Awarded to Zoocha Limited

Start date: Monday 19 April 2021
Value: £69,030
Company size: SME
Essex County Council

Website for the BLUEPRINT to a Circular Economy Project

23 Incomplete applications

22 SME, 1 large

42 Completed applications

40 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 5 February 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 12 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 19 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Building, hosting and maintaining a new website for an EU–funded project that aims to promote a regional circular economy approach.
Latest start date
Monday 19 April 2021
Expected contract length
24 months with a possible 3 month extension
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Essex County Council
Budget range
Up to £70,000 (includes build, hosting and ongoing maintenance and support for the duration of the contract, and migration to an ECC determined platform at any point in the contract)

About the work

Why the work is being done
Essex County Council is the lead partner on BLUEPRINT to a Circular Economy, an Interreg funded project, aiming to initiate new policies, strategies and approaches to unlock sustainable and inclusive growth opportunities in the transition to a circular economy (CE).

The project requires a website to be live by the end of June 2021. This platform will provide useful, relevant and timely information to partners, stakeholders and the wider public. It should act as a platform to share success stories, key learnings and important updates. The website will be used to recruit local authorities, social enterprises and volunteers for the project and facilitate signing up to events, workshops and seminars.
Problem to be solved
ECC needs an online channel to share information about the project and expand its reach. The project and its partners will need to share case studies and success stories around their approach to creating a circular economy approach.

Members of the public need to be able to access information about the project in English and French

Partners and stakeholders need to be able to share information and other project updates with members of the public

Stakeholders must be able to find information about and register their interest for events and activities

Stakeholders must be able to access training materials

ECC needs a supplier that works with an available open-source platform, as it will be consolidating its web-estate in 2021
Who the users are and what they need to do
ECC needs an online channel to share information about the project and expand its reach. The project and its partners will need to share case studies and success stories around their approach to creating a circular economy approach.

Members of the public need to be able to access information about the project in English and French

Partners and stakeholders need to be able to share information and other project updates with members of the public

Stakeholders must be able to find information about and register their interest for events and activities

Stakeholders must be able to access training materials

ECC needs a supplier that works with an available open-source platform, as it will be consolidating its web-estate in 2021
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
Engaged with project partners and the funding body to determine what information we might offer on the site, and some high level goals for the initial stage of the website launch
Existing team
The supplier will work with the BLUEPRINT Team at Essex County Council. This comprises a Project Manager, Communications Officer and two Sustainability Resilience Officers.

There may also be some contact with the Tech Services Team, and Product and Delivery Team at Essex County Council.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
This work will be completed remotely.
Working arrangements
We are all working remotely for the time being, but the supplier must work with the ECC Team to continuously prioritise and agree on deliverables and time frames. The team will hold regular status updates with the supplier, as well as training on how to access and use the CMS system.
Security clearance
N/A

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
N/A

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
  • Demonstrate experience in building websites using one of the available open-source CMS platforms in the market
  • Demonstrate experience of designing websites based on research with users, their needs and inclusive design principles
  • Demonstrate experience of proactively meeting evolving accessibility guidelines on a website
  • Demonstrate experience of helping an organisation turn web metrics into actionable insights
  • Demonstrate experience of building websites that work with accessible 3rd party tools in the market or readily available web modules for event management (advertise and bookings)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of building multi-lingual websites
  • Experience of working on projects that aim to promote recycling and environmental awareness

