Lesson 4: Ability to Service the Contract

Service Delivery Structure 

The service delivery structure is the organisation chart you propose for the delivery of services. The structure should be clear and easily understood, demonstrating responsibility, accountability and agility. Key things to remember/ask when developing your service delivery structure are: 

  • Who is managing the contract? 
  • The role of the contract or account manager 
  • How will the client integrate with the proposed structure?  
  • How do your current business operations integrate with the proposed structure?  

You’ll also need to explain why and how your proposed structure will meet their requirements. Have you created positions that specifically align with the client’s requirements or client’s roles? Or, perhaps you’ve created a committee that oversees the entire contract. Or, maybe you have a specialist manager with specific experience who will supervise the contract.  

Together, the team at Dawtek has over 50 years of writing and editing experience. Our staff are extremely qualified and furthermore are committed to continuous training and development. All of Dawtek’s team members are proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (including MS Word) and the Adobe suite. 

In support of our organisation chart, we have provided you with brief curriculum vitae for each staff member, demonstrating our ability to deliver tailored outcomes efficiently, at specification, and within budget. 

Key Delivery Personnel 

When delivering a contract, the key people involved in the service delivery are extremely important. They will be the face of your business for the duration of the contract and will be the ones interacting with the client on a regular basis.  

In fact, the majority of tenders ask for information about the key personnel who will be responsible for the delivery of the products or services. That’s why it’s important you highlight the key personnel involved in the contract and provide the client with an overview of each person. Where possible, include a photograph of each team member as this adds a personalised and human touch to your response.  

Tender Tip

When you are summarising your key personnel, it’s important to include the personnel that will be delivering the products or services – not just the organisation’s management structure. 

Supporting your personnel summary should be a CV or personnel profile of your key staff. Tender requests often ask for the staff CVs, so having them pre-prepared makes the process much less time-consuming.    

It’s a smart idea to nominate one person who will be the contract representative. This person should have the authority to make decisions about the contract, respond to queries and negotiate terms and details with the client. 

Tips for Writing a Curriculum Vitae  

Most tender submissions require you to include the CVs of the key personnel you will be using for the project. The truth of the matter is that the quality of most projects comes down to the quality of the people that are working on it. This is why CVs are critical when it comes to selling the value of your team and the quality of your bid. 

Here are some key elements to remember when writing CVs for your tender of proposal: 

  • CVs show you understand the project.  
  • CVs must have a good photograph.  
  • CV presentation is important.  
  • CVs should be short and sweet.  
  •  CVs should emphasis achievementsnot just participation.  
  • Don’t include personal information on project CVs

Personally, I think it’s an excellent idea to include a CV summary of all proposed personnel for the contract.  

Activity

CVs and position descriptions can be time-consuming to develop, especially because you’re relying on other people to provide you with the information.  

Start developing these ASAP in order to allow you to focus on the key elements of your tender. 

Personnel Summary 

Another great way to show the client a summary of your key personnel, their qualifications, experience and their role in the contract, is through a table structure. Many tenders have pre-formatted schedules for you to complete and this is one of the more common formats. 

Activity

Use the Personnel Summary Schedule provided to customise to your business and your brand. 

Position Descriptions 

If you need to recruit specific people for the contract and don’t have an allocated person at the time of your response, instead of a CV you can attach a position description (PD). This PD tells the client you understand the requirements and expectations of the role. You can also mention your recruitment process here and provide an overview of when and how you will recruit for this role. 

Contract Representative 

Provide the details of the Contract Representative in a table format so it’s clear who will be leading the team and who will be in charge of the contract. They could also be called an Account Manager. 

Sub-contractors 

What is a Subcontractor? 

The terms contractor, independent contractor and sub-contractor get thrown around a lot in the tender industry, but have you ever wondered what each of these terms really mean? 

A contractor describes a person, business or organisation that enters into a contract with another person, business or organisation for work, usually at a fixed price. 

While there are subtle differences between them, in the right circumstances, you can in fact be all three at the same time. 

  • Independent contractors. Independent contractors run their own business and are hired to do a set task/s based on certain terms within a contract. Independent contractors generally use their own processes, tools and methods to complete the work. They can delegate or sub-contract some of the tasks if they need, and can work for a number of different clients at the same time. It’s important to understand the difference between an independent contractor and an employee, as this can affect things like tax obligations, insurance obligations and leave entitlements. Check out the ATO website to work out if you or your worker is an independent contractor or an employee. 
  • Sub-contractors. A sub-contractor is an independent contractor that’s hired by another independent contractor to help them complete their contracted work. For example: Mary is looking to build a house. Mary contracts Fred to build the house for her. Fred is a general contractor. However, Fred doesn’t do all of the work himself, he contracts John to help with laying down the foundation of the house. As John is contracted by Fred, and not Mary, John is a sub-contractor under Fred. 

