Hitachi Rail Europe Crossrail bid support
Crossrail Limited (CRL) invited four prequalified bidders to submit tenders to provide Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) proposals for resourcing the new Crossrail train services to be introduced from 2017. CRL issued detailed requirements for the new rolling stock, the through-life maintenance services and the depot facilities to be provided principally at Old Oak Common. Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) prequalified to respond to the comprehensive package of tender documentation and instructions and submitted a bid accordingly. After an initial bidding round to include finance the tender pack was updated by CRL to exclude financing and reissued and all bidders were given an opportunity to update and improve their submission for the second round. HRE was keen to make the most of this opportunity to maximise the potential bid score and IPEX Consulting (IPEX) was engaged by the HRE commercial team for the second round to review the submissions for the train, the depot, the service support and the management plans against the revised tender pack and scoring criteria and to advise on, and propose, refinements to the submissions.
Hitachi has a huge wealth of rolling stock design, build and delivery expertise and experience, based to a large degree in Japan, to underpin the commercial, maintenance, testing and commissioning functions that are now largely led from UK. Ensuring that this technical expertise is captured and presented effectively in a complex tender submission, such as for Crossrail, is a significant challenge – especially as the structuring of the submissions and the scoring concepts become more complicated and stringent. The potential in any bid is significant for good content to be marked down or to go unmarked completely due to relatively small errors in the interpretation of the requirements or the response to such requirements being placed in the wrong document. HRE wished to make the best possible use of the opportunity provided to check and correct for any such risk of being marked down on this basis.
IPEX deployed a flexible impartial resource possessing comprehensive experience of the tendering and documentation regime as well extensive rolling stock, maintenance and depot knowledge. Using the scoring criteria defined in the Crossrail tender documents the submissions for the train, the depot, the service support and the management plans were each scored to establish the quality of the content and whether it was correctly submitted. This scoring exercise identified where improvements could be made and what form they should take and revealed a number of areas where poor scores could have let the whole submission down. As a second stage IPEX was then able at HRE’s request to work through each of the document submissions and propose adjustments to the content, with the help and agreement of the respective HRE specialists, in order to address the scoring deficiencies.
Hitachi’s expertise in designing, building and delivering excellent trains is unquestionable and HRE is already a highly respected and competent train builder and maintainer for the UK. However the role performed by IPEX helped HRE to ensure that the presentation of this expertise for the Crossrail tender would be aligned to the defined scoring criteria and accordingly that, within the bounds of HRE’s ability to offer attractive pricing and commercial terms, HRE’s score could be maximised for the technical submissions. Conducting an impartial review of the submissions through the eyes of an evaluator, one not having the time or familiarity to hunt down the content if it wasn’t presented clearly and fully in the location specified in the tender, enabled HRE to really test whether the ‘exam question’ had been answered.