After reviewing the tender documents, submission deadline and scope of works, we were confident in our ability to support the client in a high-quality and successful bid.
The purchasing authority was a Scottish council, who wished to develop proportionate and sustainable community mental health services, deliver updated models of community provision and produce a localised, person-centred strategy in advance of the devolved government’s updated policy.
Challenges specific to this opportunity included the following:
- Quality questions which are specific to Scottish public sector tendering opportunities, such as fair work practices and community benefits
- A lengthy business resilience questionnaire which required the client to address and effectively demonstrate their continuity measures for a range of potential issues
- A significant emphasis on quality in the tender evaluation scoring matrix, with an 80/20 split on quality and price.
10,250 words for a total of nine method statements, references and quality questions
80% quality / 20% price
Electronic and portal-based
To complete the quality portion of the tender, the client required a total of 10,250 words of narrative response for a set of method statements, quality questions and references with a description of previous experience delivering a similar scope of works. Senior Bid Writer Hannah Robinson was assigned as the project lead, with fellow Senior Writer Adam McCabe and Bid Writer Rachel Wright allocated as support writers. Due to the approaching deadline, an interview held via Microsoft Teams was scheduled as soon as possible, enabling our writers to produce quality responses based on our client’s previous experience and implementation plans.
Thanks to previous experience in advising on government policy for mental health services in Scotland, our client was intimately familiar with the requirements of the specification. As per our proven approach to the bidding process, Hannah conducted independent research on the council prior to the interview, weaving their specific goals and targets into the answer plan. This collaborative approach enabled strong baseline knowledge to be targeted directly to the questions and specification.
Following the interview, our team of writers began drafting responses in accordance with our internal quality system, providing method statements and responses on topics such as:
- Approach to service delivery
- Innovation and added value
- Management and staffing
- Outcomes and reporting.
Furthermore, the tender required the production of method statements which are specific to Scottish opportunities. The first required our client to outline their practices in accordance with the principles of the Fair Work Framework, signed into law by the devolved Scottish government in 2018. Hannah liaised with our client to gain valuable information on their internal processes, such as Living Wage for all staff, trade union representation and avoiding zero-hours contracts, enabling us to receive full marks from evaluators.
Similar to the TOMs Social Value Calculator, Scottish public procurement embraces community benefits as a portion of quality scoring. This requires all tenderers to demonstrate how their appointment to a contract or framework will benefit the wider community, such as apprenticeships, local employability or charity contributions. As our writers and client were familiar with Scottish authorities’ approach to marking community benefits responses, we were able to collaboratively produce a strong and effective response.
Lastly, the tender included a question on business continuity practices, with resource availability, technology failure, communications methods and critical suppliers/partners included as mandatory sub-criteria to be addressed within the response. Although marked on a pass/fail basis, the lengthy list of requirements required an in-depth response to demonstrate the suitability and sufficiency of our client’s contingency measures. While drafting the response, Hannah considered all aspects of contingency planning, include measures for improvement over the contract term.
Aided by a highly responsive and collaborative client, our writers completed responses to all of the allocated quality questions, with input from Technical Director Matthew Walker further strengthening responses. This enabled the client to receive responses five days in advance of the final deadline, facilitating a smooth submission.
In February, we received notification that the client had been successful in their bid to provide the service. The client was extremely pleased with the result as they believed the contract would allow them to tender for similar opportunities in the future, and indicated they were happy to continue our partnership in completing relevant tenders.