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Embedding customer-centricity to win a large construction tender


The three joint venture (JV) partners (John Holland, CPB Contractors, and Ghella) have been involved in a series of tenders for Sydney Metro over the last years. After unfortunately not being awarded the most recent project, the JV partners engaged The Strategy Group to strategise on what needs to change in their tender process to maximise their chances of success with new Eastern Tunnelling Package (ETP) tender, adopting a more “client- & user-centric” approach.

“Thank you again for the tremendous support along the tender. It has truly been something new and refreshing for us as well, thanks to your guidance, which has undoubtedly played a big part in helping us to convey where our real value is.”

– Scott Connor, Construction Director, CPB Contractors


The Strategy Group developed and ran a strategy workshop with 25 members of the JV team, rebuilding them to be seen as the most competitive & innovative provider by Sydney Metro and NSW Government. The workshops had purpose in revitalising the tender process​, aligning participants around a common goal​ and reimagining ways of interacting with the client (design thinking)​.

Using an outside-in approach, The Strategy Group assisted in adopting new ways of engaging with client​, leveraging innovative digital solutions​, immersing participants in the problem to tackle​ and co-designing solutions with the client​.

Participation in knowledge transfer workshops with the client fostered an in-depth understanding of the JV partners existing relationship, providing a strong base for genuine strategy coaching.


The strategy workshops and coaching supported a shift in John Holland’s approach to tenders, finding innovative avenues to delight their client by putting them at the centre of their approach.

The outcomes from the project included:

  • Collected team inputs to craft the new tender strategy
  • Built a clear view of what the client needs and expects
  • Aligned the team around a purpose and unfair selling proposition (USP)
  • Trained the team to use customer-centric tips during client meetings
  • Participated and coached in document review
  • Developed a Miro board solution for Interactive engagement with the client
Design solutions that shatter assumptions, delight customers, and define growth possibilities sustainably

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