Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Digital development, improvement and innovation for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Incomplete applications

41
Incomplete applications
34 SME, 7 large

Completed applications

12
Completed applications
11 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 31 October 2019
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 7 November 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 14 November 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work We are looking for a partner agency to work with us on continuing to improve the Kew's digital estate, including the continuous improvement of kew.org, the upgrade of our e-commerce and online learning offer, alongside on-site improvements to visitor experience through digital channels.
Latest start date Monday 18 November 2019
Expected contract length 2 years
Location London
Organisation the work is for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Budget range Maximum of £800,000 over two years - to cover a significant e-commerce re-development project, as well as ongoing improvements to existing properties as well as support and maintenance - exact spend to be agreed in separate smaller statements of work.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world leading plant science and conservation organisation. We run two botanic gardens - Kew Gardens in London and Wakehurst in Sussex. Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and leading visitor attraction, welcoming 2m visitors in 2018/19. Wakehurst is Kew’s ‘wild botanic garden’ and welcomes over 300k visitors per year.

We are looking for a partner agency to work with us on continuing to improve the Kew's digital estate, including the continuous improvement of kew.org, the upgrade of our ecommerce and online learning offer, alongside on-site improvements to visitor experience through digital channels.
Problem to be solved We want to further improve customer journeys across our digital estate to help us meet our commercial and non-commercial goals. From improving upsell of memberships to encouraging donations and increasing our online retail capabilities, our offer is broad and at times confusing for users.

We re-launched our main website early in 2019, and are now hoping to turn our attention to improving our ecommerce offer (retail, memberships, donations, tickets), along with continuing to test and improve kew.org.

Our website is build on Drupal 8 - and we are open-minded about what ecommerce technology we use to build out our offer (we currently use a number of different solutions)
Who the users are and what they need to do As a potential visitor, I need to find out information about what's there, what's on and how much it costs, so I can decide if I want to visit.

As a horticulture fan, I can find and purchase beautiful products, so that I can make my house beautiful.

As a last-minute shopper, I can purchase a gift membership voucher for my mum, so that I have something to give her on her birthday.

As a botanist, I can find out about plant research happening at RBG Kew, so that I can inform my own research and identify potential partnerships/collaborations.
Early market engagement We have been transparent with our existing supplier about our roadmap, and we would expect them to submit a response to these requirements.
Any work that’s already been done We re-launched kew.org in March 2019, and have continued to make iterative improvements over the past six months.
Existing team You'll be working primarily with Kew's Digital Experience team, and primarily with the Head of Digital Experience, Senior Product Manager, Product Manager, Junior Product Manager, UI Designer, Senior Content Manager and Content Producers.

Where relevant you'll also work with stakeholders in other teams across Kew, for example our Digital Commercial Manager for ECommerce.
Current phase Live

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Working arrangements We expect to negotiate a flexible arrangement with the supplier and believe it is important to have regular face-to-face meetings.

When in the midst of ongoing sprints, we would like to explore co-locating on a regular basis (once a week or once a fortnight) - this can take place either on site at Kew or at the supplier's offices.
Security clearance None

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions None

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of Drupal 8 website development and maintenance for clients with both commercial and non-commercial objectives.
  • Experience of delivering ecommerce solutions for a not-for-profit organisation with a range of different product types (online donations, membership, events or experience booking, retail) using different technical solutions.
  • Experience of integrating websites and web applications with business systems such as CRM, Email and Payment Gateways.
  • xperience of a user research/data-driven approach to development, including use of prototyping and proof of concepts.
  • Experience of working alongside additional suppliers and in-house teams to deliver complex technology change projects.
  • Experience of delivering value for money by working in partnership with clients to scope and prioritise against business/user needs.
  • Experience of working with an in-house IT team on hosting, monitoring, security and DNS, including regular vulnerability and penetration tests, acting promptly to mitigate and remediate security issues.
  • Able to demonstrate proactive approach to maintenance and managing CMS updates (e.g. regular Drupal security updates)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of delivering an integrated ecommerce offer (5 points)
  • Experience of working with a multisite visitor attraction with a retail and membership offer alongside fundraising ambitions (5 points)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 6
Proposal criteria
  • Provide an overview of some of the improvement opportunities you can identify to increase online revenues for RBG Kew, and some of the likely dependencies/challenges of the project. (50 points)
  • Provide an outline of an end-to-end ecommerce project you have delivered including details of the methodology, technical solution, integrations, challenges you faced, an outline of benefit realisation. (50 points)
  • Details of your approach to identifying a technical solution (or suite) to deliver our ecommerce ambitions and information you would need to inform/validate an options appraisal and recommendation (20)
  • Detail your approach to ongoing maintenance/support of websites, outlining hours of service and how priority issues are dealt with, including an example work with an existing client. (20 points)
  • Detail your understanding of the different and competing priorities (both commercial and non-commercial) we face as an organisation (20 points)
  • Provide an example of how you have worked with a client going through a large-scale digital transformation to determine and deliver against their digital roadmap (20 points)
  • Provide information on what makes a successful agency/client partnership, and an example of where you have achieved this (please include this client as one of your references). (20 points)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate understanding of the different and competing priorities (both commercial and non-commercial) faced by complex non-profit organisations (20 points)
  • Demonstrate an evidence-driven approach with an example of where you have used analytics or user research to influence outcomes (20 points)
  • Provide an example of where you have worked with in-house development and IT resources to deliver on a project (20 points)
  • Provide evidence of supporting an in-house digital team with stakeholder engagement to deliver solutions that meet both user and business needs (15 points
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. In the essential skills it list that " Experience of Drupal 8 website development" is required but in the description also says that you are open to other Ecommerce technologies. If a supplier would like to implement a different CMS/ecommerce solution would they still need Drupal 8 experience? Drupal 8 is the CMS for kew.org, which was rebuilt and launched in March 2019. We are currently not looking to change that CMS under this tender.

