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May 12, 2008


Dave Oscroft

What I want to know, is did you fill it in?


I did, yes.


i don't think that a company that would send me this kind of a thing is not a company i would want to work for.

Jacob Hinson

I think that this info form is brilliant.

it starts to eliminate the, getting to know your supplier stage of taking on a new one.
Very smart

Mat Ranson

I'm still stuck on the fact that its just a form for a tender. My tax form was easier than that.


Any relationship, between people or businesses, that starts with one party asking the other to fill in a form is not off for a good start.


Will you get fined if you don't keep to the preferred frequency of contact?

If they think writing copy in multiple languages is complex, what word do they use for something that actually is complex?

How did they react to the questionnaire you sent them?


We get these type of forms all the time, I'm not sure if they are actively damaging or just a waste of time.

Some of them are a lot worse than this, it often depends what procurement at the client is like. An agency I was at was once told by the client's procurement they they saw buying design as no different from buying paperclips; we declined to pitch.

Steve O

I don't have an issue with this style of form , it all depends on what they ask and how they word it. At least it shows that they are aware of such issues and want to do something about them. I myself have had occasion to issue a short questionnaire to clients when there is no face to face meeting or even phone contact (rarer now). Only one was bothered by it, but that turned out to be a painful job anyway.


In its defence, it is clear.

However it wouldn't make me jump up and down with excitement at which methods of communications they prefer.


I trust you suggested that all communications between the respective parties should be carried out by means of questionnaire, with the top and blue copies going to the addressee and the pink copy whizzed over to accounts.

Blair Thomson

Was this a Public Sector, or to be more precise, Regional Development Agency tender Ben?


Blair - nope.


i wonder why they did this? so robot-like. are they looking for a specific way of doing things? if they are, isn´t that counterproductive?
it seems who ever did this comes from a very unattractive place. i see no room for hoolahoop hips.
un-a-bore yourself. imagine the "using your brief responding strategy" and draw it.


I like it. They're all important things. The format doesn't have to negate discussion and it get's the nitty-gritty out of the way. In fact, I'll use it in my business plan.


I think that 'a production of several different versions of a piece of literature' is NOT a 'complex project'.


The big risk is that they'll end up short-listing people that are good at form-filling and telling them what they want to hear and potentially filter out people who are good at what they're actually seeking.

p.s. Good to see Tom agreeing with me.


We used to do loads of Pan-Euro projects and being able to manage them was as important as being able to come up with the creative goods. Perhaps they know you can do the creative bit, but don't know if you can handle the volume. And it's a tender, I presume not a creative pitch, so they need some criteria to work with. I like it most because I know what they're asking; as Claire said, it is clear. I'd be encouraged that they know what they need. Of course, you're not giving us the full picture; only you know what you're tendering for. Is it something good?


i think they're very polite - they use please a lot. but it's not really all that clear, just very repetitive. repeating something doesn't necessarily mean you're making it any clearer.


I think it's rather good.


So now you have to pitch to pitch?

Shows a lack of confidence to me. I can't imagine such a procedure in any other industry.


It reminds me of all the awful study skills forms we were made to fill out on my foundation year. Soul-draining just through the very language they use and the way the want to package creative processes and what would hopefully be a friendly, productive working relationship into small, neatly typed boxes.


Necessary it may NOT be - but believe me, Tom - it's a whole world of worseness in a lot of other industries - but particularly outside of the private sector. Designers get an easy ride of this one.

martyn reding

"they'll end up short-listing people that are good at form-filling"

Perfectly put John. It's not a great way to begin an equally balanced relationship. It also seems very focussed on how you will behave, without any indication of how they will behave. We only agree to stick to deadlines if the client meets their deadlines.


I confess, I think it's pretty good but I'm on the "other side" where I've had to look for designers and had trouble knowing where to start, hence the need for questionnaires like this. I'd be interested to know what you think prospective customers should be asking you. What would your form look like?

Sue Turner

If you haven't yet completed it, my advice is don't bother. This is another dreary 'painting-by-numbers' filter. They clearly don't understand that you choose the best for the job if you like what people have done and, importantly, the people who have done it. It's about fit and synergy.
This GCSE questionaire has clearly been put together by procurement - the bean counters - give it a wide birth. Should you win your tender, the relationship you have with them will probably be similarly sterile.

Creative Agency Manchester

This is quite simple compared to the info we have recently been requested to submit for a public sector tender. I think they even want to know my sleeping patterns.

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