Start date: Monday 4 January 2021
Value: £3,000,000
Company size: SME
Nest Corporation

Building digital service design capability

17 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 4 large

16 Completed applications

9 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Monday 19 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 26 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 2 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Upskill Nest Corporation and form part of the team designing a full set of multi-channel, digital-first services, for all of Nest's users, through the application of human-centred design methodologies.
Latest start date
Monday 4 January 2021
Expected contract length
24 months
Organisation the work is for
Nest Corporation
Budget range
Suppliers are invited to supply a daily rate card for suitable resource and approaches. This procurement does not commit us to any level of spend, but we anticipate spending (at peak) circa £100-150k per month.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Nest is responsible for helping millions of people save for retirement. We provide a high-quality, low-cost pension scheme that allows employers to meet their automatic enrolment duties. We’re one of the largest defined contribution pension schemes in the UK, delivering services to more than 800,000 employers, over 9.4m members and looking after £13.1bn in assets.

We outsource the delivery of our services. In 2023, our current services contract ends and we will move to a new solution. Working with our solution provider, work will start in January 2021 to design the services end-to-end, and front-to-back, applying human-centred design methodologies.
Problem to be solved
Working with our scheme service provider and under time pressure, Nest will need to apply digital service design best practice to design a highly segmented, multi-channel experience across all of our services, to meet user needs and drive positive behaviours. The successful firm in this procurement will support us in achieving this outcome through providing resource, expertise and knowledge and skills transfer. Our scheme service provider will also bring design capability, and will ultimately deliver, maintain and iterate the experience, so a flexible and collaborative approach to generating high quality design deliverables in complex programmes is required.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The following (non-exhaustive) user types require insight-driven segmented journeys across all services:
- As a member I need to be supported in my savings journey with Nest, up to and through my retirement
- As an employer I need to manage my automatic enrolment duties, while supporting my employees
- As a third-party, I need to effectively use the Nest Scheme on behalf of others
- As a third-party integrator (e.g. a payroll software provider) I need to integrate my software with Nest
- As a self-employed member, I need to manage my pension contributions and be supported
Early market engagement
We discussed our draft requirements with a spread of organisations. In particular we focussed on whether the market could deliver:
- The flexibility Nest needs to bring resource and skills into the team as design progresses (and how the nature and scale of resource is unpredictable)
- Nest’s demand for upskilling and for the supplier to take a collaborative approach, given the central role Nest’s service provider will play in service design and delivery
- Design which considers the complex nature of Nest’s services, given the scale and diversity of the user base and the need to design end-to-end and front-to-back, segmented, multi-channel services in a regulated environment
We have used this engagement to refine and clarify our requirements. In particular it is important for potential bidders to understand the need to work with our service provider in driving design quality, through contributing to the development of design deliverables and building design capability within Nest.
Any work that’s already been done
The Scheme has been fully up and running since 2012, and we have gathered extensive insight about customers' needs and behaviours throughout this time. The re-design of the services will take this as a jumping-off point. Additionally, we have been planning the likely scale of the redesign and team scale, and consider we are likely to require the following types of resource at various points in the process:
- Human Centred Service Design Leadership
- Content design
- User Experience design
- Interaction design
Existing team
The Supplier will be working as part of the Nest Corporation team, alongside our service provider and together we will design the entire set of Nest services for all of the Users described above. The Nest Corporation team forms a new service design function, sitting within a delivery programme as Nest prepares to move to a new service contract and solution in 2023.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
London, with flexibility to work elsewhere or remotely as appropriate
Working arrangements
We expect to work in a variety of ways: remotely, face-to-face and a mixture of the two. We do not pay expenses.
Security clearance
BPSS clearance required for all resource.

Additional information

Skills and experience

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

Essential skills and experience
  • - Designing services which drive behaviour change at population level in order to solve societal problems (i.e. for user groups in excess of 1m)
  • - Sustainably delivering design capability in an organisation undergoing a complex change programme
  • - Designing services 'front to back' to meet complex user needs i.e. taking account of the whole customer journey, the operational fulfilment of that journey, and the support available
  • Driving up design standards without 'doing' design
  • Designing insight-driven, highly segmented services for user groups at scale (i.e. user groups in excess of 1m)
  • Designing services which meet the needs of users with accessibility requirements at scale, for groups of >1m customers
  • Ensuring systematic continuous improvement is achieved through the design process
  • Delivering systematic quality assurance in a complex design process, in a challenging stakeholder environment, to make sure services meet user and organisational needs
  • Applying Human Centred Design methodologies to the design of multi-channel B2C services for users at scale
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Using digital service design to solve societal problems where those problems are related to saving or Financial wellbeing behaviours
  • Applying Human Centred Design methodologies to the design of multi-channel B2C services for users at scale in regulated Financial Services
  • Applying Human Centred Design methodologies to the design of multi-channel B2B services for users at scale in regulated Financial Services