As part of any future development around our e-commerce offer, we would assess potential platforms with the appointed supplier.

However, given we currently use Drupal 8, we do require expertise in supporting and further developing our Drupal 8 CMS as a priority under this tender
2. Could you please confirm whether demonstrating experience building complex e-commerce systems using a range of PHP platforms that are NOT Drupal 8 would be an acceptable response? Yes, we will consider the use of other platforms and technologies for any future development around our e-commerce offer.

However, Drupal 8 is the CMS for kew.org, which we require expertise in supporting and further development of as part of this tender.
3. We don't have specific Drupal 8 experience but work with other large-scale PHP-based content management systems.

Our team would be more than capable of providing support and maintaining the existing system.

Does this exclude us from the proposal stage? We are capable of demonstrating experience in all other areas
We would place preference on supplier who have experience of supporting and developing for Drupal 8.

The supplier must be able to develop for Drupal 8, not just support the system
4. Who is the existing supplier? Our current supplier is Manifesto, part of the Panoply group.
5. It sounds like it’s only the Drupal Commerce component that you are considering replacing, not Drupal CMS. Can you confirm this is correct or if you are open to a new CMS? Over the coming 6-24 months, there will likely be e-commerce project that will either be a part of our Drupal 8 development or housed on their own platform.

We are not committed to creating any new platform(s) unless it’s deemed appropriate with the appointed supplier, ensuring that they meet the requirements for developing the scoped platform(s).

We are open to discussing platforms for any future development of our e-commerce offer and it may be that we publish a separate tender for work to create a new e-commerce platform(s) at a later date to appoint a separate supplier to this contract.
6. The deadline for asking questions is 7 November, but in the Q&A session details you say "We will post responses to all questions received online by the 13th November".

We can only assume this is an error, as the closing date for applications is the 14th November
The Digital Marketplace prescribed timelines require all responses to be published by 13th of November at the latest.

We will of course endeavour to publish answers to all questions received by the deadline as soon as possible
7. Please confirm whether you would consider a supplier if they have both ecommerce experience and not-for-profit experience but haven't previously done a project that combines both ecommerce and not-for-profit in the same project or for the same client? Or would you rule out a supplier based on that? Yes, we are open to working with a supplier with experience in each area, but that doesn’t necessarily have a single project or single client to provide evidence of or references for.
8. Do you have any documentation around existing key user journeys and/or ideal state journeys as of yet? For this tender, we would expect to work with the appointed supplier to map our key user journeys for the relevant statements of work that will be carried out.
9. Do you already have mapped out user personas and/or any detail on audience / user segmentation? We are currently undergoing a review of our use and structure of audience personas and segmentation. This work is likely to be carried out in Q1 2020/21.
10. Please could you share further detail (even if only the name of) re your existing retail platforms, CRM system, email system, payment technology and any other key integration points? The various systems in our digital estate, with the exception of Drupal 8 as the CMS for kew.org, are subject to change in the coming financial year.

Because of this, we would like responses not to focus on the existing or potential systems, as this will be agreed between Kew and the appointed supplier
11. You note the desire to improve upsell of memberships, encourage donations and increase online retail capabilities: can you share anything further about the wider organisational goals and challenges and the balance in priority (if any) of your varying goals? There is currently a cross-organisation programme to define the business and user needs around improving the e-commerce offer (including retail, membership, and fundraising). The outcome of this programme will produce the roadmap for improving the offer, which will then be developed into statements of work with the appointed supplier.
12. It sounds like it’s only the Drupal Commerce component that you are considering replacing, not Drupal CMS. Can you confirm this is correct or if you are open to a new CMS? Drupal 8 is the CMS for kew.org, which was rebuilt and launched in March 2019. We are currently not looking to change that CMS under this tender.

As part of any future development around our e-commerce offer, we would assess potential platforms with the appointed supplier.

