Springfield City Group Procurement Expertise

Developing an EOI for a privately funded educational facility

About Springfield City Group

For 28 years, Springfield City Group has been actively developing one of Australia’s most innovative new cities. Located in a rapidly growing corridor of southeast Queensland, Greater Springfield is Australia’s largest, privately owned master-planned city.

Designed upon the three foundations of world class education, advanced healthcare and new information technologies, Greater Springfield is home to 45,000 residents, with projections forecasting an expansion to 115,000 by 2036. Greater Springfield has been the recipient of a number of international planning accolades, including the FIABCI Prix D-Excellence Award for World’s Best Master Planned Community (2010) and the UDIA Awards for Excellence – Inaugural 25th Anniversary President’s Award (2019).

This success is due to Springfield City Group’s clear vision, unwavering focus on innovation and the adoption of global best practice.

How do you produce an EOI document reflecting an innovative but niche opportunity?

As one of Greater Springfield’s three pillars, educational innovation has always been central to city planning and development. This has led to the development of Education City strategically located within Greater Springfield’s 120-hectare, CBD Knowledge Precinct.

Wanting to expand the existing portfolio of existing education providers, the Springfield City Group wanted to produce a compelling expressions of interest (EOI) document to attract an experienced consortium partner to help co-create a vertical, private international school.

Dr. Richard Eden PSM, Executive General Manager – Education and Smart City Enterprises, knew that the innovative vision would require an equally compelling EOI document. “The vertical orientation of the facility itself, the requirement for active participation in our Learning Coalition of existing providers and the need to establish clear future learning pathways meant that we would be looking for a special partner, one that shared our vision, values and passion for innovation. We wanted to emphasise that from the earliest stages of contact with prospective partners.”

Aware that the best result could be achieved through a specialised combination of writing and design, Richard contacted BidWrite, explaining that “finding writers and designers was easy, but we thought we could achieve more by finding a writing and design team which also had a proven understanding of the tendering process itself”.

To confirm his intended approach, Richard teamed with colleague Meera Honan, Director of Education and Health Services, to meet with BidWrite. For two key reasons the meeting provided confidence they were on the right track.

First, the BidWrite team chosen for the project brought educational domain experience and design knowledge gained from working with public infrastructure projects.

Second, Richard and Meera were keen to adopt the narrative and design-led approach suggested by BidWrite, with Richard commenting that “my approach would have been much more process-oriented, whereas we felt a more narrative style would bring the project to life for prospective partners and demonstrate the passion we have for this ground-breaking project.”

 Starting on the right foot

Richard and Meera were both keen for the EOI document to align with previous publications. BidWrite senior consultant Ryan Haldane-Underwood, who also has an extensive design background, reviewed a body of previous work to identify common design elements. He was keen to “reflect SCG’s exciting perspective on education and push the design boundaries out a little further”, adding that “bending the rules allowed us to create a document that, I think, stands out compared to traditional EOIs.”

BidWrite bid consultant Rob Cook comments that “our review also showed a clear track record of momentum, success and aspiration. We wanted to continue these themes as they were very relevant to the project, but weave them into a more narrative style.”

Plan the flight, then fly the plan

Based on an agreed, 12-page maximum document length, BidWrite worked with Richard and Meera to decide the individual document sections, their best order to support the desired narrative style and the key messages for each. Once agreed, BidWrite produced various drafts of the document, with ongoing edits based on regular scheduled reviews.

As noted by Richard, “We were pleased to be included in the process and through our involvement, could see it unfold. It was very satisfying to have an ongoing role in shaping the final product.”

 The final touches

Initially, the key project deliverable was a print ready file, with printing to be managed in-house by the Springfield City Group. However, due to an opportunity arising for earlier distribution of the document than anticipated, BidWrite offered to manage an urgent print process, using a well-trusted, long-term print partner.

This saved time while also ensuring a print quality that gave the document a premium finish. Once again, Richard and Meera were fully involved in the process, with Meera commenting that “it was reassuring to leave that part of the process to the BidWrite team as they clearly knew what they were doing. They presented various options to us, along with their recommendations, then worked with their print partner to get the job done quickly, with overnight delivery ensuring we had the document in hand when needed – all under budget.”     

 Outcomes as intended

Since production, the EOI document has been made available to a number of interested parties, in both hard and soft copy formats. It has also provided contextual material for journalists interested in covering this development. The document text has also been repurposed for use in a project specific website, with the centre-spread timeline displaying key city developments also being repurposed as stand-alone collateral.

Summarising their experience, Richard says that “we wanted to try something different, by using BidWrite’s expertise in responding to EOIs to assist us with writing one. It’s been a very interesting process looking at ‘the problem’ from another perspective and using different techniques to solve it.  Having the designer riding shotgun next to the author was new for us, but it showed us the value of having writing and design working together from the outset. It also taught us that design and layout is just as important as content. Ryan and Rob brought completely different skills sets to the task and we very much enjoyed working with them both. Their ability to accommodate our contributions was also very much appreciated.”

This positive sentiment is echoed by Meera, noting that “we are thrilled with the outcome. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback, with many parties have commented on the quality and professionalism of the EOI. It was a pleasure dealing with BidWrite and we thank Ryan and Rob for their professionalism and timely turnaround.”