable, professional and just a pleasure to work with.
“We are now competing for at least one tender a week so, we are certainly keeping Tony and his team busy!”