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • How the approach can meet user needs, the Government Service Standard, and the Technology Code of Practice
  • Clarity of the approach
  • The Skills you will provide for this requirement and your dedicated team
  • Understanding of risk and how to mitigate these for a successful delivery
  • Understanding of value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • How the supplier works with and supports our organisation
  • Be transparent and collaborative with making decisions
  • How the supplier shares knowledge and experience with ECC team members
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is the consolidation of web-estate within the scope of this work?
No - this is solely focussed on the Blueprint project. However, the scope for this procurement does include migrating the Blueprint website into the new, consolidated ECC web platform at any point in the contract.
2. Do you have any specific preference for CMS? Any selection criteria for selecting open-source CMS?
No - as long as sufficient training is provided and there is sound reasoning behind the choice. This may include ease of use by ECC staff for content creation and management of that content.
3. Migrating to EU hosting: is this cloud-based infrastructure? such as AWS, Rackspace etc? or it will be in your own data centre?
The new ECC web-estate will be based on a cloud-based platform but the exact platform has not yet been set.
4. Can you confirm that the £70k budget is over the full 2 years of the project and covers build, maintain and support?
Yes, this is correct.
5. On the hosting side, can the site go on the existing hardware?
Existing hardware/web server can be used.
6. How many different languages does the site need to be available in?
Two - English and French. All content must be available in both languages, with a language toggle at the top of each page to switch between EN and FR.
7. Do you have a list of preferred Open Source CMSs to use on this project, or are you open to recommended options.
No - as long as sufficient training is provided and there is sound reasoning behind the choice. This may include ease of use by ECC staff for content creation and management of that content.
8. After you have shortlisted suppliers, will there be an opportunity to have a call to discuss the project in more detail?
Supplier can find out more information at https://www.channelmanche.com/en/projects/approved-projects/blueprint-to-a-circular-economy/
9. You note “3rd party tools” for event management, are you able to detail which 3rd party software this website will need to integrate with and any details on how this integration should work.
No specific tools or platform have been selected for the Blueprint website. We welcome your recommendations but sufficient training must be provided for the selected solutions. The new ECC web-estate platform into which the Blueprint site will eventually be integrated has not yet been set but it will be cloud-based.
10. Is all site content to be in English & French (i.e. case studies/success stories, event information & learning materials) or just information about the project? Do you require a full translation service from the supplier and if so is this to be included within the budget?
All content must be available in both languages, with a language toggle at the top of each page so users can switch between English and French. All written content (English and French) will be provided by the team at Essex County Council - translation is not in the procurement scope, as we use our own translation service. Translation budget is therefore not included/not relevant.
11. With regards to budget, is the £70k budget inc or ex-VAT?
Excluding VAT
12. How many users will administrate and share to the platform?
We require one admin account that can be used by the ECC BLUEPRINT Team.
13. Do you have a preferred CMS you would prefer our quote to be based on?
No - as long as sufficient training is provided and there is sound reasoning behind the choice. This may include ease of use by ECC staff for content creation and management of that content.
14. Do you support AWS Cloud hosting for storing Website assets and Databases? Or Is data to be stored on internal servers?
No specific tools or platform have been selected for the Blueprint website. We welcome your recommendations but sufficient training must be provided for the selected solutions. The new ECC web-estate platform into which the Blueprint site will eventually be integrated has not yet been set but it will be cloud-based.
15. We can see that the site can go on the existing hardware, and as such, can you clarify that hosting doesn’t need to be included?
By reference to existing hardware, we are referring to the awarded contractor's hardware. The expectation is for the contractor to provide hosting.
16. What level of maintenance and support do you require, for example, response times and SLAs (options ranging from our baseline support program for regular business hours: all the way up to maximum availability mission-critical support: 24/7/365 days a year with Monthly Uptime Percentage of the CMS and code base of 99.9%).
The expectation would be to fall into the supplier's baseline support program for regular business hours i.e. 08:00-18:00 GMT.
An example of a typical response time is 1-4 business hours (or better) for a Priority 1, whereby in the event of a service failure, the service will meet recoverability targets of 8 hours or less for recovery time, with 4 hours or less of data loss.
Furthermore, we are looking for the website to have a minimum monthly uptime percentage of 99.9% (exclusive of agreed, planned maintenance)."
17. Do you need a breakdown of costs (initial build, hosting, maintenance, migration) etc? or need one quote for the entire 24 months?
We require a breakdown of costs for each year of the project, including the build, hosting, maintenance and migration costs.
18. Will payment distributed over the length of the engagement? terms please?
Yes, payment will be distributed over the length of the engagement.
19. Apart from delivering content, what other functionality do you anticipate this website needs (e.g. search, interactive forms, etc)?
We would like some users to be able to access password protected training content and complete assigned learning. We would like to work with the supplier to develop this system based on user needs. The website should also have an events calendar, which displays upcoming activities and allows all users to book a place. Furthermore, we need to be able to share reports with website visitors in an accessible way. The supplier should recommend other functionalities as they see fit.
20. Will users be able to register to use the platform (Internally / Externally)?
Yes - at minimum, we want to enable users to access non-public areas/resources, however, we may find our users need to be segmented further. The proposed solution should be able to scale to those needs and allow additional permissions settings based on user categorisation.
21. Will Partners have different Administrative permissions to Stakeholders? (For Example, Partners are limited to certain activities on the site)?
Currently, we only intend to have two permission levels, administrator (ECC) and user (all others). However, we may find our users need to be segmented further (for example, individuals and institutions). The proposed solution should be able to scale to those needs and allow additional permissions settings based on user categorisation.
22. Apart from events, are there any other requirements for integration with third-party software?
We intend to use Gov Delivery for newsletters and also need to embed a contact form. Third-party software may also be necessary for our members' only portal, a password protected area where we will share training content. We may wish to embed other features later in the project, such as interactive maps. We welcome the supplier's advice on these integrations, as well as their suggestions on how to make integrations accessible and user-friendly.
23. Do you plan to allow users to sign up to an email newsletter? If yes, do you have a preferred platform?
Yes - GovDelivery
24. Can you tell us any more about the type of events advertised on the website: what type of events and who these are targeted at?
We are developing an Events Publication for the project, which will involve project representatives talking about our activities and outputs across England and France (virtually for now). Representatives will also be speaking about the project at external events, which we would also like to list on the website (in this case, it would be a case of directing visitors to an external site to book). Furthermore, there will also be training events, volunteer sessions and community activities which we will share on the website.
25. Do you plan to charge for events booked via the website or are they free?
All BLUEPRINT events will be free of charge. If there are any external events that charge for tickets, these will be booked on a separate website (i.e. the website of the organisation hosting the event).
26. Is event management and booking in the scope of this project?
Event management is not in the scope of the project. The supplier should integrate a booking system which displays upcoming activities and allows users to book a place. The supplier should advise on systems and train ECC on how to use the chosen platform.
27. Do you have an initial indication of the size of the articles you desire to share on the platform (Example: X amount of Workshops, X Amount of Events, and XX Pages)?
Exact size/volume of articles are not known at present (minimum numbers below). The solution will be able to scale and flex with these.

