The opportunity was structured as a framework agreement, with the top two or three highest-scoring tenderers (depending on the lot) appointed to fulfil the contract.
The buyer for this tender was a local authority in Scotland, with the framework agreement divided into eight lots based on both geographic area and required services, such as adult learning disability with complex needs (including adult autism).
Although our writers had provided bid services to the client several times in previous tenders, several challenges unique to the opportunity included:
- A contract award evaluated entirely on quality.
- A novel approach employed by the local authority for structuring and evaluation of its quality questions. Responses were split into Part A and Part B, with Part A marked on a pass/fail basis and Part B scored relative to other tenderers, with maximum points awarded to the strongest possible response.
- Multiple appendices required for each response as supporting evidence, including internal policies, procedures and references/testimonials from service users.
14,000 words across seven quality questions
100% quality / 0% price
Electronic and portal-based
In order to complete the tender, our client required 14,000 words of persuasive narrative content across the seven questions set by the purchasing authority, with seven days allocated for the writing process. From our in-house team of care writers, Adam McCabe was assigned to lead the project, with Rachel Wright providing support for several responses.
The quality questions comprised 100% of the evaluation criteria, with an unusual structure outlined in the specification: each question was split into two separate sections, Part A and Part B. Part A required tenderers to describe how they would achieve minimum standards required for service delivery, while Part B requested any enhanced or additional working practices which would allow the tenderer to excel in service delivery. Executive Compass and our client had worked on tenders with the local authority in the past and were familiar with the unique approach employed by the council. Consequently, this experience informed our methodology when replying to the question set.
Due to the complexity of the tender and level of information required to produce comprehensive Part B responses, Adam scheduled two separate interviews, allowing the client sufficient time to plan the best way of demonstrating how they would exceed the specification’s requirements. A consultative approach to the interviews allowed Adam to draw out the client’s USPs, such as specific methods for involving and collaborating with service users in the design and delivery of care services.
Based on the information provided during the interviews, Adam and Rachel approached the questions using our tried-and-tested methodology, breaking down each question into constituent parts and utilising supporting evidence combined with persuasiveness for each response. As the authority did not provide a specific list of KPIs in the tender documents, independent judgement was needed to determine what constituted the minimum standards to respond to Part A, and what would allow the client to excel in service delivery under Part B of the responses.
Adam and Rachel benefitted from input from our quality managers, in addition to more informal involvement from the rest of our team of care writers, where required. As the tender was evaluated entirely on quality and there was little to indicate a baseline expectation of service based on the tender documents, responses were subject to close scrutiny, with several collaborative calls between the writing team and reviewers to identify ‘bid themes’ based on the client’s strengths and USPs to establish maximum added value for evaluators.
Our client was very responsive during the writing stage of the project, promptly providing their organisational documents such as specific policies and procedures when queried by Adam or Rachel. This facilitated a streamlined and efficient approach to writing and completing responses, without significant placeholders based on missing information. All bullet points for questions were addressed with a different attachment, such as a copy of the client’s employee handbook or official risk assessment policy, providing clear and comprehensive responses.
Thanks to meticulous planning, a highly responsive client, and an organised approach to answering the tender questions, we were able to return all responses for client review one week in advance of the submission deadline.
The purchasing authority’s decision will be made prior to the phased implementation of the framework in April 2023. Our client was pleased with the consultative approach to information gathering, the methodology used for answering a challenging question structure, and the extensive attachments and appendices provided for each response. Subsequently, they stated that we would remain their first point of contact for support in completing future bid and tender opportunities.