Client Stories United Kingdom
10 November 2022 4 mins read

Client story: IQVIA

How helping to secure a vital public sector contract whetted IQVIA’s appetite to be the best they can be at bidding for government projects.



How big are they?

IQVIA operates in more than 100 countries and has 82,000
employees globally, including more than 6,000 in the UK.


October 2020 to present

In a nutshell:

IQVIA (‘I-Q-ve-ah’) is a global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry.

BidCraft services provided:
  • Opportunity consulting: Bid evaluation and scoring
  • Opportunity consulting: Pre-mortems and bid strategies
  • Opportunity consulting: Tactical support
  • Business change: Maturity assessment
  • Enhanced skills: Bid training
  • Enhanced skills: Bid playbook
  • Bid Management
  • Social value consulting

IQVIA in numbers

Value of Covid-19 Infection Survey bid
Number of people trained (and counting)
Number of bids directly supported (and still counting…)

The starting point

Lockdown life was defined by the daily government briefings. As a leading human data science company, IQVIA’s research informed the UK government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. So, when Sir Chris Whitty said, “next slide please”, IQVIA was a major source of the stats presented.

Starting in March 2020, the government urgently needed to understand the number of citizens infected — in near real-time — to monitor the spread of the infection. As Covid vaccines were created, the survey was also able to monitor their response and their impact on new variants in 2021.

In early 2021, the Covid-19 Infection Survey (CIS) contract was put out to tender by ONS. Worth £710m, IQVIA knew the value of bringing in external support to keep the crucial contract. This is where we came in.

How did we move things forward?

We gave advice on public sector tendering, helped develop a bid strategy, and led a pre-mortem exercise to find and manage any risks that could threaten retaining the contract. IQVIA loved our input so much they invited us to fully manage the bid and gave us a seat on the executive leadership team of consortium members.

But time was tight, with only four weeks to pull together the strategically vital tender. At BidCraft we’re agile, so we rapidly sent in our crack team of professionals to boost IQVIA’s capacity, including reviewers, social value consultants, bid writers, and graphic designers. The whole kit and caboodle.

What it meant for the client

Our dream team delivered. Together with our IQVIA comrades we secured the contract to ensure the CIS continued to deliver data seamlessly. Sir Chris Whitty’s slides were safe.

The relationship blossomed and we supported other IQVIA bids as advisors. Again, we delivered a reviewing and scoring service and coached teams on public sector tendering. We designed and facilitated ‘lessons learned’ workshops to squeeze every last drop of value from the process.

This led to a benchmarking exercise to check IQVIA’s bidding capability against industry best practice. We suggested further training to strengthen IQVIA’s skills so they could bid for other public sector contracts without always relying on external help.

We designed and delivered a bespoke bid training programme, which has already been taught to 60 IQVIA staff across the organisation. We also created an online Bid Hub system and developed materials, so all IQVIA bidding resources are in one place. We do love a legacy. The Hub will support all future bids and includes:

  • A Bid Playbook
  • Bidding tools
  • A library of reusable proposal content
  • Lessons learned.

So, as well as helping retain the CIS contract, we’ve also set IQVIA up to bid by themselves. This might sound bad for business, but we’re all about supporting companies to become better bidders. It’s our thing.

The next chapter

Referrals are always reassuring; they’re evidence our skills are valued and trusted. After all, would you recommend a company you didn’t rate? Referrals to other teams across IQVIA continue to flow in.

Our professional consultancy was so valued during CIS that two of IQVIA’s consortium partners, Capita and NatCen, have also brought in our services.

We’ve supported both companies with multiple projects, helping them win vital contracts with public sector organisations. You can read more about how our relationship with Capita evolved in the next client story here.

With NatCen, we supported a bid to keep hold of a project they’ve run for decades. Some NatCen staff have worked on the English Housing Survey for most of their careers. It was vital they kept the contract.

We ran workshops to work out their win themes and created a bid strategy. We then used our reviewing and scoring service to ‘cold-eye’ review their proposal as evaluators, to check how well it would score. The success of the bid led to us supporting other NatCen projects including the National Travel Survey and research into health and diet.

As you can see, our mission isn’t just to secure a tender. It’s also to leave our clients so happy that they say to colleagues and partners, “you’ve got to work with BidCraft”.