However, given we currently use Drupal 8, we do require expertise in supporting and further developing our Drupal 8 CMS as a priority under this tender
13. Do you have an existing steering committee in place that is invested in your digital transformation programme or would this be something you’d be looking to put in place going forward? There are currently two cross-organisation groups that will input into the roadmap of our digital offer; one of which is focussed on developing our visitor user journeys across our e-commerce offer.
14. What is the timeline for proposals once six suppliers have been shortlisted for evaluation? We intend to invite shortlisted suppliers to present at RBG Kew on the afternoons of the 27th and 28th November, and to have a Contract in place by mid-December.
15. What internal development & design resources would we be working with? We currently have an internal UI designer, within Kew’s Digital Experience team, who would develop the front-end designs for all, or most, of our online presence.

In addition to the above design resource, the appointed supplier will be working primarily with Kew's Digital Experience team, and primarily with the Head of Digital Experience, Senior Product Manager, Product Manager, Junior Product Manager, UI Designer, Senior Content Manager and Content Producers.

Where relevant you'll also work with stakeholders in other teams across Kew, for example our Digital Commercial Manager for ECommerce.
16. Are you looking for resources to be plugged into your team and managed by your project manager, or are you looking for a self-managing team to work to a fixed scope? We would like to work collaboratively with the appointed supplier, including the definition of statements of work within this contract.

We would expect the appointed supplier to manage their own resources in order to deliver against agreed statements of work to agreed timelines
17. What hosting and support levels (SLA) do you currently have in place? Our hosting contract is managed separately to this tender. The current supplier is Acquia.

We currently have an agreed statement of work for support with our current supplier, which covers agreement on response timings across critical, high, normal, and low priorities.
18. What other additional suppliers would we be expected to work alongside for this brief? The additional suppliers would be dependent on the statements of work agreed to within this contract.

The current known additional supplier is Acquia, who host kew.org
19. Overall, how do you see the budget/effort split between e-commerce upgrade, ongoing site maintenance, and new product development? We would expect to define individual budgets for statements of work within this contract with the appointed supplier, which will be driven by the key priorities at that time.
20. Can you provide information any information on current Proof of concepts or alpha programmes looking to utilise technology to enhance visitor experience to Kew, Wakehurst or any other sites? We are currently not in a position to share any information around this.
21. Can you provide information on any marketing strategies; digital or through any other channels? There is an agreed cross-organisation roadmap for Kew’s digital offer which we will share with the appointed supplier.
22. Please can you supply current volumetrics for the current online and WiFi visitor experience in the different locations We estimate that our physical visitor numbers in 2019 will be around 2 million.

We are not in a position to share date on the annual number of visits to our various online platforms.
23. Reference is made that you are looking for a "partner agency". Please can you clarify that this "agency " is a strategic partner? We are looking for an agency to work collaboratively with Kew, to develop and improve our digital offer.

The agency should be able to demonstrate their ability to develop and maintain Drupal 8, whilst evidencing strategic support for both commercial and non-commercial objectives
24. Is Drupal being used for the learning platforms also? Our currently learning platform uses a separate LMS to our Drupal 8 CMS for kew.org.

However, the online learning offer is currently under review and we would hope to address this with the appointed supplier as a statement of work under this contract.
25. Under the Problem to be solved section, it mentions that the website Drupal 8. Can you supply any architectural information of the technologies integrated within kew.org and the eCommerce, payment gateways and CRM? Currently the sole integration within kew.org is with our email marketing service, Dotdigital.

We would hope to integrate other systems (to be defined) into kew.org under this contract.
26. Regarding the website (why singular? Do you mean just kew.org?) you say “Our website is built on Drupal 8 – and we are open-minded about what ecommerce technology we use to build out our offer (we currently use a number of different solutions)”. Can we know what kind of different solutions/technologies are you referring to? This tender is predominately focused on the development and maintenance of our kew.org website, but we have numerous other websites/platforms that may be worked upon under this contract.
27. What do you mean when you say Kew’s digital estate? We had a look on your website(s) and discovered you have many websites under kew domain.
Are they all using the same technology – Is it Drupal? Are you using Acquia with Drupal
This tender is predominately focussed on the development and maintenance of our kew.org website, but we have numerous other websites/platforms that may be worked upon under this contract.
Kew’s digital estate refers to the digital products that are owned by Kew. As mentioned in the question, there are numerous websites that are either part of or separate to the kew.org domain.

At this time, each product is built on different/separate systems. Drupal 8 is currently only used by the kew.org site.

We do use Acquia for our hosting solution, which is managed as a separate contract to this tender.
28. Please confirm whether you would consider a supplier if their development team have experience of multiple php frameworks including Drupal, as well as the technical expertise to work with Drupal 8, but they do not have a published case study for Drupal 8? The assessment of suppliers will not include any case studies.

The assessment will be on written proposals in response to this tender and two client references.
The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Thursday 7 November 2019.