Case Studies

Managing a successful tender submission

Added 01/08/2011


Sustain was drafted in at the 11th hour to rescue an acute foundation trust’s tender to deliver specialist physiotherapy services after progress on the important bid hit the brakes.
Managers at the trust brought in Sustain just two weeks before the deadline after realising the vast majority of the detailed documentation required to respond to the invitation to tender had been left incomplete.

Key challenges
Conscious of the challenging timescale and the need to engage with a variety of departments to pull together the necessary information, Sustain was quick to react.

Main actions

Within the first 24 hours, a rapid evaluation of the tender specification and work to date, including a gap analysis, had been completed. The quality of submission and service model were also reviewed.
Sustain then developed an accelerated project plan to ensure the submission would be successfully delivered on time. This plan:

  • identified the internal resources and expertise which would be needed to complete the submission, as well as additional support required from external sources
  • identified named leads within key departments, such as governance, finance, human resources and physiotherapy, who would be responsible for delivery of different elements of the submission
  • finalised timelines for each aspect of the project
  • ensured daily meetings were scheduled with the trust’s lead director so that progress could be reported and any issues escalated
  • finalised a formal trust ‘sign off’ process 
Sustain managed the project plan closely, working with the physiotherapy service managers and each individual department to ensure their contribution was completed on time.
Using its financial expertise, Sustain also carried out a review of the activity and efficiency assumptions which had been used to cost the submission, before bringing together all of the documentation and editing the final bid to ensure its consistency and accuracy.

Outcomes and achievements
As a result of this vital input, a comprehensive, high quality tender was submitted within the timescale, and was given the highest overall rating of the seven bids received by the procuring PCT. In addition, Sustain provided the acute trust with a detailed “lessons learnt” document which gave an organisational analysis of the whole tender process, along with suggestions for improving systems to ensure the success of future bids.
Although the bid driven by Sustain was awarded the contract, the procuring PCT later withdrew from the process after financial constraints forced a review of the service specification.


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