CDS transforms Birmingham City Council's print approach

Birmingham City Council required a fully managed end-to-end print service to deliver minimum guaranteed savings of 15%.

CDS transforms print for Birmingham council 

The Requirement

They also wanted to use a Birmingham based supply chain to boost the local economy and comply with the Council’s Business Charter for Social Responsibility.

The Council did not have a formal print contract in place and their existing solution was fragmented, attracting high transactional costs with no opportunity to obtain volume discounts.

The Solution

CDS was appointed to manage the marketing and communications print spend for Birmingham City Council under the Crown Commercial Service Wider Public Sector Print Services agreement (RM1687).

To deliver the service and savings the Council required, CDS appointed a highly experienced Account Team to provide guidance on all areas of print specification and support the move towards electronic solutions.

A bespoke browser-based Print Portal manages the Council’s end-to-end requirements enduring savings are achieved and recorded. Print Portal also provides electronic workflow to streamline production, detailed management information on savings / service performance and support for electronic invoicing.

CDS provided an experienced project manager during contract implementation to engage with the local print market to ensure the Council’s Business Charter for Social Responsibility is met. This now means that where local capability exists, CDS delivers 100% of the print spend via suppliers within 30 miles of the Birmingham Council House.

The Results

Birmingham City CouncilWith the print contract in place, the Council is dealing with just one supplier, rather than the 250 individual suppliers they dealt with previously. The single supplier model ensures visibility of all print requests and all print spend. It also provides consistency of branding and messaging.

Previously, 40% of all print spend bypassed corporate communications and went directly to printers leading to inconsistencies. By working in close partnership with the Council and the local supplier base, CDS helped achieve efficiencies and transform the way the organisation thinks about print – from print by exception to increasing use of digital channels. This approach has helped the Council in the development of a strategy for moving away from tactical print to digital solutions.

In the first 13 months of the contract, the partnership between BCC and CDS delivered savings of 57% against annual budget. In year two, this partnership delivered additional savings of 33% against year one spend – a combined saving of over £1.7M over two years.

CDS demonstrated a real commitment to the local economy and the principles of the Business Charter for Social Responsibility. These include embracing local employment, Buy Birmingham First and Partners in Communities.

To date, 92% of external print jobs have been placed within the local economy (KPI 90%), with only the lack of local capability for certain printed requirements requiring CDS to source outside the area. CDS actively promoted the Birmingham supply chain to other CDS contracts, leading to a net influx of £255,000 of additional revenue into the local economy to meet the 100% stretch target.

Andrea Webster, Strategic Contracts Manager at Birmingham City Council said: “We felt from the outset that CDS was committed to Birmingham City Council’s CSR objectives and they have delivered on this commitment with positive outcomes for local SME suppliers to develop the Birmingham economy.”

About CCS

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) works with departments and organisations across the whole of the public sector to ensure maximum value is extracted from every commercial relationship and improve the quality of service delivery. The CCS goal is to become the “go-to” place for expert commercial and procurement services.

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I have come to view CDS as a useful virtual addition to our in-house team, with expertise I can quickly call on when a new challenge emerges or when we need to top up on capacity and when we are developing digital marketing solutions.

Steve Arnold, Head of Marketing

Birmingham City Council

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