City Care is a leading provider of construction, maintenance and management services across New Zealand’s infrastructure and amenity assets, employing over 1,350 staff across 16 operational branches throughout the North and South Islands. Established in 1999, City Care has an annual turnover of approximately $354 million. City Care is a Council Controlled Trading Organisation (CCTO) operating under the Local Government Act.
Each year City Care responds to over 150 tenders and requests for information. To manage this significant business development activity, City Care employs four tender writers who gather and collate information from within the business to complete a tender response.
The tender team identified that they spent a lot of time formatting tender documents and there were inconsistencies in the brand and layout of the final document.
Tenders documents can be very complex and large; often documents are over 100 pages and may have more than ten individual contributors to the document. “Responding to tenders can often be a high pressure task, with short deadlines and considerable detail needed to be provided. Delays and time taken up in formatting and trying to ensure consistency was frustrating”, says Margot Hall, City Care Business Development Co-ordinator.
City Care approached Ripped Orange to look at options. One option considered was to provide advanced Microsoft Word training for staff who prepare tenders. After some consideration, it was recognised that this would not address the issue of brand and document consistency. It was identified that the cost and time to train the users to a very advanced level would be considerable and outweigh the benefits. Instead, Ripped Orange proposed that templates were established and training provided to users on how to use these templates.
Gill Mason from Ripped Orange commented, “Even with advanced users, the Smart Template approach works well as it ensures consistency and speed of document creation”.
City Care commissioned Ripped Orange to undertake a scope of the style and functionality required; this resulted in a base template that included the City Care logo, fonts, icons, and graphic styles.
From this, Ripped Orange then developed specific Smart Templates for tender covers, body copy and other components of a tender.
“Smart templates are designed so users can follow a quick and easy process when inserting and managing the creation and layout of documents. For example, call out boxes can be inserted with a click of an icon:
The template also handles the time-consuming issues of applying text font, colour and size, headers and footers or switching from portrait to landscape with a click of an icon for the user,” commented Mason.Call out boxes can be made with a click of a button
“The Smart Templates have allowed City Care to focus on the content in the template rather than worrying about the graphics and layout with the end result being a professional and consistent document”, commented Hall.