- 53 events

- 2 blog posts/month

- 5 areas containing multiple pages

- (TBC) PDF reports and/or corresponding pages (containing info if short, summarising if long).

We welcome guidance on information architecture and user-flow.

The supplier is not responsible for content; providing the CMS can accommodate the inclusion and scaling of multiple page types (including media), ECC will manage content addition and therefore requires training on the CMS and other relevant content tools (e.g. events platform).
28. Do you require support with adding content to the website as part of the procurement?
Only insofar as training and guidance. The supplier should provide training on how to use the CMS system, add/change/remove content and add/remove pages. They should also advise on best practice for adding content (e.g. SEO considerations).
29. The scope of work outlines the requirement to include general content, events, activities, updates, news, form submissions – are there any other functionality or types of content that will need to be included within the site for initial launch?
"We require permission levels and password protection of non-public areas. Currently, we only intend to have two permission levels, administrator (ECC) and user (all others). However, we may find our users need to be segmented further (for example, individuals and institutions). The proposed solution should be able to scale to those needs and allow additional permissions settings based on user categorisation.

Additional content types include media (images, videos) and downloadable documents. "
30. Will the site need to integrate with an existing CRM system and if so, which CRM do you currently have in place? i.e. for form submissions.
No - as long as sufficient training is provided and there is sound reasoning behind the choice. This may include ease of use by ECC staff for content creation and management of that content.
31. Do you have any idea of the volume of training materials to publish on the site? Do you know what formats you want to support (e.g. PDF, PPT, video)?
"Exact size/volume of articles are not known at present (minimum numbers below). The solution will be able to scale and flex with these.

- 53 events

- 2 blog posts/month

- 5 areas containing multiple pages

- (TBC) PDF reports and/or corresponding pages (containing info if short, summarising if long).

We welcome guidance on information architecture and user-flow.

