Website Development Services

This case study focusses on a large mutual building society client who was formed over 150 years ago. In terms of their approach, the client is very modern and forward-thinking and is committed to remaining independent and mutual.

As part of the innovative wider business strategy and the significant change programme which has been progressing the society wished to invest in a new website for the benefit of their current members, future new customers, and their intermediary partners. The significance of this investment was, in part, to be able to increase conversions to improve the sales performance as previously it was felt that the website wasn’t focussed enough on customer acquisitions.

The Challenge

Our client asked us to undertake a thorough tender process to obtain proposals for the update/refresh of their website in line with member and intermediary partner requirements and in line with the developments of the online savings product range.

The requirements could be summarised under 3 different requirements as follows:

Pre-Development – this would include developing the proposed sitemap with full technical and functional specifications including fully build wireframes. A critical part of the pre-development work would be to consider user experience feedback and to ensure that any new website created was compatible with mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers).

  • Development – this would include the building of the website in line with the approved pre-development work but also include copywriting services, user training, and the development of a user guide. In addition, at this stage, SEO would be a key consideration.
  • Post Launch – this would include hosting, maintenance, and ongoing content creation and management.

The Challenges:

  • Developing a tender document that clearly articulated the high- and low-level objectives of the client.
  • Sourcing suitably experienced and right-sized suppliers for this requirement.

Our Strategy

Whilst a comprehensive tender document was drafted in conjunction with the client based on our briefing meeting and then subsequently sent to all suppliers invited to participate it was key that as part of this tender process early engagement meetings were scheduled with all the suppliers involved.

These meetings allowed the suppliers to engage directly with ourselves and the stakeholders of the client to understand in detail ‘what problem the client is trying to solve’ which would be invaluable information for all the suppliers in their tender responses and final presentations.

We led this pre-tender response engagement meetings to ensure that they concluded with all the suppliers being committed to the opportunity and having a well-rounded knowledge of the client’s requirements (and challenges) in terms of the work required, how costs were to be proposed and of course the key dates in the tender process.

Thereafter, our approach was to lead a comprehensive and robust tender process ensuring that it involved the leading right-sized specialist suppliers of this service who would be suitable for this requirement. The RFP process involved 6 suppliers in total (including the incumbent supplier) and the RFP had several key strategic objectives which had been fully considered by the client which included:

  1. Updating the “look and feel” of the website to make it more engaging and ensuring alignment with the brand values, e.g. locality and community.
  2. Enhancing the front-end functionality with a focus on the conversion funnels for their key product ranges; mortgages and savings.
  3. Ensuring the website is optimised for conversion whilst remaining compliant with regulatory, legal, and compliance standards and requirements.

The Strategy Was:

  • Engage the client and the suppliers in meetings directly (facilitated by ourselves) following the issuing of the tender document to ensure that the solution requirements were clearly understood, and that the supplier was fully committed to submitting a proposal.
  • Lead a comprehensive end-to-end tender process as agreed by ourselves and the client which would culminate in face-to-face supplier presentations to bring their experience, service, and solution alive.

Our Solution

This complex project saw Oculus leading an RFP process over two stages. Firstly, a comprehensive written proposal which focussed on achieving all the client’s objectives outlined in the tender document and also which addressed the key points below:

  • The individuals that would be leading the engagement and their background and experience. It was vital that the client had a consistent single point of contact in this engagement from a project management perspective. In addition, it was also clear that this requirement needed a strong development team.
  • A fully costed budget proposal which fully meeting the client’s objectives, the design requirements, any user requirements identified with full transparency in terms of how the service and the solution had been costed.
  • A draft implementation plan with timescales including the project management tool which will be utilised to manage and deliver this project. As part of this plan details of the supplier’s approach to managing implementations of this size was required including managing feedback and changes.

Secondly, face to face supplier presentations, which provided the opportunity for suppliers to present their solution directly to ourselves and the client and to allow questions to be raised during and following the presentations.

The conclusion of the project saw our client engage with an alternative supplier who we had sourced following our initial briefing meeting with the client where we understood their high-level requirements. This supplier met the full requirements of the tender process and their proposed costs were in line with the budget requirements of the client.

The Solution Was:

  • Ensure that the client had every opportunity to review the supplier’s tender responses and to raise any queries following the supplier’s presentations. During the presentations, many stakeholders from the client were involved to ensure a full well-rounded evaluation was undertaken.
  • Ensure that the supplier responses met the client’s requirements both in terms of the supplier’s experience and capability to deliver the services but also to deliver at a level that met the client's budget requirement.

Business Benefits

The project was a great success, enabling our client to partner with a supplier whom they had total confidence in their ability to deliver all key components of the required service – pre-development work, the development of the new website, and the post-launch maintenance and support.

The client was particularly pleased in terms of how we had led this tender process including activities around sourcing and the supplier engagement process

The Benefits:

  • Appointment of market-leading provider whom the client had total confidence in following a comprehensive tender process and a thorough evaluation by cross-functional stakeholders.

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