We love working for challengers
You are our people

Challengers are our people. From companies challenging the legacy providers, family businesses taking on industry giants, and management buyouts forging their path. 

We help them position, execute, and grow by honing their strengths and overcoming credibility gaps. Our track record includes supporting a start-up BPO to IPO, propelling a family-held construction company to $1 billion in revenues, and assisting startups to pivot and re-focus. Check out some stories from the front lines.

The Challenge

This upward trajectory unlocked opportunities for high-value, multi-year contracts worth over £200 million. These opportunities, however, pitted Octavius against corporate giants in the sector, with their deep pockets, vast resources, and significant investment in research, development, and innovation. Now our client was in direct competition with public limited companies that had years of experience delivering results at scale for quasi-public sector bodies funded directly by government departments. While our client had some brand presence, they were mostly known as a reliable second-tier contractor with a less pronounced profile in leadership and innovation.

This challenger brought us in with a mission: help them secure a share of a $2.5bn five-year rail contract.

What We Delivered

Ground Xero  Positionin

F2F
Mid the Gap
ReBrand

Produce High Quality Content

Website
Data-driven content planning
Creative ideation
Editorial
Graphics
Infographics
Sales enablement collateral
Web development
Marketing automation set up
Campaign management:
Social engagement
Database building

Email marketing
Newsletter engagement
Landing page development

Drive Digital Engagement

Data analytics
Performance metrics

Bids Supported

n/a

The Impact

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Name

Title

The SaaS Challenger

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The Challenge

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

What We Delivered

Ground Xero  Positionin

F2F
Mid the Gap
ReBrand

Produce High Quality Content

Website
Data-driven content planning
Creative ideation
Editorial
Graphics
Infographics
Sales enablement collateral
Web development
Marketing automation set up
Campaign management:
Social engagement
Database building

Email marketing
Newsletter engagement
Landing page development

Drive Digital Engagement

Data analytics
Performance metrics

Bids Supported

n/a

The Impact

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation

Name

Title

The Challenge

This upward trajectory unlocked opportunities for high-value, multi-year contracts worth over £200 million. These opportunities, however, pitted Octavius against corporate giants in the sector, with their deep pockets, vast resources, and significant investment in research, development, and innovation. Now our client was in direct competition with public limited companies that had years of experience delivering results at scale for quasi-public sector bodies funded directly by government departments. While our client had some brand presence, they were mostly known as a reliable second-tier contractor with a less pronounced profile in leadership and innovation.

This challenger brought us in with a mission: help them secure a share of a $2.5bn five-year rail contract.

What we loved to see about this challenger

  • An unparalleled commitment to client satisfaction that was uncommon in the sector.
  • Deep-rooted innovation in processes, technology, and machinery,
    though often hidden within everyday operations.
  • A collaborative approach and willingness to be flexible and open to new ideas.

What We Delivered

Ground Xero Positioning

F2F
Close the Gap

Rebrand

Produce High Quality Content

Website
Data-driven content planning
Creative ideation
Editorial

Graphics
Infographics
Sales enablement collateral
Web development
Marketing automation set up
Campaign management:
Social engagement
Database building

Email marketing
Newsletter engagement
Landing page development

Drive Digital Engagement

Data analytics
Performance metrics

Bids Supported

Network Rail CP7 Southern Integrated Delivery (SID) Southern Region Electification and Plant

Network Rail Wales and Western CP7 Renewals Framework

Connect Plus M25 Motorway Network Improvements Call Off Framework Agreement (COFA 3 and 2)

Highways England CDF M5 Junction 6 RIS Improvement Scheme

Highways England Regional Delivery Partnership Delivery Integration Partnerships (DIP)

Midlands Highways Alliance (MHA) Framework 

Network Rai CP6 Southern Multi-Disciplinary Framework

Network Rail CP6  Wales and Western Civils Framework

Eastern Highways Alliance Framework 3 and 2

Highways England Scheme Delivery Framework (SDF)

Highways England Concrete Roads Framework (JV)

Transport for London, London Rail Infrastructure Improvement Framework

Network Rail CP5 Southern IP Civils Framework Bids

Network Rail CP5 Wales and Western Civils Framework

Highways Agency Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF)

Connect Plus Lifecycle Renewals (M25) Framework 2016

Gatwick Airport Limited Construction Framework

M27 Romsey Road Bridge Replacement

M271 Redbridge Roundabout Improvements

What We Did

Our approach included extensive research on the competitors and profiling their offerings, resulting in a gap analysis between Octavius and the legacy providers. We evaluated the existing framework of operations, uncovering significant inefficiencies, outdated work methods, and less-than-satisfactory client outcomes, particularly regarding the speed of project initiation.

