As the incumbent contractor, our client had extensive knowledge of the buyer’s requirements and the extensive scope of works, which included responsive and void repairs, cyclical maintenance and servicing, compliance servicing/repairs, and estates and facilities management services, such as grounds maintenance and communal area cleaning.
The purchasing authority for the framework was a well-known social housing provider with a mixed portfolio of homes, including high- and low-rise flats, houses, bungalows and maisonettes. At the time of submission, suppliers would service almost 38,000 properties across the North West. With the evaluation criteria split 50/50 between quality and price, the buyer was looking to appoint the top five ranked tenderers to the framework agreement.
32,000 words across 16 quality questions, one implementation programme
50% quality / 50% price
Electronic and portal-based
Following his success leading the SQ stage, Stephen Kennett was retained as the project’s lead writer, responsible for leading interviews and producing the majority of responses. As the SQ was a highly involved submission, Stephen was able to effectively carry over experience to the ITT stage. Support writing was delivered by Matthew Long, Georgia Downey and Jack Bowman.
The total scope of works included 32,000 words of high-quality narrative content, split across 16 quality questions. The client also required us to design a framework-specific implementation programme across all framework requirements, complete with timetables for mobilisation, assigned ownership for specific tasks, scalable workstreams and a critical project path.
As per our approach to tendering for public sector frameworks, Stephen scheduled an introductory call with the bidder organisation’s managing director to launch the information-gathering step of the bid process. Due to the length of the tender and level of complexity required to provide strong responses to each question, Stephen mapped out a project plan with the managing director, assigning ownership of information and subject matter experts to specific questions, which would be expanded on in subsequent interviews. This schedule would inform the remainder of the bid process, with Stephen, the support writers and client representatives benefitting from adhering to a single timetable.
The project plan and interview schedule was then disseminated by the managing director, ensuring subject matter experts would be sufficiently prepared going into calls hosted by Stephen. Representatives informed responses on the following subjects:
- Proposed solutions for managing and providing service across all work streams
- Customer satisfaction and communication procedures
- Health and safety processes
- Upstream and downstream supply chain
- Handheld technology used by the client’s operatives
- Arrangements for viewing performance in real time
- Initiatives for supporting the local economy.
One of the questions included in the tender also necessitated a lengthy response on interfacing with the purchasing authority’s ICT, which was currently undergoing a multi-year systemic upgrade. By nature, the response was highly technical, and involved a high level of collaboration between Stephen and the client’s IT department, who shared a ‘lessons learned’ report from the initial stage of the buyer’s ICT upgrade in addition to the interview, providing Stephen with material that would supplement the response, scoring maximum points from evaluators.
As responses were completed, our quality assurance process duly assessed the strengths, weaknesses and tenability of the content, providing input and suggestions for Stephen and our support writers to include during the amendment stage. Following this, all responses were subject to a line-by-line review from our external proofreading team, who are professional members of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. Stephen then sent the client proofread responses in batches for final amendments, avoiding overwhelming representatives with a surplus of information to review.
The tender was submitted in August 2022, and we received confirmation of our client’s contract award in February 2023. The client was extremely pleased with the result, with positive feedback on the quality of responses produced by Matthew, Jack and Georgia as well as delivery of a complex and large-scale project reserved for Stephen. For Executive Compass, the tender underscored our successful approaches to project organisation, liaising with multiple client representatives and working collaboratively on large tenders.