Case: Comsa

In the beginning of 2016, FORTEM assisted COMSA with bidding on the tender for Odense Light Rail. COMSA is an international contractor company, that operates all over the world.

COMSA specializes in infrastructure projects, such as construction of bridges, tunnels, metros, railways etc. and is specialized within the utilities sector and the field of solar power.

When COMSA first met with FORTEM in the beginning of 2016, they had already been prequalified to bid for the Odense Light Rail tender but needed assistance with the following bid phase due to their lack of experience with Danish public procurements.

Even though COMSA already had a lot of experience with bidding on public tenders and possessed a lot of knowledge about the public sector from an international perspective, they had not won any tenders in Denmark or in Scandinavia in general.

COMSA need FORTEM’s assistance in order to better understand the esoteric demands of the Danish public transportation sector, as well as the Danish norms, values and guidelines, that COMSA had no knowledge about, because they had not operated in Denmark before.

Others had recommended that COMSA contacted FORTEM, because FORTEM had successfully helped big international contractor companies in connection with the Femern project.

“To us, COMSA is a good example of how an international company with extensive knowledge of the public sector and many years of experience with public tenders can also benefit from external assistance. That is an important message to convey,” says Jimmy Holst Rydahl, Director in FORTEM.

FORTEM made a Content Manager for the project, that gave COMSA a detailed overview of all the information, dates and requirements of the tender.

FORTEM helped ensure that the bid material met the minimum requirements and demands set by Odense Light Rail. FORTEM also made sure that the bid material clearly reflected COMSA’s understanding of the needs and demands – both the ones that were written in the procurement material, as well as the esoteric ones from the Danish public transportation sector. COMSA’s bid material showed that they had a good understanding of the Danish infrastructure, the administration of the infrastructure in Denmark, as well as the Danish systems for approvals.

“There are a lot of processes, that a company from Spain can find difficult to administer, even when they have a lot of experience with bidding on public tenders on an international level,” Jimmy Holst Rydahl says.

“There are a lot of processes, that a company from Spain can find difficult to administer, even when they have a lot of experience with bidding on public tenders on an international level”

Because light rails are a new phenomenon in Denmark, it was important to convey COMSA’s experience with light rail projects in other countries and show how the Danish authorities could benefit from those experiences in the process.

Since COMSA did not have any Danes in their organization, FORTEM helped find suitable business partners in Denmark, that could be a part of their organization. COMSA was able to expand their organization and offer Danish professionals for some of the key positions.

According to Jimmy, FORTEM’s most important contribution was assisting COMSA in making sure that the bid material was structured in accordance with the evaluation criteria, which is a crucial factor, when you want you bid to score as highly as possible.

“It was important for us to present a thoroughly written and detailed organization for COMSA, because it was something that they would be evaluated for. COMSA received the highest score for their organizational description.”

COMSA handled the pricing, the description of the determination of prices and the description of the solution themselves. FORTEM assisted with the qualitative descriptions, which included writing the organizational description and the resumés, describing the approach and use of the quality management systems, collecting the needed official approvals, writing the environmental descriptions, as well as the work environment description.

Because FORTEM helped write the qualitative descriptions, COMSA’s bid reflected the needed Danish insight to the market. For instance, it was important that the environmental description and the description of the work environment reflected both the demands made by Odense Light Rail, as well as the general Danish requirement. The rules and requirements for environmental standards and work environment standards vary from country to country. There are specific requirements and standards in Denmark, that COMSA would not be able to know about, if they had not made a collaboration with external consultants from Denmark, that knew about the Danish conditions and requirements. FORTEM also helped with quality assurance of the entire bid in accordance with the Powerful Proposals method.

“FORTEM uses the reputed Powerful Proposals method for review and quality assurance. Powerful Proposals offers a consistent and effective approach to the review process by focusing on the parts of the bid, that can be optimized and lead to a higher score in the evaluation.”

FORTEM was part of COMSA’s bid team, which meant that some of FORTEM’s assistance and work had to be carried out in Spain, in order to make the collaboration more efficient and accommodate COMSA’s wish for closer dialogue and collaboration during the bid process.

COMSA ended up with a bid that met all of Odense Light Rail’s requirements, and they received the highest evaluation score for all of their qualitative elements.

COMSA won the tender as the preferred contractor for the establishment of Odense Light Rail. Today, COMSA is working on the Light Rail project along side Munck Gruppen.

FORTEM is proud of having contributed to helping Odense get a world-class light rail. COMSA has some of the most experienced workers in the field of light rails, and it is an organization with a lot of light rail projects behind them. It has been a pleasure assisting COMSA with making these facts clear to Odense Light Rail throughout the entire tender process.