Awarded to Zoocha Limited

Start date: Friday 5 January 2018
Value: £123,975
Company size: SME
The National Forest Company Company Registration: 2991970 Registered Charity Number: 1166563

Website Development and Digital Service Partner Recruitment

12 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 1 large

21 Completed applications

20 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Friday 29 September 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 6 October 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 13 October 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The NFC is looking for a digital partner to support the organisation with the following:

i) Management of the current websites and systems.
ii) Website convergence options and website development.
iii) Database, CRM, internal and third party system integration.
iv) Product development including digital fulfilment.
v) Hosting and maintenance support.
Latest start date
Monday 4 December 2017
Expected contract length
2 years
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
The National Forest Company Company Registration: 2991970 Registered Charity Number: 1166563
Budget range
Total budget £125,000+vat
Phase I to be complete by May 2108 £90k
Phase 2 £35k to be completed by September 2018
Maintenance to run to March 2019

About the work

Why the work is being done
To help the National Forest become more sustainable we need to get more support from businesses, its community and visitors. The latest National Forest business plan includes new brand guidelines and an income generation strategy. The plan aims to raise our profile and to generate long term sustainable income to supplement our Defra funding.

We are developing new products and campaigns to help generate donations from people benefiting from the Forest. A new website, database and CRM integration is required to help meet the these requirements. Phase 1 work is required for completion by May 2018.
Problem to be solved
We have three websites which need converging into one and refreshed with our new brand guidelines, content and new products as they are launched. The new website also requires integration with our database, CRM system, internal and external systems. Hosting and maintenance support is also required for the new website. To see the full brief follow this link
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our main users are businesses, residents and visitors. We are wanting these audiences to engage in our programmes and ultimately to donate to the National Forest Charity. The concept is that beneficiaries of the Forest contribute to its sustainable growth. Businesses sponsor us to benefit from brand attribution. Residents benefit from improvements to their local environment and visitors enjoy short breaks and day visits.
Early market engagement
This work has been previously unsuccessfully tendered. During that process we gained feedback from a number of suppliers on the DOS systems that our scope of work was too ambitious for the available budget.
In this re-listed opportunity we have revised our scope and budget to take into account the feedback and guidance.
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The supplier's principal contact will be the National Forest Development Manager who will be supported by a small in-house team including a Digital Content Producer and Systems Administrator.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
No specific location. They can work remotely however we would envisage that the supplier work on-site and meet with the team on-site as required.
Working arrangements
The supplier will submit weekly reports to the NFC 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

