Awarded to North Highland

Start date: Monday 8 January 2018
Value: £44,414
Company size: large
Department for International Trade (DIT)

Discovery for the Department for International Trade (DIT)

5 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 1 large

12 Completed applications

9 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
DIT is looking for a Supplier to undertake a Discovery to understand how can better meet the needs of customers of DIT and UK Export Finance.
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
Department for International Trade (DIT)
Budget range
Up to £50,000

(all prices exclude VAT at the prevailing rate).

About the work

Why the work is being done
DIT aims to provide a provide a seamless customer journey for UK exporters and overseas buyers across digital platforms.

UK Export Finance’s (UKEF) overall objective is to increase take up of its products and services and for UKEF to better compete with other Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) to bring supply chains to the UK.

This Discovery aims to establish an improved digital presence for UKEF products and services, where there is a clear user need.
Problem to be solved
DIT Digital’s initial user research identified that businesses want and need to be more engaged in export finance earlier in their user journey.

This Discovery should provide DIT with an understanding as to how can better meet the needs of customers of both DIT and UKEF.

For clarity, this Discovery does not seek to change the offer provided by UKEF, but is focussed on how UKEF’s services can be delivered to more customers through
Who the users are and what they need to do
Initial research suggests that the target audience needs 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.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing research indicates that users now expect to see online and offline services aligned. can support this by providing users with the tools, guidance and access to information about UKEF services alongside other web presences, most notably GOV.UK.

Users also need to be aware of the export finance service offering at an early point in their customer journey, to understand whether they would be eligible and ideally be able to compete or commence an application process to secure the financial products they require to help them:

1) Win export contracts
2) Fulfil export contracts
3) Get paid
Existing team
The team provided will be expected to work with and report to:

- Service Manager, Domestic Digital Services, DIT
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The successful Supplier will be expected to work at DIT, 3 Whitehall Place, London as well as other locations as and when needed.
Working arrangements
This will be confirmed upon agreement of the initial Statement of Work (SoW), however it is expected that for the duration of the Discovery, the Supplier should be onsite at DIT.
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 BPSS Clearance, which DIT will help to organise.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The successful Supplier will be required to adhere to DIT's Data Security Policies.
The Buyer reserves the right not to award a contract.

The successful supplier will be expected to comply with the Government Digital Service (GDS) Service Manual, and deliver the Discovery in line with the Digital Service Standard as well as the Technology Code of Practice.

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 identified user needs and business objectives
  • Experience of prototyping, testing and iterating with users
  • 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 small, medium, large companies and complex organisations, 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 financial services organisations active in export trade finance and export insurance
  • 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 Beta phases
  • 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 DIT and UKEF goals
  • Team structure and experience
  • Value for Money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate Agile working
  • Have a commitment to excellence
  • Have a commitment to team working
  • Demonstrate an approach to transferring knowledge and experience to DIT 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. 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
2. What does the budget cover? Maximum 3 month discovery project only?
The budget is the maximum the discovery will cost. It is expected that the discovery is to be completed in 6 weeks, which will be stated in the initial Statement of Works (SoW). The over-arching contract length of 3 months is to allow DIT to issue additional SoW to extend the time the team has to undertake the discovery if needed. The maximum contract cap of £50,000 would still apply.
3. Can Dept. supply target users to the research team? E.g. via CRM. If not, is there additional budget for user recruitment?
DIT may be able to provide some users via CRM and our existing user research, but the successful Supplier will be expected to lead on the sourcing of participants.
4. Do you have an existing user research recruitment agency in place?
5. Is there an existing marketing plan (advertising, SEO, partners etc.) in place? If yes, please confirm in broad terms what it covers? features as part of the Department for International Trade's wider marketing campaigns for exporters and inward investors, including Exporting is Great, Invest in Great Britain and an international trade campaign.
6. What web analytics packages are you currently running on uses Google Analytics and Google Data Studio