A diverse range of tender documents of differing sizes and complexities pass across our desks each month, and this latest case study gives you an insight into the requirements of commissioning authorities and the challenges you might face when preparing a successful submission.
In summer 2017 Sheffield City Council were commissioning a home care and supported living services framework. The framework was split into two different lots: the provision of home care, and supported living.
Services such as these are often put out to tender in the health and social care sector, as many local authorities are seeking to replace traditional residential care services with supported living solutions. Unlike residential care, (in which housing, care and support are provided as one holistic package) supported living and care at home helps people to live more independently, whilst still receiving the level of care and support they need.
A client local to the Sheffield area approached us, requiring tender writing support, including completing a standard selection questionnaire (SSQ) as well as several quality-related method statement responses. They did not have a dedicated internal bid team, and primarily needed support with creating the narrative responses within the method statement section. With our extensive experience writing hundreds of high quality bids in health and social care since 2009, we were well-placed to support the client with this project.
One of our specialist bid writers in health and social care bid was assigned to the project, and they conducted two separate telephone interviews with the client. They used carefully crafted interview questions, designed to explore the client’s service delivery model, and the unique benefits their company could bring to the framework.
One of the key challenges we encountered in the delivery of this project was the sheer level of competition generated by a framework of this size and scope. Due to the high volume of bidders, the responses needed to meet an exceptional standard of quality to make our client stand out against an abundance of other candidates. This was a challenge we were well-equipped to meet. Over the years, we have produced winning tenders for social care services for all 32 London borough councils, 27 county councils and almost every borough or city council in the UK. Consequently, we have developed a good understanding of what types of commitments local authorities want to see, and what will score high marks from the evaluators.
Tender writing support
Working collaboratively with the client, and communicating regularly via telephone, the assigned bid writer gained an overall understanding of the company’s culture and ethos. This enabled us to respond to specific questions posed by the commissioner which related to the ‘key values’ of the organisation and how they embedded these values throughout the company.
Our approach is to really get to know the clients that we work with, allowing us to write from the client’s perspective and get across the themes and concepts which are important to them as a company. By developing a high standard of narrative for the method statement questions, and supporting the client to fill out the compliance-driven questions in the SSQ correctly, the project was submitted ahead of the tender deadline.
In September, the client notified us that they had been successfully accepted onto the framework. They commented on how pleased they were about this outcome, and provided excellent feedback on the quality of our support in securing this result.