They also were extremely savvy about the world of Procurement in the Public sector for example :-
"As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind: Every part of this capsule was supplied by the lowest bidder.
John Glenn, first American in Space
The new trains promised by winning bidder First West Coast Ltd will travel at somewhat more modest speeds but the company has promised:-
- 11 new 125 mph six-car electric trains on the Birmingham-to-Glasgow route and provide more direct services between destinations.
- Additional Pendolino tilting trains and they promise will deliver more than 28,000 seats a day.
Such challenges are high risk of course.
|A sketch of the dissapointed fencer|
We have all been there.
You put together a bid involving a massive amount of time and talent for a competitive bid and then get the disappointing news that we have lost.
|extract from a UK Government Advice booklet|
for SMEs bidding for Public Sector work
There may be some lessons for SMEs in Sir Richard throwing down his gauntlet in this duel with the Department for Transport.
Virgin are now likely to ask for a judicial review.
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: "We are in receipt of a letter from Virgin Trains which is a precursor to legal action. We are reviewing the correspondence. The Department is confident in the process it undertook and the decision made in awarding the West Coast franchise."
This cause has been subsequently been taken up by Her Majesty's opposition - the Labour Party.
"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey.
It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all.
When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."
Time will only tell whether Sir Richard Branson ( Virgin Trains ) or Tim O'Toole ( First Group) will be the Shin a Lam or Britta Heidemann and whether the Department for Transport (under pressure from Parliament) will be the clock resetting referree in this duel for the West Coast line.
The Committee can consider any subject for debate, including those raised in e-petitions, but an MP must make the case for their consideration.
More information about the Committee is available on its website http://www.parliament.uk/bbcom