West Sussex County Council

CDS Print Management – cuts costs and boosts the local economy

West Sussex

The requirement

West Sussex County Council had an internal Print Centre that handled the bulk of their printing requirements. This was supported by a framework agreement with external suppliers who handled printing requirements outside the capability or capacity of the Print Centre.

They appointed external consultants to review the effectiveness of their print service in line with the principles of the County Council’s Fundamental Service Review (FSR) programme. The review raised issues around the way WSCC managed its print requirements, particularly with regard to sustainability. The authority needed to make changes from an economic, environmental and social point of view and meet the target of reducing their carbon footprint.In response, WSCC decided to close its in-house Print Centre and source all print externally.

They extended the strategy with an additional target – to increase on-line communication and to meet sustainability targets by reducing print volumes.

They put the service out to tender adopting a restricted procurement process in compliance with the EU Procurement Directives to award the contract for Print Services.

The requirement was to:

  • position print as a utility rather than a core service, in line with Council policy
  • provide significant cost savings
  • provide a greater incentive to reduce print
  • provide greater resilience
  • create an opportunity to support local print suppliers
  • contribute towards sustainability targets.

The solution

Whats onCDS won the contract against stiff competition from some of the Country’s largest Print Management organisations. Key to our success was our ability to work in partnership with WSCC with a ‘sleeves-rolled-up, can-do’ attitude to getting jobs done on time and budget. This included a joint selection process with the Council to appoint a CDS Account Manager based onsite in County Hall.

Rather than being a remote supplier, CDS has effectively become an extension of WSCC’s organisation, working in true partnership towards shared goals to achieve Council and Government objectives.

CDS quickly moved forward with a team to manage the mobilisation and transition phase of the contract, implementing the new service to start less than two months after contract award. The CDS print management enabled WCSS to:

  • reduce administration
  • improve efficiency
  • generate savings
  • improve purchasing
  • support the local economy by using local printers

The solution offers users a smoother, more efficient and rewarding experience when buying print and related services.

Delivering savings and supporting the local economy

In the first year of the contract CDS has been able to deliver more than £174,000 of cost savings (equating to 21% of budgeted spend).

CDS was also able to bring a further £184,000 of new print work into the local economy from other contracts.

We achieved all this by providing an on-site dedicated Account Manager based with the council’s design team, offering advice and consultancy.

This included analysis of each council print requirement and guidance on the best way to produce the material, whether that is litho print, digital print or even a purely electronic non-print version.

We use a triage process and apply market testing to every piece of work to determine the most cost-effective means of production.

Factors taken into consideration include:

  • distribution
  • use of colour
  • paper
  • finishing
  • storage

All print work is managed via our secure browser-based print management system, CDS Print Portal, and all artwork is efficiently stored and accessed using CDS Digital, our secure browser-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) system.


  • On-site Account Management
  • Advice and consultancy
  • Print Management including market testing
  • Print Portal
  • CDS Digital (Digital Asset Management)

Download the West Sussex County Council case study

Go back to Case Study page

CDS demonstrated that they could secure best value from approved print suppliers, while ensuring a robust continuous improvement programme. They use emerging technologies and new ways of working to deliver efficiencies and cost savings.

Rosemary Perry, Head of Office and Facilities Services