Essex County Council print management

Essex County Council (ECC) reviewed their print management contract when it came up for renewal to ensure it delivered a best value end-to-end print solution.

CDS works with Essex County Council

The objective

The comprehensive internal review assessed the role of incumbent supplier, CDS, Essex County Council’s existing in-house digital print facility, the council’s desktop publishing and forms team and document management team.

The council concluded that the existing solution was fragmented, did not allow for improvement in technology or innovation, provide best value and could be significantly improved by taking a more unified approach. The council therefore decided to increase the scope of the requirement as now covered by the new print management and related services contract.

The key drivers included:

  • achieving sustainable savings
  • provision of an expert team of professionals capable of providing a first-rate service
  • putting in place a resilient eBusiness solution which will form a sustainable platform for future development
  • maintaining a high standard of environmental awareness and responsibility and actively encouraging the use of environmentally friendly products and solutions
  • benefit from greater economies of scale via a mandated contract.
  • making the contract available to other county, district and borough councils, and other quasi public sector bodies who can ‘piggy-back’ onto the new contract and drive even greater savings into local government (Surrey County Council, Harlow Council, Basildon District Council and the London Borough of Bromley are already enjoying the benefits of using the contract)

How the objective was achieved

CDS bid for the contract and won it against stiff competition from some of the country’s largest print management organisations. Key to CDS’ success was its ability to offer a holistic solution. By unifying ECC’s print services the company was able to reduce administration, improve efficiency, generate savings and improve purchasing and management information systems. The new contract offers users a smoother, intelligent, more efficient and rewarding experience when they buy print and related services.

The steps CDS took to ensure the above happened included transferring ECC staff to CDS and moving the company’s existing print management and design teams from their Chelmsford offices into specially refurbished office space in County Hall. A new on-site team was created to handle all ECC’s print requirements. The concept of a triage service was developed to ensure that every job was directed to the most appropriate and efficient route of production.

Key benefits of CDS’ solution include:

  • CDS was able to deliver more than 10% per year cost savings by placing in excess of 75% of the available print work with local suppliers which meet CDS’ high standards, and fulfil the company’s stringent ‘vetting’ process
  • consolidated buying power to achieve more competitive prices
  • provided expert advice and took a ‘sleeves rolled up can do’ attitude to getting jobs done on time and to budget
  • offered a resilient service – if one printer is unable to meet a deadline other vetted printers are on hand to take over
  • CDS’ vast experience in the public sector means that the company is familiar with public service culture and staff are aware of the pressures public servants face
  • rather than being a remote supplier CDS effectively becomes an extension of the clients’ organisation, working in true partnership towards shared goals to achieve Council and Government objectives
  • CDS’ people take a genuine delight in providing exceptional service, and providing demonstrable savings to the Council

No matter how complex the requirement, whether it involves print management, Internet services, digital production, editorial, graphic design and/or dealing with storage and logistics, CDS offers a full end-to-end solution.

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