Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Analysis & Company Report - Con­tact Noel Brady T: 07834 191 692 E: W.

The per­sona of Noel Brady is the same in pri­vate as it is in pub­lic. The height (he stands at over six feet), well groomed head of pure white hair and a se­lec­tion of colour­ful glasses that would put Spec­savers to shame gives him a pres­ence that makes him both mem­o­rable and in­ter­est­ing.

"But this is me," Noel says. "I've al­ways been a big guy with a big per­son­al­ity. That's the way I am. Yes it helps when you're in sales and mar­ket­ing to have a mem­o­rable face or im­age, but the per­son be­hind the glasses is the same as the im­age: per­son­able, friendly, a bit quirky per­haps, but al­ways very fo­cussed on my clients."

It's these char­ac­ter­is­tics that have helped Noel be­come one of North­ern Ire­land's most recog­nis­able faces and build his very suc­cess­ful con­sul­tancy, Nb1, into what many lo­cal busi­nesses find is their first port of call when they need help with a spe­cific busi­ness prob­lem or when they are com­plet­ing a vi­tal pub­lic sec­tor ten­der.

But busi­ness wasn't Noel's first call­ing. Fresh from ed­u­ca­tion, he en­tered the Civil Ser­vice at the age of 17 as a cler­i­cal of­fi­cer..........

Noel, who worked in Ser­vice from 1975-1991, is clearly con­fi­dent that it was that ex­pe­ri­ence that proved in­valu­able in his sub­se­quent ca­reer. Dur­ing his time work­ing in ICT and pro­cure­ment he gained an un­der­stand­ing of ex­actly how the pub­lic sec­tor ticks, why ten­ders suc­ceed and fail, and set up a net­work of contacts that would be the foun­da­tion of his claim to­day that 'if some­body lives and breathes in North­ern Ire­land, I can reach out to them.' From the civil ser­vice Noel moved to CFM Group Ltd and ICL be­fore join­ing the newly formed SX3 as a founder Di­rec­tor ris­ing to the top spot of manag­ing di­rec­tor be­fore tak­ing the plunge in 2004 to set him­self up in his own busi­ness• Nbl - named sim­ply be­cause there is only one Noel Brady, so when you hire Nbl , you're hir­ing Noel. His clients have his un­di­vided at­ten­tion at all times. "I've built my busi­ness over the past thir­teen years by pro­vid­ing two very dis­tinct but equally as im­por­tant, ser­vices," Noel ex­plained. "First, be­cause of my pub­lic sec­tor ex­pe­ri­ence and train­ing I can help busi­nesses who are com­pet­ing in ten­ders. And as a strate­gic ad­vi­sor I can pro­vide ex­ec­u­tive sup­port ser­vices to a com­pany act­ing as an ex­tra Board Mem­ber with a spe­cific brief of sales and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment."

The art of Ten­der­ing

For any­body who has trudged through the reams of in­for­ma­tion re­quired to com­plete a ten­der, then cut their mar­gins to the bone to be sure to win it, only to be told that you were un­suc­cess­ful hav­ing failed by a few points, the very thought of com­plet­ing a pub­lic sec­tor ten­der is daunt­ing. Which is why it is very re­fresh­ing - if not a lit­tle un­usual - to have some­body tell you they love com­plet­ing ten­ders. But that is ex­actly what Noel says. "Ten­der­ing is an Art Form. I savour the chal­lenge of com­plet­ing a suc­cess­ful ten­der," Noel tells me. "Tack­ling a ten­der - whether pri­vate or pub­lic - re­quires a set of skills and knowl­edge that most com­pa­nies just don't pos­sess. Ws a very spe­cific and ex­act dis­ci­pline that can­not be taught overnight and it's one where sim­ple mis­takes can cost the bid­der the few points that will make the difference be­tween success and fail­ure." Dur­ing the re­cent down­turn many com­pa­nies en­tered the arena of ten­der­ing for the first time as they sought new busi­ness and for them Noel's in­put into their ten­ders was - and continues to be - vi­tal. Whether they handed him the full re­spon­si­bil­ity for com­plet­ing the ten­der or sim­ply re­quested his ex­pe­ri­enced eye to dou­ble check and en­sure they had max­imised their strengths, his ex­pe­ri­ence was in­valu­able. "Across Europe the ten­der­ing process is ba­si­cally the same pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal busi­ness to com­pete suc­cess­fully on a lo­cal, re­gional, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional stage," Noel says. "By work­ing with clients to help them recog­nise their hid­den strengths and then ap­ply­ing those to the ten­der­ing process, we have been able to se­cure a lot of new busi­ness in all of these mar­kets." Noel has suc­cess­fully helped com­pa­nies win ten­ders rang­ing from £30,000 to £250 Mil­lion in value.

Busi­ness Builder

The other hat that sits well on top of that shock of white hair is the role of busi­ness builder for many com­pa­nies ei­ther in­dige­nous or those look­ing for an op­por­tu­nity to en­ter the North­ern Ire­land mar­ket. As a former Belfast Har­bour Com­mis­sioner, Honorary Fel­low and Chair­man of the Sales In­sti­tute of Ire­land, Chair­man of Mo­ment Health, Non-Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor with the South East­ern Health Trust and other Non-Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor roles, Noel has clearly been recog­nised by the Busi­ness Com­mu­nity here for his en­thu­si­as­tic com­mit­ment to North­ern Ire­land. It is a recog­ni­tion that comes from over 42 years of ded­i­cated work­ing within North­ern Ire­land's busi­ness com­mu­nity to con­tin­u­ally strive for success for the peo­ple here. He is ex­tremely proud of his roots in Belfast City. "Work­ing as a Har­bour Com­mis­sioner was a dream ticket for me, I love Belfast and to see it grow and pros­per into the world class city it is be­com­ing is just awe­some." And it is all of that ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge that comes with Noel when he ac­cepts a new client who is ei­ther look­ing for strate­gic part­ners to build their busi­ness or sim­ply needs an in­jec­tion of knowl­edge and gov­er­nance that will help the busi­ness reach its fullest po­ten­tial. "There are a lot of great com­pa­nies in North­ern Ire­land. But there are more good ones that could be great with the right strat­egy, fo­cus and pro­cesses in place," Noel says. "And of­ten they can achieve those things by invit­ing a con­sul­tancy like Nbl to join them and com­plete an au­dit of what's good and what could be im­proved within their busi­ness. "Some­times they don't have the contacts they need to com­plete a project and I have helped iden­tify the right peo­ple for them. Other times it's been a mat­ter of com­plet­ing a profile of their cus­tomer base and de­vis­ing a new en­gage­ment strat­egy that will open more doors. Then it's a mat­ter of get­ting them in front of the prospect and sell­ing the prod­uct." Some­thing this busi­ness dy­namo has done suc­cess­fully ev­ery day for the past thir­teen years and has no in­ten­tion of chang­ing the win­ning for­mula any time soon!

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