Managing Subcontractors 

If you are going to use sub-contractors, then you will need to demonstrate to the client you have the ability to manage them. You also need to make sure they have the appropriate skills, licences and permits to work, and other requirements relative to the goods or services they are providing. 

Training 

In many cases, it’s necessary for your business to recruit and/or train personnel specifically to deliver the contracted services or products. In these cases, it’s important to describe how you will get the right people, with the right skills, in place and on time.  

Whether you are recruiting externally or transferring staff internally, training will likely be needed. Some types of training you might need include: 

  • Customer service trainingthis will be specific to the customer base your client serves. 
  • Technical training: this might include training for relevant IT systems, new equipment, or specific health and safety requirements 
  • Ongoing training: what long-term training will be provided to the team working on this particular contract? 
  • Health and safety training: specific training relative to the contract requirements, especially for those contracts that are manual-based services. 

Start with a commitment statement about ensuring all staff, employees and contractors are appropriately inducted into our organisation. From the clients perspective, consider the following: 

  • Mandatory Induction for all staff – Our Induction program is a process by which a new employee learns about and becomes a part of the organisation. It is vital to ensuring that new employees and contractors can work safely and efficiently and as part of our team. While priority is placed on safety and job-related knowledge and skills, organisational knowledge is also an important part of the induction process.  
  • New-Starter Induction – New-starter Induction commences on the first day of employment for all new employees, contractors and any labour hire staff.  
  • Site Induction – All staff and contractors employed on this new contract will undertake a specific one-day induction training program to ensure all new tender specifications, customer service requirements, auditing and reporting processes are understood and adhered to. 

If your company will be required to recruit many new staff or contractors, think ahead and proactively address this issue beforehand.  

Methodology 

The client wants to feel secure knowing you have the resources, facilities and infrastructure in place to service the requirements of the RFT. Yet more importantly, they want to know you have in place a methodology or process for the delivery of goods or services. 

When responding to questions on methodology, things to consider are: 

  • What is your general approach to working with a client? 
  • How do you plan to work with the client? 
  • What processes or systems do you have to manage projects and ensure deadlines are met? 
  • What disaster recovery and business contingency plans do you have in place? 
  • Do you use technology and/or tools to provide the products or services?  
  • Communication and customer service strategies 
  • Systems and suppliers you have in place to guarantee supply 

Developing your methodology might sound hard, however, the best advice I can give you is to keep it simple. When it comes to my own business and methodology, I always keep it simple. It’s safe to say my clients and tender evaluators certainly seem to appreciate it!  

Developing Your Methodology 

To begin developing your business process/methodology, I’ve put together some questions that will help you get going. 

  1. What are the main activities of your business?
  2. What are the activity goals?
  3. What is the objective of each activity?
  4. Who is responsible for the activity?
  5. Who performs these activities?
  6. What events lead off each activity?
  7. What are the exceptions?
  8. What are the key performance indicators?
  9. How do you measure the activity?
  10. What resources are needed to execute the activity?
  11. What documents are required?
  12. What does the activity interface with?
  13. What technology supports the activity?
  14. What are the activity risks?
  15. What is the business support for the activity?

Sometimes, your business methodology may be more suited to an image or a flowchart. When developing the methodology, keep the client in mind in order to make sure the methodology works for their specific needs.  

Technology 

Ah, technology. What would we do without it? Did you know technology can actually play a large role in your methodology? From being part of your production process, to providing real-time data to your clients and allowing them to make informed business decisions, technology is an effective tool when it comes to developing your methodology.  

No matter the size of your business, technology has both tangible and intangible benefits that will help you make money and produce the results your clients demand. If your product, service or company is technologically advanced, this is your opportunity to sell that benefit. Explain your technology systems and provide snapshots of the easy-to-use system. 

One of the major benefits of technology in business is the improvement in communication. Business technology improves communication with clients and business partners because information can be passed through multiple channels almost instantly. 

When thinking about technology in your business, think about its benefits in relation to:  

  • Securely storing information 
  • Automated processes 
  • Improved communication 
  • Ability to work remotely 
  • Improved sharing of information 

When describing technology in your business, it’s a good idea to include an overview of the system and the benefits it will bring to the contract and the client.  

Customer Service and Communication 

Customer service proposals are one of the best ways to set yourself apart from your competitors. The reality is that many companies you’re competing with will provide similar services with similarly qualified personnel.  

