Awarded to North Highland

Start date: Monday 8 January 2018
Value: £45,764
Company size: large
UK Export Finance (UKEF)

Discovery for UK Export Finance (UKEF)

3 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 1 large

11 Completed applications

8 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Thursday 2 November 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 9 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 16 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
UKEF is looking for a Supplier to undertake a Discovery. It will explore and evaluate the user needs of two (2) UKEF audience groups: Large Corporates and Overseas Buyers.
Latest start date
Friday 8 December 2017
Expected contract length
Three (3) months (maximum of six (6) weeks for initial SoW for the Discovery)
Organisation the work is for
UK Export Finance (UKEF)
Budget range
Up to £50,000

(all prices exclude VAT at the prevailing rate).

About the work

Why the work is being done
UKEF's overall objective is to increase take up of its services and products and to better compete with other Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) to bring supply chain demand to the UK.

This Discovery aims to establish an improved digital presence for UKEF services and products. It builds on initial user research, which identified that businesses want and need to be more engaged in export finance earlier in their user journey.

A related Discovery is being launched by the Department for International Trade (DIT) which aims to understand how can better meet the needs of their users (predominantly UK SMEs).
Problem to be solved
Additional research into two of UKEF's personas: Strategic Planner and Long-Term Developer, to increase the level of understanding of the user needs and interaction preferences of Large Corporates and Overseas Buyers.

The successful supplier will work with UKEF to deliver this Discovery and establish options to explore further in Alpha.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Initial research suggests that target audiences need to: become aware of the services and products on offer from the UK Government to promote export activity; understand the financial products available and assess their eligibility; and transact online to apply for a range of financial products in support of export activity.

For this Discovery, the focus is on increasing the level of understanding of the user needs and communication preferences of Large Corporates and Overseas Buyers, and also understanding the types of online transactional services that would be of value to these users.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
UKEF has identified a range of personas however has not undertaken in-depth research into Strategic Planner and Long-Term Developer personas.
Existing team
The team provide will be expected to work with and report to:

- Digital Director, UKEF
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The successful Supplier will be expected to work at UKEF offices in London, as well as other locations as and when needed.
Working arrangements
This will be confirmed upon agreement of initial Statement of Work, however it is expected for the duration of the Discovery, the Supplier should be onsite at UKEF or as required.
Security clearance
The supplier must confirm their team has the right to work in the UK and provide evidence of this should they be shortlisted to full evaluation stage.

The Supplier's team may be required to obtain BBPS or CTC Clearance, which DIT and UKEF will help to organise.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The successful Supplier will be required to adhere to UKEF's Data Security Policies. The Buyer reserves the right to seek clarification on proposals prior to the appointment.

The Buyer reserves the right not to award a contract.

A Statement of Work (SoW) will be agreed for the Discovery Phase requested. A decision on progression to Alpha will be made towards the end of the Discovery.

Expenses for travel and subsistence incurred by the Supplier in the London and the Greater London area will not be paid. Any other expenses will be agreed within the contract and any SoW.

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
  • Experience in delivering evidence-based research to inform a user-centred design, focused on user needs, end-to-end user journeys, motivations and goals
  • Experience of designing and developing services that meet indentified user needs and business objectives
  • Experience of prototyping, testing and iterating with users
  • Experience of working with financial services organisations active in export trade finance and export insurance
  • Demonstrate experience of working in public sector teams, particularly those with no/limited experience of Agile, in Discovery and iterative development
  • Experience of user research with large corporates in the UK and overseas
  • Proven experience in using robust metrics, analytics, search data and user feedback to audit and define key content and services
  • Experience or understanding of working to Government Digital Standards (GDS), including GDS Service Design Manual; the Digital Service Standard Assessment; Technology Code of Practice; and wider industry standards
  • Experience of leading Discovery and Alpha phases within the public sector
  • Experience of delivering the expected outcomes for the Discovery and Alpha phases
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working with users and stakeholders at all levels in large and complex organisations
  • An understanding of the policy and approach the government and the data community are taking with data and open data and of the benefits this provides
  • Experience of taking a service through the GDS Service Assessment
  • Experience of delivering the expected outcomes for the Beta phase
  • Demonstrate experience of developing cutting edge, engaging, dynamic designs and services that reflect a change in an organisation's online presence

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and Methodology towards meeting the Essential and Nice to Have Skills required
  • How the approach meets UKEF goals
  • Team structure and experience
  • Value for Money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Agile working
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Commitment to team working
  • Your approach to transferring knowledge and experience to UKEF staff to support learning from this project
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 the current interaction with Large Corporates and Overseas Buyers a manual process?
Yes; a manual front end with supporting back office systems.
2. Are there any systems, internal or external, involved in processing applications for Large Corporates and Overseas Buyers?
We recently introduced a workflow to support internal case management for processing applications.
3. Is there a dedicated internal team assigned to this project?
Yes, a small team while we complete the Discovery.
4. Is there an expectation that the Discovery will conclude with a formal GDS review?
No, it we progress beyond Discovery, we would expect a formal GDS Service Standard Assessment at the end of Alpha.
5. If the answer to Question 4 is yes, is there an expectation that the Supplier will be involved in the review?
If we progressed with the selected Supplier, they would be involved in the Service Standard Assessment at the end of Alpha.
6. Some of the requirements are quite specific, please can you let me know if you have an incumbent supplier in place, and if you do, are you happy with the existing contractors?
We do not have a Supplier currently in place.