We win Global Sourcing Association SME of the year!
It’s the little things that make the big difference at CDS. It’s an old cliché but clients really do come first. It’s the ethos of the business.
As an SME with continuing ambitions for considerable growth, providing services that are robust, innovative and value-driven are the cornerstones of our business.
We are delighted to have won the GSA SME of the Year award. The awards were a glittering global event, with teams from Capita, Capgemini UK, KPMG and BBC among those shortlisted for an award. CDS was shortlisted for two awards; SME of the Year and Sourcing Project of the Year.
The ceremony brought together more than 350 members of the leading outsourcing service providers, advisors and buyers. Best practice was rewarded and celebrated as the efforts of organisations and teams who have demonstrated excellence in the sourcing world in 2015/16 were duly recognised.
GSA UK Awards winner logo
Kerry Hallard, CEO, GSA UK said: “This was without a doubt the most competitive year ever in terms of submissions. Those who attended the awards ceremony were given the inside track on the very best examples of technology in outsourcing, but also relationship and contract management, innovation, service delivery and collaboration.
We had billed this event as being the must-attend awards event of the year and it turned out to be just that! Not only did the great and the good from right across the sourcing industry come together to recognise and celebrate exemplary standards in outsourcing, but they also showed they know how to party, with our fiercely fought industry Dance-Off competition, as well as the birth of an Awards Anthem!
I’d like to congratulate all those organisations who made the shortlist in the first place and, of course, the eventual category winners. This year we introduced an additional level in the judging process with the live presentations, which brought fabulous new insights to the projects and judging process.
I would like to extend my appreciation to everyone who attended the event and roundly applauded all those businesses who took part.”
CDS Director, David Burton said: “We’re excited about the winning this prestigious award. We were able to show the judges how CDS uses intelligent innovation, strategic engagement with customers and an open and transparent approach to build trust. Our clients absolutely know that we deliver results and they can depend on us to help them achieve their business objectives.”
CDS is a multichannel communications company. Our purpose is to improve people’s lives by sharing knowledge. We have worked on contracts that helped eradicate Ebola in Africa, reduced infection in the NHS and with The Met Police to make London safer. Our vision is to be a market leader, leveraging technology and expertise to optimise value from content and data for our clients.
We believe that every individual has a role to play to shape our direction. One of our core values is the power of an idea. One idea from an employee has had £250,000 invested in it and has subsequently been sold into Royal Mail.
Approach to open and honest communications
- Staff – communication, ensuring that all share our organisational goals. Formally via the appraisal system and informally through forums; on-line and face-to-face.
- Suppliers – we treat them ethically leading to participation and partnership. We hold Supplier Innovation Days and provide constructive feedback.
- Clients – relationship management is the cornerstone of our business, we talk with our clients at both operational and strategic levels. We align our services to their objectives – which can only be achieved through open and honest communication.
Approach to building a continual collaborative environment
- Staff – quarterly ICE Award – rewarding staff who excel through service or innovation.
- Suppliers – continual performance feedback. Supplier Innovation Days.
- Clients – a communications strategy involving regular dialogue, strategic meetings and ‘blue sky’ sessions. We develop a collaborative culture; the glue that ultimately maximises the value of contracts for both parties.
Approach to speeding up delivery and ensuring certainty of outcome
Elemental to benefits realisation is the maximisation of both monetised and non-financially tangible benefits at the earliest opportunity of contracts.
Strategic leadership is ultimately the key enabler and being an SME, our management is hands on and in all cases, contracts have an executive sponsor who mentors, measures and manages.
Certainty of outcome is based on clear, achievable, timely objectives throughout all phases through planning, risk minimisation/mitigation and the implementation of a dynamic outsourcing roadmap.
Speeding up delivery comes through CDS’s agility but not at the expense of raising risk levels. Implementation follows the GSA’s guidance for transition. Agile implementation, where appropriate, identifying and suggesting mechanisms for speeding up workstreams – eg: parallel workstreams, accelerated testing processes, signoff’s.
What our clients say
Birmingham City Council
‘Once the contract has been awarded CDS was up and running really quickly, in a matter of weeks we had moved from complete in-house delivery of print commissioning to an entirely new model. Throughout this transition period business continuity was maintained. I felt from the outset that CDS was used to working with ‘people like us’ in the public sector. They have brought to the table ideas on how we can save money by standardising as much as possible and cutting down on bespoke printing. I have come to view them 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 we are currently talking about developing digital marketing solutions.’
Dawn Wise, Head of Communications
Northamptonshire Borough Council
‘As this was the first occasion we had outsourced the entire process from end to end, I had initially been nervous of ensuring I was able to keep control and manage this remotely. I am very pleased to say that your close support enabled us to deliver the process, whilst still ensuring that I was fully informed and able to monitor the timetables and schedules’
Best practice and governance
Contribution to clients and the outsourcing industry
CDS regularly receives accolades relating to the business’s capability to deliver, its staff and hands on approach proving that when organisations outsource for the first time to CDS, their initial natural fears of losing control and transitioning to an outsourced model, are not realised.
CDS contributes to the outsourcing industry by being open, honest and delivering what we say we will. This ensures that the industry’s standards and reputation is maintained at the very highest level.
What and how does your company work to achieve best practice for clients?
Best practice follows the GSA’s Lifecycle approach throughout the relationship management phase. This is the fundamental ethos of the business and underpinning this is that CDS employ dedicated, knowledgeable and personable personnel who cement highly valuable relationships.
Standardisation of process and use of best practice
Based on CDS’s standard procedures, we apply a tailored process to each contract driven by the client’s style of doing business.
A key driver for achieving objectives is normally the evaluation, improvement and in some cases, rationalisation of client’s communication pieces/channels. Throughout, CDS instigates formalised reviews and as demonstrated in section 5, this standardisation of process delivers those objectives.
How do you measure the success of your projects?
Through achievement of SLA’s, financial and quality objectives. Ultimately, through extension or winning of the subsequent contract when retendered.
What makes you different from all other SME providers
Our approach; relationship management and agile, innovative delivery. However, we don’t innovate for the sake of innovation – our solutions are geared towards improving peoples’ lives through sharing knowledge – helping clients to communicate more effectively.
Examples of innovation and your approach to ongoing service innovation
We were approached by the British Army TDT to assist their fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone.
We created an innovative e-learning portal in two weeks including:
- video tutorials developed in a replica field hospital in the UK
- interactive tutorials
- mobile enabled microsite for training content
- learning management system
Available 24/7 to teams before/during deployment, this innovative application of learning theory meant all involved whether illiterate or highly qualified, surgeon or local assistant could operate safely in an unprecedented hazardous biological environment.
Gold Award: 2015 e-Learning Awards.
By staying abreast of latest technological advances across all communication channels, we deliver solutions based on our deep understanding of our client’s operations. We train and develop our staff to maximise their creative input.
What makes CDS a winner?
CDS embraced many different criteria to win the award, these included:
- being creative and innovative
- being opportunity driven
- being engaged customers
- employing the extended enterprise model
- empowering people
- being agile
CDS actively displayed all these attributes as well as our:
- open and transparent approach to contracts
- partnership approach to our clients and suppliers
- strategy to develop the business
- commitment to the principles, processes and ethics espoused by the GSA
- ability to innovate, not for the sake of it; to provide solutions for our client’s issues
- agile through implementation, development and innovation