One of Tendup’s unique strengths is their team’s diversified presence across Australia. Take Proposal Manager, Nicole Dunbar – who went from city slicker to competitive horse rider all while building an incredible career managing tenders.
Read more about her story below and how she prides herself on supporting bid journeys.
1. Can you tell us about your professional background and how you joined the Tendup team?
In the early 2000s I was living in Brisbane. I worked my way up to a sales team leader for a private health insurance company, and then became an account manager focused on the public sector for a large national employment and training organisation.
When bids become a critical part of my wheelhouse, I quickly realised crafting high quality tenders was a part of the role I was incredibly passionate about.
In 2010 (nearly 14 years ago!) my husband and I said goodbye to the city life and relocated to a beautiful small country town – about 2 hours from Brisbane.
I started doing freelancing work and built a successful career managing tenders and bids for a broad range of clients. In 2021, Kat and I connected on LinkedIn and we immediately felt our collaborative styles would be a good fit.
I’ve been a part of the Tendup team ever since!
2. How do you think your experience managing a wide range of proposals has strengthened Tendup’s bid management service offerings?
I have worked on bids across a range of industries from IT, employment services, resource management, construction, architecture, creative services and beyond. The beauty of this means I can slot right into our client’s team and understand their lingo and their processes. It’s something they really appreciate.
We understand our clients’ specific questions and work with them to get what they need. Our team’s role is to lighten the client workload, remove the stress from a project and support client teams by managing the response process.
3. How do you ensure that every bid is timely, compliant and delivers a high-quality response?
There’s a unique skill in looking at the question that’s being asked and understanding how to solve the ‘pain point’ behind the question. There is art and science behind answering all dimensions of a question – even better when done in a succinct manner.
We work with our clients to develop and tailor bids to specific win themes to draw out competitive differentiators and how the response will make them stand out. It’s about understanding who the other players are, what our client’s strengths are and how can we make their responses shine.
We work with a range of clients from global bid teams to SMEs. We understand the nuance between client requirements, industries and level of support required. The entire Tendup team prides ourselves on creating carefully crafted and beautifully designed responses.
As I like to say, “We are here for our clients from woah to go.”
4. Many of Tendup’s clients have several stakeholders working on different pieces of bid content. How do you streamline their submissions into one cohesive voice?
From architecture to tech clients, there’s often different companies and subcontractors contributing to a bid. Tendup brings these parties together, helping them to channel their focus into what they need to do. Harnessing creativity into a cohesive voice is an important part of the Tendup process.
At any given time, there can be multiple Tendup team members working on a bid. We love to bounce ideas off each other and collaborate on strategy.
A critical step in creating a cohesive voice is the single voice edit. Tendup has a dedicated editor, who builds this single voice review into the tender process. This review is an important step in the process, ensuring that contributions from a range of different content owners are pulled together into a strong and clear voice that represents the client brand, appeals to the language of the customer in the RFT documentation, incorporates appropriate industry terminology and is aligned with appropriate language style guides.
5. How do you think Tendup brings clarity to the complex proposal management process?
I like to think of us as the insiders who are the outsiders. We get deep into our client’s teams while also sitting on the outside, keeping the independent perspective. I think that brings clarity.
Depending on what the bid is – documentation can be really confronting: great rafts of schedules, annexures, attachments, draft contracts – it can be intimidating. If you are not experienced in reviewing and analysing Federal Government documents, they can be quite cumbersome.
Not only can we help the process, but we support our clients in building their understanding and capability. We take them along the journey – building their knowledge and confidence.
6. Where are you based and how do you feel your location helps bring a unique perspective to the business?
I’m lucky to live in a small regional Queensland town. I have immense gratitude that I can work remotely. Half of the year I travel and compete in professional horse sport called ‘cutting.’ It is a competition where my horse and I work together to demonstrate the horse’s athleticism, intelligence and training while we work cattle.
I am so blessed I get to work with amazing organisations that don’t care where I am physically located and that I’m likely working from inside my horse trailer. It’s based on the experience that I can provide to our clients and the outcomes I produce.
The Tendup team is spread across the ACT, NSW, Victoria and QLD. We’re a great example of the effectiveness of remote working and diverse mindsets!
7. It’s a typical Sunday morning – how do you start your day?
For anyone who’s been to Queensland, they’ll know the sun comes up early here in the summer. I always start my day with a few cups of coffee – essential for life. Then it’s time to run around and look after the animals; we have horses, cows, dogs, cats and a poddy calf named Norman.
I love spending time with the horses, keeping them fit, trained and healthy. Basically, just soaking up what regional Australia has to offer. It’s getting pretty dry again and there’s always work to be done around the property – if there’s one thing about country living, there is always something to do!
Meet the Tendup team
You can find out more about Tendup’s passionate team here.