CDS print management service reduces print costs by 14%

CDS provide print management and reprographics to Queen's University Belfast


The Requirement

Queen’s University Belfast required a single supplier to provide a comprehensive print management service and an on-campus reprographic service to produce all their printed materials. The contract also required related services including artworking publications to their corporate brand, supply of exhibition and display materials, fulfilment and direct mail.


CDS ensure the world-class quality associated with the University is extended to all our printed materials. Their knowledge of the corporate brand and their expertise in print guarantees each publication is produced on brand, using the most efficient print production method. The consultation, advice and service provided by the Account Team enables staff to get the most from their budget and gives the assurance that the final product will be fit for purpose and delivered on time.

Tim McCann, Marketing Manager (Campaigns and Creative)

Queen’s University Belfast


The Solution

CDS was appointed through the Crown Commercial Services Framework to fulfil these requirements and took the following approach:

  • Take on the on-campus Print Centre, which included re-equipping with new digital printers and finishing equipment to enable the quick turnaround of digital print jobs
  • Staffing the Print Centre with a dedicated team of digital and lithographic print experts to analyse each job request, find the most cost-effective method of production, then manage the job to ensure it is delivered on time
  • Appointing an Account Manager to provide a consultancy service to University staff. Advice is provided on paper stock, production and finishing techniques to derive a print specification which is efficient, fit for purpose and environmentally considered
  • Challenging if the item needed to be printed at all by proposing digital solutions 
  • Managing third party print suppliers to produce materials which could not be produced within the on-campus Print Centre
  • Undertake market testing of every item produced by a third party across a number of appropriate print suppliers
  • Acting as brand guardian, briefing graphic designers on the University’s brand guidelines, enabling them to produce artwork for the full range of print materials
  • Utilise CDS’ online print management tool, Print Portal, to record and monitor every job produced and provide detailed monthly management information
  • Operate in partnership with the University to improve efficiencies and deliver cost savings


The Results


The specification consultancy service ensures every print job is produced in the most cost-effective way and then correctly assigned for digital or lithographic production. This approach yielded efficiency savings of £55,000 in the first year of the contract. A further £55,000 of savings was achieved through the lower contract rates for on-campus digital printing. This holistic approach delivered a combined saving of £110,000 against an £800,000 print spend, representing a 13.75% saving.

The digital printers selected by CDS to equip the Print Centre are of such quality that now much of the digital print work can be produced on campus, leading to the fast turnarounds for many products. This has also enabled CDS to support University staff with tight deadlines and last-minute requests.

Furthermore, CDS have adopted the role of brand guardian, ensuring the University logo is correctly reproduced and every printed item adheres to the University’s corporate identity guidelines. During the contract, the University implemented a new brand and the service CDS delivers automatically updates printed materials with the new logo and corporate style as soon as they are identified for production.

The Account Team have developed good working relationships with University staff, culturing a partnership approach. They are committed to meeting each deadline and have delivered customer satisfaction results of 99.75%

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.

Visit our Crown Commercial Services Framework page to find out more.

About Queen’s University Belfast

Founded in 1845, Queen’s University Belfast is the 9th oldest university in the UK. It has a student population of 24,000 and employs 3,800 staff. A member of the Russell Group, it is one of the UK’s 24 leading research-intensive universities, combining excellence in research and education with a student-centred ethos.

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CDS consistently deliver a quality service, meeting what are often tight and demanding timeframes.

Tim McCann, Marketing Manager (Campaigns and Creative)

Queen's University Belfast

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