This project was for a large installation and repair framework and required both PQQ and tender writing services. The contract had over 50 lots and many narrative responses.
Type of project
PQQ and tender writing
100% remote working
John Bilcliffe, supported by Tom Sheppard and Matthew Walker
Duration of the bid
Two months (one for each stage)
Value to the client
Installation and repair
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.
- Geographical region – Northwest
- Output – PQQ: 34 case studies for different work streams and 7,500 words in narrative responses. ITT: 15,000 word quality submission
- Weighting – 60/40 quality/price
- Submission – Electronic – portal based
- Outcome – Successfully placed onto framework for all 31 lots
A large all-trades installation and maintenance regional contractor approached us last year for support in gaining approval onto a prestigious framework across the Northwest. After undertaking an initial internal review of the PQQ, the client decided they needed additional support 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.
John Bilcliffe was assigned as the lead writer and bid manager to this project, with on-going support from Tom Sheppard and Matthew Walker. 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. We required a vast amount of information from the client which was collated through telephone interviews, led by John, 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, rewritten, quality assured, proof-read and then placed onto the portal to be uploaded.
Key issues presented in the PQQ:
- Formatting: the portal wouldn’t allow for any, 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 in January 2014 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 the Public Service (Social Value) Act 2012. The client was unfamiliar with this legislation and therefore we had
to consult on this prior to drafting the narrative responses.
Due to the size of the quality section and number of lots in the ITT, an ‘Eating the Elephant’ spreadsheet was created. This is used internally as a bid project management tool in order to monitor and track all aspects of the bid due to the complex governance and signoff 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 John 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.