Print Portal and Digital Asset Management for VTCT

Print on Demand, improving efficiency and cutting costs


VTCT is the market leading vocational training organisation for the hairdressing and beauty sector.

CDS won a three-year contract to provide a print management and e-solutions service to VTCT. This entailed the provision of learning, training and exam material to a wide client base of colleges and private training providers. We also provide fulfilment and logistics for exhibition and marketing materials.

CDS management of course materials helped VTCT to convert 80% of their material into a format which can be printed on demand, reducing stockholding costs and risks associated with obsolescence.

The requirement

This market-leading UK vocational training organisation services learners and tutors through many hundreds of colleges, training centres and also in people’s homes.

The Government introduced a new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) to replace the existing National Qualifications Framework. This meant VTCT had to redevelop a significant number of their qualifications to meet the new requirements, while continuing to attract quality learners.

VTCT went out to tender for a supplier to manage this changeover. They wanted someone who could provide continuous improvement to support them through a period of sustained expansion.

Key to their requirement was a supplier who could provide robust systems and processes to deliver course materials and marketing collateral to challenging deadlines.

While re-developing the course materials, VTCT concluded that they would like the supplier to demonstrate how they could reduce stockholding to mitigate waste and obsolescence while still meeting the required service level.

Marketing and Point-of-Sale material is vital to VTCT with promotional campaigns throughout the year to attract new learners and they needed a fulfilment service to manage their collateral for these events.

CDS won the contract because they demonstrated:

  • proactive management with an on-site account manager to handle the transition from the outgoing supplier
  • a partnership approach
  • online ordering and digital asset management systems
  • warehousing and fulfilment capability, including secure storage for examination papers
  • advice and consultancy to reduce stockholding, switching to print on demand where possible
  • consistent delivery, to time, across multiple UK address points
  • delivery and collection of marketing collateral to UK-wide events

The solution

VTCTTo effectively manage the transition from the outgoing supplier, CDS provided an on-site Account Manager who was available 24/7 to the VTCT senior management team. This smooth changeover was a key success factor from VTCT’s perspective as it ensured essential continuity to deliveries of time-critical course material.

We extracted stock information from the outgoing supplier’s system and imported it into the CDS Print Portal. CDS then undertook the physical transfer of around 100 pallets of stock with all products verified on booking-in to our Aylesbury warehouse facility.

CDS Creative Services provided designs, brand management and typesetting services for VTCT to aid development of new marketing collateral.

To reduce costs associated with waste and obsolescence, CDS worked closely with VTCT to carefully phase out existing stocks. Once minimum stockholding was reached, CDS worked closely with VTCT stakeholders to introduce the new course materials. This approach allowed the new products to be introduced seamlessly as the obsolete products were exhausted.

Through the implementation of our Print Portal and Digital Asset Management Systems we provide online order entry facilities for stock holding and distribution, fulfilling around 20 orders per day through this system.

CDS provides a dedicated print and logistics support team to VTCT. Through proactive management of their course materials, we have helped VTCT to convert 80% of their material into a format which can be printed on demand reducing stockholding costs and risks associated with obsolescence.

The latest version of the artwork is held electronically and when orders are received by the warehouse they are bulked up by CDS and issued to production to print. We then pass the completed products back to the warehouse to be collated and despatched.

Under the Service Level Agreement (SLA) we fulfil and despatch orders for stock items within 48 hours and for print-on-demand items within four working days.

CDS procures, prints, stores and ships VTCT’s marketing collateral to key events. Materials include:

  • banners
  • cardboard presentation stands
  • boards
  • pop-up stands
  • badges
  • marketing collateral

CDS picks up the marketing items required from the warehouse, packs and ships them to the required location. After the exhibition, we then provide a collection service to return any re-usable collateral to our storage warehouse until it is needed again.


Services provided include:

  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Print management including on-line ordering
  • Digital Asset Management of all products
  • Print on Demand
  • Warehousing, including confidential storage
  • Fulfilment and distribution
  • Project management and consultancy
  • Design
  • Brand implementation
  • Typesetting.

Summary of benefits

  • On-site account manager
  • CDS’ partnership approach
  • Online ordering with a real-time view of stock held
  • Cash savings – effective course material management
  • Secure exam papers storage
  • Reduce obsolescence and waste
  • Innovative solutions
  • Consistent delivery on time across multiple UK addresses
  • Delivery and collection of event marketing collateral

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CDS' efficient storage and fulfilment service supports us in the delivery of up-to-date assessment materials which send out the right message to attract quality students. Their reliable service gives us the confidence that our materials will always be delivered to UK- wide destinations, to the tightest possible deadlines.

Alan Harris

Marketing and Customer Service Manager



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