Awarded to fffunction (Bankruptcy Insolvency Event > Dissolved)

Start date: Monday 2 October 2017
Value: £37,950
Company size: SME
Forest Research

Forest Research website development

12 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 1 large

19 Completed applications

18 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 17 July 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 24 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 31 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
FR site needs to cater to the growing demands of our users, both internal and external.
The current management system is old and has significant limitations. The future possible addition of an information/data hub, requires a more flexible and modular approach.
Specific requirements are available at
Latest start date
Friday 1 September 2017
Expected contract length
20 months (8 months design,build and testing, 12 months support & maintenance).
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Forest Research
Budget range
The total value of this contract over the entire period, will be in the region of £38,000(ex VAT).

About the work

Why the work is being done
Forest Research (FR) website was last developed in 2014 (

It has been agreed that by 31 March 2018, Forest Research
will need to have moved the website out with the Forestry Commission servers and to a new system. This offers FR opportunity to a new website which is fit for purpose and suits the demands of a research market leader.
Problem to be solved
FR requirements have expanded since 2014, and its site needs to cater to the growing demands of our users, both internal and external.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users vary from policy developers, researchers, Forestry commission staff to landowners and the media. The website is fundamental channel to disseminate our research and advice and promote our services to the forestry industry.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have done online user research to understand users' needs
Existing team
Forest Research digital media manager and FR Head of IT with the support of a working group
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Envisioned to be a mixture of on-site and off-site working. On-site at the Forest Research Roslin, Scotland, offices, off-site at the supplier premises. Potential requirement to visit other FR premises in the UK (Surrey).
Working arrangements
Suppliers will be required to work on-site as required, although it is envisaged that the majority of the work will take place at the suppliers’ premises. The supplier will submit weekly reports to the FR representative regarding the status of the project, milestones met and any issues that may impact on timescales and cost.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
First-phase development and execution of the Alpha and Beta phases to be completed ready for go-live at the latest March 2018. The evaluation will process according to the DOS evaluation criteria:

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
  • Demonstrable experience of a website redevelopment that has led to proven improvements in one or more of: website traffic; user engagement; user satisfaction;
  • Demonstrable experience of providing CMS strategic guidance along with an effective integration with an existing CMS;
  • Evidence of website development which supports photographs, video clips, other rich media as well as social media integration ;
  • Demonstrable experience of managing the entire project lifecycle, including the planning, design, development and delivery of projects in line with Government Digital Service Standards
  • Demonstrable experience of redesign and redeployment of websites in a mobile-first manner; to include how this was done and the improvements in business outcomes;
  • Demonstrable experience of providing an easy-to-use, simple interface for website content contributors to upload, edit and manage content;
  • Demonstrable experience regarding the use of subdomains and directories
  • Recommend the optimum way for a business with several publically hosted, externally facing web applications to utilise a single top-level domain name
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Previous experience in working with an knowledge-based organisation such as research facility, goverment department, academic department etc.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Proposed approach, methodology and timescales, including team availability and responsiveness ;
  • Skills and experience of the team;
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs;
  • How the bidder proposes to provide training and knowledge transfer for content publishers
Cultural fit criteria
  • How the bidder proposes to work with a distributed organisation;
  • Evidence of working with a government or academic organisation ;
  • Evidence of working with clients with different levels of technical expertise
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. as per the guidance laid out for this framework -
1- Please can you confirm that you would like just 1 client example per 100 word question, and following the structure set out below - what the situation was, the work the team did, what the results were
2- Please can you confirm that we can use the same client example for more than 1 question?
3- Please can you confirm if you would prefer public or private examples or a mix of public/private client examples?
1- yes that would be acceptable. The set answer structure is fine but don't feel limited by it.
2- we would rather see a variety of examples to show breadth of work but if this is not available then you can reuse the same example.
3- a mix of examples would be good, as long as they are a good fit in showing similar requirements as ours
2. Are we to assume that the £38,000 (+VAT) is solely for the new website development and the hosting and support for the first and subsequent years is subject to a separate budget?
£38,000 must cover design and build and year 1 website support. we assumed bank of hours or similar arrangement. Hosting will be procured separately.
3. Could you please provide a link to one of the layered maps described in 1.2.2 and provide a little more information on the tools by your scientists to create them?
You can find examples of how maps are used on this page: in pdf formats (see "National mapping for Northern Ireland").
Our scientists use ESRI ARC GiS software to create maps. The software will soon move to an online cloud base platform with hopefully more interactivity. At the moment it exports in image files and interactive pdfs which are huge. We are hoping to be able to display layered maps via the website instead with layers switching on and off as required.
4. Approximately how many events do you have over a 12 month period?
It varies but we usually have about 30. More on past events here:
5. Are you expecting the Seed Storage and Tree Species databases to be rebuilt in the new CMS within the budget or will this database be a separate resource?
They have to be built within the budget. They are very simple databases and not really very sophisticated.
6. Do you have a Lotus Domino Web Server running as this will give many options for exporting, so as long as the data is stored in a Lotus database?
Yes the site is made up of a series of Lotus Notes databases
7. For the migration, which is a considerable amount of work, will direct data access be provided and/or is a Lotus Notes API available?
The whole database can be provided as a stand-alone item (i.e. it is a snapshot) or you can access the live environment. The data itself is easily available in a number of ways. The site is built with the main contents of most pages stored in the HTML Text fields. This probably allows you access to 80% of the content. There is also a Lotus Notes API.
8. Thanks for expanding on the layered map detail. The way it works at the moment could prove very time-consuming (and expensive) to implement interactively, especially if it's short term due to the new cloud based system being introduced. Will the new system allow you to embed the interactive maps created by your scientists, much like dropping in a Vimeo or YouTube video? Do you have a date for this new system to be introduced and would you be willing to wait, as this could save a considerable chunk of your budget for some of the other functionality you need.
Yes, the new GiS system will allow to embed layered maps using iframes. Very much like embedding a video. We just need to ensure the new cms allows us to do that (the current system doesn't).
9. How much experience has Forest Research got of procuring via the digital marketplace? 2. Following on from a previous answer: "2- we would rather see a variety of examples to show breadth of work but if this is not available then you can reuse the same example." Each answer box provides 100 words. That is room for 1 example to be provided in sufficient detail as per the guidelines. Can we: - Provide links? - Provide case studies? - Links to or rich media?
This is our first procurement exercise through DM although I fail to see the relevance.We can't access the supplier guidelines you provided.
However I am assuming (unless it specifically states otherwise somewhere in the guidelines) that adding links to other media would be acceptable.
The breadth of work comment was in relation to reusing the same sample for multiple answers and not multiple case studies for 1 answer. So 100 words for each answer, using different examples for each answer seems reasonable.
10. Will expenses be covered for travel and accommodation? Or is this also included within the budget?
No, it is not in the budget and supplier will need to cover their own expenses if travelling. We will be happy to meet at the supplier's office when required.
11. There is a suggestion that users may need to use the system outside of the office doing surveys. Can you confirm if there will be an offline portion of the app and will this development also be expected within the £38k budget?
By surveys we meant conducting surveys such as Survey Monkey, with questionnaires not surveying in any other capacity.
Not sure what is meant by "offline portion of the app"?
12. Clarification of question 9 - as it can't be edited
Supplier guidelines state:
"you should only provide one example unless the buyer specifies otherwise" - which is what we said - one example per question is fine.
"you can reuse examples across different essential or nice to have requirements if you need to" - so if you don't have anything else suitable to show us, you can reuse the same sample, if you need to but you don't have to. That is the supplier's decision of course on how they present their expertise.