Working together to challenge the status quo we soon discovered that revolutionizing the process didn’t require a novel invention. By streamlining operations, we could facilitate quicker project kick-offs, uphold rigorous standards, and boost efficiency, and keep the rail client in the driving seat.

For the bid, we transformed the working framework between the contractor and the client, dismantling myths and antiquated practices. This was done at a deeply granular level to instill confidence in our offer.

What we continue to do

Market analysis, competitor research, bid and framework renewal, solution development, training, coaching and mentoring.

The Impact

Octavius won the five-year framework, valued at £200m. Together we have won the renewal of this framework since. After being acquired by a private equity firm, they are now actively in growth and acquisition mode.

“Ten years on ShineX keep adding value, from positioning our offerings, entering new markets, and winning new clients. They supported us from when we were a division within a contractor to now an independent, high-growth company.”

John Dowsett,

CEO

The Infrastructure Challenger

Andrew Scott Ltd (ASL) is a prominent force in both Civil Engineering and Building. Established in 1970 and based in Port Talbot, South Wales, they deliver complex design and build projects across the United Kingdom while remaining fiercely proud of their Welsh roots.

The Challenge

During our discovery period with the pre-construction team, it became evident that while they had achieved consistent year-on-year growth, they had a history of losing key framework bids due to the quality of their submissions rather than commercial factors. 

Ongoing client feedback indicated, “You possess exceptional technical expertise, but you fail to effectively convey this in your quality submissions.” They required assistance in bringing about a substantial improvement in their bidding approach. This involved upskilling their existing teams, conducting thorough research on clients and competitors to inform the development and articulation of their solutions and added value innovations, and implementing a robust control process for response development, review, and approval.

What we loved to see about this challenger

  • An unparalleled commitment to client satisfaction that was uncommon in the sector.
  • Deep-rooted innovation in processes, technology, and machinery,
    though often hidden within everyday operations.
  • A willingness to be flexible and open to new ideas.

What We Delivered

Ground Xero Positioning

F2F
Mid the Gap
Brand

Produce High Quality Content

Website
Data-driven content planning
Creative ideation
Editorial

Graphics
Infographics
Sales enablement collateral
Web development
Marketing automation set up
Campaign management:
Social engagement
Database building

Email marketing
Newsletter engagement
Landing page development

Drive Digital Engagement

Data analytics
Performance metrics

Bids Supported

Haverford West Public Transport Interchange

South-east & mid-Wales highways and civil engineering framework

Portfield School Pembrokeshire County Council

South Wales Industrial Transition from Carbon Hub (SWITCH)

South West Wales Regional Civil Engineering Contractors Framework

Swansea Valley Primary School and New Swimming Pool Development

Network Rail Maintenance Delivery Unit

South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework – Lot 3b East Plot 3 Cross hands D+B of three industrial units Carmarthenshire

Pentre Awel – 5 distinct buildings comprising a wet sports facility, dry sports facility and health building

Etex Project Faith Bristol – Processing plant redevelopment

Lee Valley Ice Centre facility in the London borough of Waltham Forrest

Digital Hub Swansea D+B of 71 and 72 The Kingsway,

Cardigan Secondary School Extension & Refurbishment – Design & Build

Ysgol Gwenllian Kidwelly. New two-storey Primary School 

What we did

We have cultivated a robust working relationship across all aspects of pre-construction and bidding, including pursuit planning, research, strategy development, solution development and answer planning workshops as well as writing, formal reviews and graphic design and production. Throughout this journey, we supported ASL in establishing a foundational library, accumulated success stories, implemented a structured written response approach, refined their communication process, and supported their internal bid team to gain the confidence and capability to for their day-to-day bidding requirements. 

This collaboration has evolved progressively, commencing with individual project and framework assistance, and moving on to strategic framework opportunities.

The Impact

  • A substantial increase in ASL’s bid-specific articulation of their proposals and solutions, leading to a higher win rate on strategic targets and framework opportunities – reflected in formal quality / technical response scoring
  • Internal capacity building of the pre-construction teams and supply chain through formal and ‘on the bid’ learning and development
  • Compete with and beat legacy competitors nationwide

Working with ShineX demanded a lot from us – innovative solutions, better-defined client outcomes, going to a level of detail that took a lot of time and investment. It’s radically changed how we approach work winning and we look forward to winning the next one together.

