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One of our long-time IT and data management clients contracted us to provide bid writing support for a mini-competition hosted by Crown Commercial Services. The buyer, a large public sector body dedicated to preserving and enhancing England’s public history and heritage, required scheduled and consultative administration services and support for their database frameworks, comprising six Oracle and 36 SQL servers.

As we had previously supported our client in producing high-quality, competitive and successful IT tenders on eight earlier opportunities, we were confident in their ability to deliver the requirements of the specification. Knowledge gained from the previous projects had also allowed us to understand more technical aspects of their scope of services – coupled with our experience completing over 7,000 SQ and ITTs across 14 years giving us extensive insight into what evaluators expect to see in quality responses, generating a significant competitive advantage for our client.

Main challenges

Each IT and data management tender is unique, with challenges inherent to both tendering and technical delivery of the project. However, several challenges specific to this opportunity included:

  • Describing the functions of complex technical systems in understandable, easy-to-read terms, with cognisance that evaluators may not be subject matter experts in IT or database support
  • Two quality questions of 4,000 and 2,000 words each, requiring our client to evidence in detail their capability, proposed solutions and associated benefits to providing the service
  • Several rounds of client reviews with subject matter experts ensuring the accuracy of technical aspects of responses.
Bid Details
  • Geographical region: 


  • Output: 

    6,000 words across two questions

  • Weighting: 

    60% quality / 40% price

  • Submission: 

    Electronic, portal-based

  • Outcome: 


Project overview

Due to his previous experience in supporting complex IT tender submissions for various projects, Bid Writer Matthew Long was assigned to draft responses for both quality questions. He had previously developed a positive working relationship with the client, and they requested his involvement to provide wider bid management support in addition to completing tender responses.

In accordance with our methodology, Matthew drafted an answer plan based upon the question set and specification details, supplemented by client-specific information from previous tender submissions. This answer plan then formed the basis of a client interview, with open-ended discussions with subject matter experts (e.g. database managers) driving our collaborative approach to information-gathering which is tailored to each client and opportunity. The quality questions comprised:

  • Proposed solutions for meeting the buyer’s requirements and ensuring quality in service, including details of escalation procedures for managing different priority incidents (4,000 words)
  • How organisational skills and experience align with meeting the requirements of the service, providing specific examples of previous database support and incident resolution for contracts of a similar size and scope (2,000 words)

Following the information-gathering session and supplementary information sent across by client representatives, the tender writing process began. When drafting the responses, Matthew was conscious that evaluators may not have industry-specific or technical knowledge, requiring him to present information, service features and benefits in an approachable and easy-to-read manner – for example, how automated RSS feeds work in real time to notify the service desk of patches, hotfixes or maintenance.

Responses were then subject to our quality assurance process, developed over our 14 years’ experience to enhance and improve tender responses for a wide range of industries, including professional services such as IT solutions. Quality Reviewer Victoria Hughes conducted a line-by-line review, making note of any potential improvements or alterations to ensure the highest-quality submission. Following amendments, responses were sent to our proofreading team, each of whom has accreditations from the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.

Due to the importance of the submission, our client’s subject matter experts conducted several reviews of the responses, providing additional insight into important processes or elements of service delivery which should be emphasised. Comments or amendments were then incorporated into responses by Matthew, taking care to ensure that they remained compliant with the stipulated word count.

Thanks to a responsive and collaborative client and proactive bid management from Matthew, the tender was submitted three days in advance of the final deadline.


Following the evaluation period and standstill, our client was notified of a successful outcome in February 2023. A place on the CCS framework afforded them the opportunity to continue expanding their business activities to nationwide projects of a similar size and scope. Due to the successful outcome, detailed technical descriptions and overall quality of responses, our client was extremely motivated to continue our professional partnership, and requested that Matthew remain their primary source of writing support when bidding for future opportunities.

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