https://digitalmarketplace.blog.gov.uk/2017/02/03/weve-improved-the-shortlisting-process-for-digital-outcomes-and-specialists/

We’ve improved the shortlisting process for Digital Outcomes and Specialists

In a previous post, we wrote about how we were working to improve the shortlisting process for Digital Outcomes and Specialists. These improvements will be live on 08 February 2017.

Buyers have told us that they would like us to make the shortlisting process on Digital Outcomes and Specialists more efficient. Often the buyer didn’t have enough information to reduce the number of suppliers to the number they wanted to evaluate. They had to go back to suppliers and ask for written evidence of essential and nice-to-have skills and experience.

Suppliers also told us that they want to provide their evidence while applying for an opportunity.

Changes to the supplier application process

We’ll now ask suppliers to give evidence of their essential and nice-to-have skills and experience during their application. This means that buyers will have all the evidence they need as soon as the applications close. They will be able to see how the skills and experience of the suppliers match their needs and get to the evaluation stage more quickly. We’ve tested this new approach with buyers and suppliers and will continue to test and improve it.

When suppliers are applying for opportunities published from 08 February 2017, they will need to:

  • confirm that they have the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience needed
  • provide evidence of their essential and nice-to-have skills and experience
  • provide a contact email address
  • provide the earliest date they can start
  • provide their day rate (specialists only)

How we are introducing the new shortlisting process

For all opportunities published before 08 February 2017, suppliers will use the previous application process. This will make sure that all applications for those opportunities are treated in the same way. Suppliers will not be able to provide evidence during applications and buyers will need to request evidence as part of the shortlisting process.

For opportunities published from 08 February 2017, suppliers will use the new application process. When opportunities close, buyers will be able to download the suppliers’ evidence of the essential and nice-to-have skills from the Digital Marketplace. The buyer will no longer need to ask the supplier for this evidence.

Saving a week

Getting this evidence as soon as applications close gives buyers enough information to create a manageable shortlist and get to the evaluation stage more quickly. Buyers have told us that they expect this change to reduce the process by at least a week.

We need to hear from you

If you have any feedback you want to share with us from your own experience on Digital Outcomes and Specialists, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts so we can continue to improve the Digital Marketplace.

8 comments

  1. Ian Van Eetvelt

    This is a good improvement. But, to allow for the extra effort to submit evidence at 'stage 1', will the submission deadlines be slightly longer?

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    • Tobi Ogunsina

      Dear Ian,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Currently, the submission deadline is the same, but we will continue to iterate the process based on the feedback from buyers and suppliers.

      Regards,
      Tobi

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      • Ian Van Eetvelt

        Further to my query about the submission deadline:

        To give an example of a current opportunity under the old process, it was published 1st Feb with an initial deadline of 15th Feb. For shortlisted suppliers the next deadline, to submit evidence, is 20th Feb. So 20 days in total (which seems to be a typical pattern).

        You will appreciate that it takes time for suppliers to write the evidence and give a quality response to the buyer.

        Please can you confirm that the new process, which combines the initial two stages, will have the same or similar duration. Thanks.

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        • Tobi Ogunsina

          Hi Ian, the deadline for applications are still the same and have not been extended, this makes the shortlisting process shorter and more efficient for buyers and suppliers. We appreciate that it takes time for suppliers to provide quality responses, that's why we will continue to gather user feedback to help us improve the process.

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  2. Bryony Cale

    Can we confirm that the word limit will always be limited to 100 words for each of the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience responses, or will buyers still have the discretion to increase the word count should they feel it necessary?

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    • Tobi Ogunsina

      Dear Bryony,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The word limit is 100 words. Evidence will be submitted via the Digital Marketplace and the buyer will not have control over the word limit at this stage. We will, however, continue to iterate the process based on the feedback from buyers and suppliers.

      Regards,
      Tobi

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  3. Jenny Mulholland

    This should definitely speed up the process and is good for suppliers too. It gives more incentive to apply if you've got a strong offer overall apart from a couple of nice to have critera - previously you would be likely to be eliminated just on yes/no answers, now the buyer gets a real chance to see how you qualitatively stack up against others.

    There's one thing I'd really love to see, to help suppliers give the best information we can to buyers, and choose the right kinds of opportunities to apply for. This is anonymised 'golden examples' of successful answers by shortlisted suppliers, for a range of opportunities. This would give all suppliers a good sense of what different government buyers are looking for and what it takes to make a successful application.

    For instance, do shortlisted suppliers usually evidence public sector projects, or can private sector experience be strong enough to get you shortlisted? I'd like to judge on the real evidence - successful applications.

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    • Tobi Ogunsina

      Hi Jenny, great to hear your positive feedback on the supplier evidence update. We do want to publish more content to help suppliers understand what good looks like. Subscribe to the blog (if you haven't already) to stay updated on this.

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