The supplier is not responsible for content; providing the CMS can accommodate the inclusion and scaling of multiple page types (including media), ECC will manage content addition and therefore requires training on the CMS and other relevant content tools (e.g. events platform)."
32. Is event management and booking in the scope of this project? Does any specific system need to be integrated?
Event management is not in the scope of the project. The supplier should integrate a booking system which displays upcoming activities and allows users to book a place. We have not selected the systems to be used. The supplier should advise on systems and train ECC on how to use the chosen platform.
33. Will you provide graphical assets including images? If not, do you expect us to obtain licensed or royalty free images?
We will provide all images.
34. Will image and photography content be provided by the client?
Yes
35. Alongside on-going website maintenance support for the project, would you also require additional digital marketing services such as an on-going SEO, CRO and interactive reporting for on-site activity to be a part of this procurement and included within the fixed-fee?
Digital marketing services are not in scope.
36. When do you anticipate awarding the contract by?
Tuesday 30 March 2021 however work will not start until the contract has been signed by both parties
37. What is the procurement process once the shortlisted suppliers have been selected, will you be entering into a pitch process and if yes, what dates do you anticipate the pitches will take place?
We will be asking shortlisted suppliers to respond to a written proposal in order to help us understand how the supplier plans to address our user needs. We will use the proposed solution criteria, cultural fit criteria and price as published in the opportunity.
38. Does the fixed-fee for the project need to include the cost of 3rd party tools such as a 3rd party event booking tools or form solutions?
Yes
39. We note a potential requirement to migrate the new website into a new ECC web platform at any point in the contract, when you consolidate your web-estate. Please can you confirm if this is just in relation to website hosting, rather than the website platform itself i.e. database and CMS?
The Blueprint website will definitely move to the new ECC web platform within two years (the length of the contract) but the exact date is to be determined. We can confirm this only relates to hosting. The CMS/database/etc. will not be expected to migrate or change.
40. Will partners and stakeholders have their own login and ability to publish content? if yes, do you envisage content approval workflow?
The ECC Team will add, share, change or remove content on behalf of all partners and stakeholders. We do not require a content approval workflow, as this will be managed internally.
41. Is training material in video format? Will you need audio/video streaming included in cost?
We have not yet finalised the content of the training scheme. We anticipate a large portion to be text; however, we would like the option to include video content if required/preferred. We would also like to embed video content elsewhere on the website (e.g. "About" pages). The chosen video plugin must meet accessibility requirements, with the ability to add closed captions and transcripts. Video/audio streaming is included in the budget.
42. Will there be a closed/open beta test of the platform before June 30th?
We require opportunities for review, testing and signoff of the project during its development, one of which will be at Beta stage. This will be for ECC only so no partner nor public involvement is required.
43. "Will the site require an account area for local authorities, volunteers, social enterprises that are actively a part of the BLUEPRINT project, so content can be restricted from public-view? If yes;
What functionality will the account area require?"
The solution will have an account area to host training content for individuals who engage in Work Package 2 activities (a circular economy training programme). This will be restricted from public view. We may wish to segment these users further and show different documents, tasks and/or content to different users depending on categorisation. The solution should be scalable and flexible to meet these requirements.
44. Will events, case studies and training materials need be linked and/or cross referenced, and what types of content will be required – video, audio, etc?
Events, blog posts, training materials etc. will be linked and/or cross referenced. This should be done in a way that provides the best user journey. We welcome the supplier's guidance on this process.
45. If a CRM isn’t in place, will you be happy to receive form submissions via email?
The supplier should embed a form, with validated fields, and we are happy to receive submissions via email.
46. "The project scope details that partners and stakeholders will need to share information with members of the public – will partners and stakeholders require access as website editors for the website? If yes,
Will different levels of user permissions be required to add content to the website and restrict access to certain areas, or will the ECC team be adding this content to the site on their behalf?"
Partners and stakeholders will not require any content addition/edit permissions as ECC will add content on their behalf. Partner/stakeholders may, however, need different levels of access permissions.

Currently, we only intend to have two permission levels, administrator (ECC) and user (all others). However, we may find our users need to be segmented further (for example, individuals and institutions). The proposed solution should be able to scale to those needs and allow additional permissions settings based on user categorisation. We will also require different levels for viewing content, as training materials will need to be hosted in a password-protected area.
47. What sort of traffic is expected (i.e. number of visits per annum(? to measure bandwidth requirements.
Based on figures from our nearest comparable ECC website, we would estimate 100-150,000 users per annum. Whilst this website is well-established and BLUEPRINT is a new project, the ECC site is only intended to be used by Essex residents. BLUEPRINT, however, will be rolled out across 10 local authorities across England and France, so the reach may vary considerably. We require the solution to scale and flex with the project as we learn from users’ actual engagement.