Rolling stock manufacturer [Confidential]
Transport for London (TfL) invited four prequalified bidders to submit tenders to provide 33 trains to replace B90 and B92 stock introduced in the early 1990s and 10 trains to expand fleet capacity on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). The first trains are planned to enter service in 2023. The new trains will feature air-conditioning, real-time passenger information systems, mobile device charging points and will increase capacity on the DLR by over 30%. Trains will be procured through a Manufacture and Supply Agreement (MSA) contract and it is intended that the DLR franchisee will be responsible for maintenance of the new trains with a Fleet Support Agreement (FSA) with the manufacturer for technical support and supply of spares. One of the rolling stock manufacturers that prequalified to respond to the comprehensive package of tender documentation and instructions and to submit a bid accordingly contacted IPEX for support to review the submissions for the FSA and MSA against the tender documentation and scoring criteria and to advise, amend and refine the submissions.
The manufacturer required support with bid production and quality improvement in relation to the documents for the FSA and specific aspects for the MSA submissions. Our client has a great deal of experience in producing tenders, and for some aspects of the bid was able to use ‘off the shelf’ bid documentation, however TfL’s Invitation to Tender (ITT) contained new and novel requirements which created the need for new submissions to be produced to ensure a suitable and high scoring submission for the DLR Rolling Stock Replacement Programme bid. The preparation and presentation of tender responses that deliver to the letter and the intent of the technical, operational and commercial requirements needed to align to the cultural and organisational stresses within the organisation as well as considerable rolling stock bidding experience. The manufacturer needed highly experienced and professional bidding expertise to assist in the production of a highly competitive tender.
IPEX mobilised an expert team with a wealth of experience and knowledge of both rolling stock bids and TfL practices. The team conducted a full review of the manufacturers existing documentation against the ITT requirements to identify all potential gaps. IPEX subsequently worked with the client to plan how these gaps could be filled within the timeframes of the bid.
It was important that the documents under IPEX’s responsibility aligned with the rest of the tender, namely the majority of the MSA submissions. To ensure this, IPEX took purposeful steps such as joining the manufacturer bid production meetings as an active contributor, collaborating with the technical experts within the client organisation and ensuring the correct writing style was used, all to guarantee that the content of the submissions was accurate to the client’s aspirations and delivered as a single cohesive bid. Communication was crucial to completing this work due to the international expertise within the manufacturer’s global organisation, particularly when there were differences in native languages.
The IPEX team was flexible with emerging needs, such as the addition of further bid documents that needed support as the submission deadline neared. The document topics ranged from maintenance preparation and associated services through to health, safety, quality and environmental submissions. IPEX distributed the work to the most appropriate resource within the team who had in depth experience of the submission topics. IPEX were committed to the bid and ensured attendance of local and international meetings.
The deliverables passed through multiple stages of review to be refined to succinct, high quality tender documents. Final shadow evaluations were conducted to check for compliance to the requirements and to ensure linkage and consistency throughout the bid, resulting in a timely and high-quality bid.
Throughout the tender creation IPEX provided weekly updates on progress for each document using a flash report highlighting the completion progress of the documents in line with the deadlines. This enabled the client to always be informed of the progress and issues and always in contact with the IPEX team. IPEX always aims to be part of the bid team, rather than delivering into a bid team.
By bringing IPEX into the bid production team, it allowed the manufacturer to deliver a high quality, compliant, competitive and on-time tender for the DLR Rolling Stock Replacement Programme. IPEX used its extensive global rolling stock delivery and bidding experience with its British and TfL domain knowledge align the manufacturer’s own expertise to TfL’s expectations whilst ensuring the submission remained consistent with the organisational strategy and aspirations. By supporting the manufacturer in this way, IPEX allowed the client to focus on other aspects of the bid and have IPEX as a partner throughout the process to assist in responding to queries.
Throughout and after the bid, IPEX recommended improvements that could improve the submissions beyond what was possible within the timeframe of the DLR submission. IPEX always looks to make lasting improvements within the organisation. This allowed the manufacturer to improve the submissions for future bids allowing more time for the next tender to refine rather than create the content. The manufacturer expressed their satisfaction in stating that IPEX was deemed to be “responsive to our requirements and showed initiative and originality in the responses”.