Name

Title

The Challenge

This driven and ambitious BPO closed a small deal with a unicorn-in-the-making. Within nano-seconds, the unicorn went into hyper-scale and grew the BPO to thousands of FTEs in one year.

This opened huge opportunities but also brought the Challenger BPO head-to-head with formidable legacy competitors and their war chest of investment, systems, people, and support.

Our client had a clear path to growth and knew the next stage was to capture more unicorns. Now though, the stakes were different. They would have to win in competition against bigger, older, wiser BPOs that had been around the block many times.

The gap was stark:

The Gap Established BOPs Challenger
PCI compliance in placeValue ✔ X
ISO accreditation in place ✔ X
SoC compliance in place ✔ X
Recruitment process outlined and articulated ✔ X
LMS and training approach outlined and articulated ✔ X
Business Continuity Plan defined and articulated ✔ X
WFM plan defined and articulated ✔ X

To be 100% clear – of course, our challenger was very successfully delivering all
of the above. Of course, they were operating with PCI compliance – they just hadn’t been through the accreditation process. You don’t get to deliver hyper-scale and not be good at recruitment, onboarding, and all of the other functions of running a BPO.

The lack of an articulated process was getting in the way of closing deals with their Unicorn targets.

What We Delivered

Ground Xero  Positionin

F2F
Mid the Gap
ReBrand

Produce High Quality Content

Website
Data-driven content planning
Creative ideation
Editorial
Graphics
Infographics
Sales enablement collateral
Web development
Marketing automation set up
Campaign management:
Social engagement
Database building

Email marketing
Newsletter engagement
Landing page development

Drive Digital Engagement

Data analytics
Performance metrics

Bids Supported

Proactive pursuit
of seven Unicorns.
RFP responses to 15 bids

What we did

  • F2F – Focused them as challenger to big box BPO. We moved with speed to close the gap.
  • What we didn’t have in process we made up for with smart strategy, innovative solutions and energy.
  • Mind the Gap – We harvested a ton of raw data – harvesting decks, screenshots, tech spec sheets, whiteboards – whatever we could find.
  • Over hundreds of hours, we interviewed tens of people across multiple time zones and got what we needed to build the end-to-end operating system that was the foundation of their knowledge base that was needed to build winning proposals.
  • Won X RFPs. Drove x.
  • Developed pursuit strategies, pitched to seven Unicorns. We supported them to convert three.
  • We helped design, recruit and train their bid department.
  • Revamped the brand.
  • Rewrote and designed the website.

The Impact

We moved with speed to close the gap. What we didn’t have in process we made up for with smart strategy, innovative solutions and energy in under 13 years:

Valued at $1bn+

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Name

Title

In reprehenderit in voluptate

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The Challenge

This driven and ambitious BPO closed a small deal with a unicorn-in-the-making. Within nano-seconds, the unicorn went into hyper-scale and grew the BPO to thousands of FTEs in one year.

This opened huge opportunities but also brought the Challenger BPO head-to-head with formidable legacy competitors and their war chest of investment, systems, people, and support.

Our client had a clear path to growth and knew the next stage was to capture more unicorns. Now though, the stakes were different. They would have to win in competition against bigger, older, wiser BPOs that had been around the block many times.

The gap was stark:

The Gap Established BOPs Challenger
PCI compliance in placeValue ✔ X
ISO accreditation in place ✔ X
SoC compliance in place ✔ X
Recruitment process outlined and articulated ✔ X
LMS and training approach outlined and articulated ✔ X
Business Continuity Plan defined and articulated ✔ X
WFM plan defined and articulated ✔ X

To be 100% clear – of course, our challenger was very successfully delivering all
of the above. Of course, they were operating with PCI compliance – they just hadn’t been through the accreditation process. You don’t get to deliver hyper-scale and not be good at recruitment, onboarding, and all of the other functions of running a BPO.

The lack of an articulated process was getting in the way of closing deals with their Unicorn targets.

What We Delivered

Ground Xero  Positionin

F2F
Mid the Gap
ReBrand

Produce High Quality Content

Website
Data-driven content planning
Creative ideation
Editorial
Graphics
Infographics
Sales enablement collateral
Web development
Marketing automation set up
Campaign management:
Social engagement
Database building

Email marketing
Newsletter engagement
Landing page development

Drive Digital Engagement

Data analytics
Performance metrics

Bids Supported

Proactive pursuit
of seven Unicorns.
RFP responses to 15 bids

What we did

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo

The Impact

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Name

Title