The main challenges that occurred during the project were:
A large, complex submission with over 50 different lots and many questions
The portal submission would not allow any formatting, which made transposing narrative
A number of large multi-national companies were also bidding onto the framework.
PQQ: 34 case studies for different work streams and 7,500 words in narrative responses. ITT: 15,000 word quality submission
Electronic – portal based
Successfully placed onto framework for all 31 lots bid for
A large all-trades installation and maintenance regional contractor approached us for support in tendering for an EN Procure framework across the North of England. After undertaking an initial internal review of the PQQ, the client decided they needed additional resource for the vast number of lots they wished to bid for. Although they were familiar with the tendering process, they did not have an internal bid team and rarely bid for contracts, especially not of this size and scope.
The bid was particularly challenging, not only in terms of size but due to the fact it was a ‘must-win’ for the organisation, as a number of their existing social housing provider clients had joined the contracting authority consortium and they wished to continue their positive relationship. We were firstly retained to assist with the PQQ, which was incredibly involved and consisted of over 7,500 words across three sections, so we assigned a lead bid writer, Stephen Kennett, and support writer, Lewis Day. We required a vast amount of information from the client which was collated through Microsoft Teams interviews, at a number of different stages. The writers worked closely alongside the client to produce strong case studies for each work stream and guide them in the right direction. The responses were reviewed, critiqued, amended, quality assured, proofread and then placed onto the portal to be uploaded.
Key issues presented in the PQQ
- Formatting: the portal wouldn’t allow for any formatting at all, which made transposing narrative very challenging
- Collating and reviewing a considerable amount of information from the client
- A large number of case studies and supporting evidence was required.
The PQQ was submitted in good time before the deadline to full satisfaction by all.
After successfully passing the PQQ stage of the process, the ITT was released a couple of months later and the client retained our services again to assist with the project. The tender required over 15,000 words, including an entire section focussed on social value. The client was unfamiliar with this legislation and therefore Stephen Kennett had to consult on this prior to drafting the narrative responses, to talk through the social value commitments the company were comfortable with.
Due to the size of the quality section and number of lots in the ITT, our bid management matrix was crucial to keep the project on track, and separate the responses between Stephen and Lewis. This is used internally as a bid project management tool in order to monitor all aspects of the bid due to the complex governance and sign-off processes involved. It also allows for roles and responsibilities to be defined for each section of the bid between our bid team and the client – which was particularly significant due to the large number of lots the client was bidding for.
Again, the client remained fully involved in the tender writing process and a number of telephone interviews allowed the bid writers to gather technical information and ensure the responses were compliant, evidence-based and professionally written.
Like the PQQ, limitations existed on the portal in terms of formatting which proved the most challenging aspect of the bid as it meant all lots had to be submitted to the portal within strict boundaries, yet include a large amount of information.
After a five-month evaluation period we were notified that the client had been successful for all 31 lots that they had tendered for. Not only had they been successful, but for many lots they had achieved the highest quality score – surpassing many multi-national companies to be ranked first in a number of lots on the framework. This was a great result for the client, especially as they were up against companies who were likely to have a large bid team, and greater resources and market presence. A well-written, evidence-based response allowed the client’s capabilities and strengths to be showcased to the contracting authority and proved their competence to deliver the contract above the competition. We look forward to working with this client on further projects in the near future.