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
  • Capacity of web development staff to accelerate project timelines – 2 points
  • Website redevelopment projects in the charity and/or sustainability sector – 1 point
  • Content Management System (CMS) working with various levels of access for both internal and external users – 2 points
  • Analytics packages to measure and report on KPIs related to corporate scorecards and key user journeys – 3 points
  • Integration of database and a customer relationship management system with a website – 3 points
  • Discovery phase of a similar project, including convergence of multiple websites into one, mapping user journeys and how you converted these into useful website requirements – 3 points
  • Website redevelopment that has led to proven improvements in: brand perception (where you have applied brand guidelines); traffic; conversion rate; regular donations and corporate sponsorship – 3 points
  • Integrating third party data into such sites ideally for bookable product and/or ticket sales – 3 points
  • Government Digital Service and accessibility standards – 1 point
  • Quality of service around maintenance support service level agreements you manage – 2 points
  • Data security and assurance for a government organisation – 1 point
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Overall road map
  • Transition management
  • Strategy - methodology and approach
  • Architectural design approach
  • Sustainable innovation in product development
  • Project management
  • Client management - we are a very small in house team
  • Deployment processes
  • SLA management for ongoing maintenance
  • Hosting & infrastructure experience
  • Database integration and management
  • Costs (Value for Money) - hourly rate for maintenance
Cultural fit criteria
  • Understanding our vision - creating a digital platform strategy roadmap which helps us achieve our sustainability aims and objectives – 3 points
  • Approach and values supporting sustainability – 1 point
  • Innovative approach to online product development and digital fulfilment – 3 points
  • In kind support offered – 1 point
  • Experience of working with a small in house team – 2 points
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there any current leaning towards which type of CMS platform is to be used - licence-fee, open source etc?
Whilst we are mindful about current budget and ongoing costs we are open to guidance as to the best system to suit our needs and are therefore open-minded.
2. How often would you expect the supplier to be on-site working with the team?
We expect that the much of the work will be carried out remotely however we would anticipate that the supplier will allow for early consultation with our team and then site meetings as required. As a guide, our expectation is that initially this would be approximately every 4 weeks, supported by weekly progress reports. However, this would need to be reviewed and scaled up or down depending on methodology applied and progress. If suppliers are invited to full proposal stage their approach to client management will form part of the return (please see the full brief section 7 item 7).
3. Do you have an existing analytics package or a preferred analytics platform?
We currently use google analytics. Whilst it makes sense to continue to use GA as our staff have had some training in its use we are open to advice and suggestions.
4. Why is it important to be able to accelerate project timelines? Ideally by how much? Please could you be more specific about this requirement: In kind support offered which go above the cash investment into the website. Please could you be more specific about the requirement: Work to a capped budget which include templates for new product launches and campaigns. Please could you be more specific about the requirement: Innovative approach to online product development. Please can we have a copy of the ERD?
Following the phase 1 release of the website we are launching a campaign to drive traffic to the site. If there are delays to the timings we need reassurance that a supplier can put in extra resource. In kind support is extra value that an agency can bring beyond the paid for contract. The budget cannot be exceeded, please show what can be delivered up to this capped budget level. The information on product development and campaign templates is included in Section 5 of the brief. A copy of the ERD can be made available at the full proposal stage.
5. Does your budget of £125k include hosting, support and maintenance, or is this just for research, design, development and launch across phase 1 and 2?
Hosting and support for phase 1 and 2 is to be included in the budget. Hosting and support beyond this will be dealt with under a phase 3 which is yet to be determined.
6. Is your existing supplier being invited to tender for this opportunity?
All suppliers with access to the digital market place framework, which includes the current supplier, will have the opportunity to tender.
7. Do you have a team of content managers and content designers to help migrate content? Do you have a content strategy as part of your corporate vision?
We do not have a ‘team’ of content suppliers, we have one Digital Content Producer. We have a new set of brand guidelines which includes tone of voice recommendations.
8. Is there additional budget for incentivising users for user-testing?
There is currently no additional budget other than the £125k referred to in the brief.
9. Do you have access to users that would form part of our user research panel? If not will you be able to help us source users?
We have a database of partners and stakeholders that could potentially be approached to help with user testing.
10. Could you summarise the services you expect to be delivered as part of this contract, as the attached brief goes into a lot of detail around surrounding activities (such as email marketing) and we would like to clarify the services you are looking for (ie UX Design, Website Development, CMS Training, etc).
We expect the chosen supplier to deliver all services outlined in the brief including UX Design, website development, CMS training, API integration with third party applications, we would not expect the supplier to manage our email marketing campaigns.
11. As this project is to deliver discovery through to live across a range of services do you envisage the scope being redefined at the end of discovery - to map what can be achieved with the available budget, time and 3rd party dependencies?
We expect to work closely with the chosen supplier continuously to manage time and budget throughout the project.
12. Where integrations are desired as part of this brief have you completed any technical discovery to ensure these is possible? For example have you explored available APIs or engaged with the vendor at all?
APIs for essential integration e.g. CRM, are available. We intend to work with the chosen supplier to discover any desired integration possibilities. In kind support would be any added value your agency can bring beyond the paid for services.
13. Do you expect all “future requirements” listed in your briefing document to be included in the scope of work and budget assigned to this project?
Only the work outlined in Phase 1 and 2 is to be scoped within the budget.
14. Where you state you are open to using third party licensed products do you envisage any licenses coming out of your development budget or will these be costed separately?
The third party licenses would be costed separately.
15. Will the websites be required to pass AAA accessibility testing?
The web design needs to conform fully to latest accessibility requirements to WC3 AAA compliance and meet the Equality Act 2010 adhering to BS 8878 web accessibility code of practice.
16. Do you have an intended SLA for the hosting and support plan?
There is a current contract and SLA in place that terminates on 31 March 2018. It is expected that the chosen supplier will take on the hosting and support plan thereafter.
17. The total budget for the project is stated as £125k, with £90k for Phase 1 and £35k for Phase 2. However hosting and support is expected beyond this, does this link to a separate budget?
Hosting and support for phase 1 and 2 is to be included in the budget. Hosting and support beyond this will be dealt with under a phase 3 which is yet to be determined.
18. Are there any charities or organisations that you admire from a digital perspective?
We can share our preferences for the stage 3 pitch stage.
19. Do you have any existing brand assets (photography, copy, infographics etc.) that you anticipate incorporating into the new website?
We have a set of brand guidelines and associated design assets. The guidelines include style and tone of voice rather than actual copy and imagery.
20. In addition to the user research already done, has there been any testing on the current websites performed e.g heat-mapping, user testing, session recording?
There is limited information on this available through Google Analytics.
21. Can we request the ERD of their current system please if we haven’t already?
This can be provided at full proposal stage.
22. Can you provide any information about the size and shape of the internal team assigned to this project?
We have a very small internal team. The members of staff that will be available to work on this project, amongst other priorities, include: Director of Development, Development Manager (project manager), Digital Content Producer, Information Systems Officer and Tourism Development Manager.
23. The current website uses Wordpress, what are your impressions of WordPress- have you come across any limitations and, if so, what were they?
Set-up and templates are managed by our current supplier so limited knowledge of this internally. In terms of use to populate content, no issues have been reported.
24. Can you provide any more information on how you anticipate the new website being managed? Will there need to be an approval process managed within the CMS for new content? As we are converging 3 websites into 1, will there be a requirement to create different teams of content managers in the CMS?
Content will be managed internally. Whilst there will be no need for an approval process within the CMS, this will be required for the custom database. Options for teams managing relevant content on the CMS will be agreed internally and then an approach for this will be scoped with the supplier.
25. One of the key brand aims is to raise the profile of National Forest with the following audiences: government stakeholders, businesses, communities and visitors. Is there any priority among these audiences, what is the % split in terms of priority?
In terms of the brand aims raising the profile needs to be seen in the context of generating sustainable income growth and fulfilment. We consider business and regular individual giving audiences to be the highest priority i.e. businesses, communities and visitors. We estimate it is split 50% businesses and 50% communities and visitors.