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • The depth and breadth of experience presented and how it demonstrates relevant technical design capability
  • The proposed process for resourcing Nest's requirements, including the approach and timeline for identifying, onboarding and flexing the team as required
  • Your proposed approach to driving quality in team deliverables, taking account of Nest's specific circumstances and the need to work with Nest's service provider
  • Your proposed approach to resource and team management, issue resolution and escalation
  • Your proposed approach to knowledge transfer, capability building and upskilling in the Nest team
  • Value for money, including any additional value your organisation will deliver to Nest
Cultural fit criteria
  • Approach to working jointly with Nest and our service provider through an intense period of team formation and subsequent delivery
  • Approach to working under pressure in complex transformation programmes
  • Approach to ensuring alignment with Nest's values (ease, transparency, respect and empowerment)
  • Approach to driving quality through coaching and other techniques, rather than necessarily through content delivery
  • Approach to instilling confidence, energy and enthusiasm in a mixed-discipline team
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Does essential skill/experience “Designing services which meet the needs of users with accessibility requirements at scale” in Question 6 apply to just digital channels?
We anticipate our services will be designed ‘digital first’ with support across multiple channels. So this question should not be viewed as limited to digital channels.
2. 2. The brief doesn't mention timelines much – how long would we be expected to partner with them and how long would we need to provide resource for
it says work starts in Jan 2021 but nothing about how long they expect the partnership to last?
The contract is for two years and while this does not mean we expect a specific level of resource to be in place for this amount of time, we would expect to be maintaining our partnership throughout.
3. Can you say more about what you expect the second round bidding process to look like?
We are expecting to invite shortlisted suppliers to prepare a proposal to meet our requirements, and to include:
• Case study
• Work history
• Reference
In addition, we will be expecting a presentation on the suppliers’ proposal and their approach to working with Nest.
4. How do you propose to evaluate price?
Price is evaluated on how close each supplier's quote is to the cheapest quote.
5. Will you provide more information about Nest and the problems to be solved to shortlisted suppliers?
We will re-cap key context, to best support the development of proposals.
6. Can you say more about the source(s) of time or other pressures you refer to in your tender?
We will be working as part of a fast-moving delivery programme. At a high-level, this programme needs to make sure that all of Nest’s services are designed and delivered, ready for transition to a new solution before our current administration contract ends in 2023.
7. Can you say more about the size and composition of the existing Nest team? Do you plan to change the size and composition of this team significantly in the future?
At present, the Nest design team involved in this work consists of a set of service leaders and design analysts, and is expected to include experts in risk, compliance and insight.

This team will need to adapt as the demands of the programme become clear over the next few years, and we will be continually reviewing the optimal resource blend and skillset.
8. Do you have a representative panel of users with which you can conduct user research?
This procurement is not seeking user panels or user research facilities.
9. It's usual for expenses to be payable for travel and subsistence away from the contract's base location. Can you confirm whether you will pay expenses for this or whether you expect the winning supplier to absorb these expenses?
The contract base location will be in London and any expenses paid will be in line with Nest internal Travel & Expenses policy.
10. Do you already have a backlog of projects that will commence in January or do you expect the supplier to help develop this?
We will have a programme plan as defined by our scheme administrator.
11. Please could you confirm the procurement timeline and stages beyond 2 November? When do you envisage reaching contract award?
The following are indicative key dates:

- Shortlisted suppliers notified: by 20 November
- Deadline for proposals: 30 November
- Supplier presentations: w/c 30 November
- Outcome of evaluation communicated to shortlisted suppliers: by 18 December

While these dates remain indicative, the intention is to award the contract pre-Christmas.
12. For "Applying Human Centred Design methodologies to the design of multi-channel B2C services for users at scale" – would you consider a Government to Consumer example as meeting the criteria?
Potentially, provided that it also demonstrated multi-channel, end-to-end (i.e. considering the entire user journey) and front-to-back (i.e. considering fulfilment as well as experience) service design, and other aspects of complexity, as set out in our requirements.
13. Can you advise how this relates to the "Provision of NEST Scheme Administration Services" procurement that was advertised in the market in 2018/2019?
Both of these procurements are complementary.
We are looking for support in building digital service design capability in Nest Corporation, so that we can work effectively with our solution provider (who will be identified following the completion of the procurement exercise started in 2018/19).
This is one of the reasons it is important to Nest that the provider of the services we are seeking from the digital marketplace is able to work collaboratively and flexibly.