Information to mention can include: 

  • Any after-hours numbers  
  • Your customer service methodology 
  • Your proposed Service Level Agreement (and frequency of response to enquiries) 
  • The availability of your customer service team 
  • Contact details for the customer service team 
  • Do you provide a 24-hour service? 
  • Is there a Contract Manager? 
  • What is the availability of the Contract Manager? 
  • Do you gather customer feedback? If so, how do you measure and monitor this feedback? 

Customer Service 

Customer service can be the difference between whether your company is loved or loathed. Even if you have an amazing product, if your customer service is terrible, it’s unlikely people will buy from you.  

For a tender, there are several different customer service elements you can focus on. One element is the Contract Manager who will be the client’s point of contact and represent your business. It’s important the Contract Manager is suited to the client and the contract and that they will represent your company in the way it should be represented. Things to include about your Contract Manager include: 

  • Contact availability (out of hours and/or weekends) 
  • Location 
  • Meeting frequency 
  • Communications 
  • Experience and customer focused approach 
  • Contract Manager’s profile 

Tender Tip

Here are some examples of what to include when detailing your customer service offering: 

  • We provide a response within two hours of all requests 
  • We will attend weekly account management meetings 
  • We will arrive for a quote when we say we will, or we will always call if we’re running late  
  • All written quotations will be delivered within two days from the request and all phone queries will be responded to within two hours 

Client Feedback 

Client feedback is extremely important to your company because it provides you with great insights you can use to improve your business, products/services and overall customer experience. Client feedback is part of your continuous business improvement and how you make sure you are always delivering a quality product or service. 

Below are some easy ways you can receive feedback: 

  • Regular meetings 
  • Provide proactive support 
  • Provide dedicated feedback forms  
  • Call your clients regularly 
  • Use surveys 

Customer Complaints  

In both big and small companies, issues can arise between the business, their clients, suppliers and employees. By using a common sense approach, most issues can be resolved in a timely manner. However, when dealing with customers, it’s likely from time to time you will receive a customer compliant about a product or service your business provides. 

Complaints should be dealt with quickly, politely and according to how urgent they are. The essential steps in investigating and resolving a complaint are: 

  • Assess the complaint 
  • Seek resolution 
  • Conduct the investigation 
  • Obtain evidence 
  • Reporting and recommendations 
  • Inform the parties. 

Make sure you explain your procedure for reporting and resolution of customer complaints and issues. It can be useful to include flow charts or other supporting material, such as attaching your procedure. 

Tender Tip

Customer complaints can also be referred to as a dispute resolution process. The wording that is used in the tender process doesn’t necessarily matter.  

You should explain your procedure for reporting and resolution of any disputes between staff, company personnel and the client. How will you resolve any issues that arise? What is the timeframe for resolving issues?  

It can also be useful to include flow charts or other supporting material. 

Reporting 

Reporting is another important part of the contract. Why is it important? Well, the client wants to understand how they will measure the services you are providing and the information they need to make financial and contractual decisions. Reporting also shows that you are meeting the contract specifications.  

When detailing information about your reporting, I recommend you include the following: 

  • Details of the reports that you will provide 
  • The frequency and format of the reports 
  • The benefits the company will receive from the reports 
     

A good way to list your reports is in a table (yes, tables are good for everything!), as shown below

Report Name Interval Recipient Responsible 
Status Report Weekly Project Coordinator Dawtek 
Financial Report Monthly Project Manager Dawtek 

If you can include customised samples of reports, insert them as attachments. 

Tender Tip

Don’t develop a report just for the sake of it. It needs to provide relevant information to the delivery of the products or services.  

Put yourself in your client’s shoes: what information would you like to receive on a weekly or monthly basis and what will this information be used for?  

Other reports you might include, which also depends on the products or services you provide, are: 

Quality
How will the Quality Assurance Inspections be scored? As a percentage? How will they be utilised and measured against the KPIs and results listed individually?  

Quality Assurance reports will be conducted for all services or products covered in the specification, and measured against it.  

Occupational Health & Safety
This will include results of OH&S inspections carried out for that month anda table of data comprising of: 

  • Hours worked in the month 
  • Injuries recorded  
  • The number of near misses recorded 
  • WorkCover claims 
  • Any rehabilitation or back-to-work programs 

This report will also highlight the details of any OH&S training undertaken by staff, including those who undertook the training, the type of training, when it was completed and the assessed level of competency. Any issues or suggestions which our staff are aware of are also noted and reported.  

Environmental
This will include results of inspections and summarise any environmental issues that the employees have reported or noticed. This will also include any changes to the use of chemicals and consumables on-site, as well as any new training introduced to staff. 

Staff & Security
This will include any details of staff/contractor discrepancies. 

Invoicing
Any issues or queries regarding invoicing are documented and discussed at this level. 

Complaints
This report will list any complaints that have been made, including the outcome and the timeframe for resolution.