CDS: Saving Birmingham £1.7m in print communications

Birmingham City Council required a fully managed end-to-end print service to deliver minimum guaranteed savings of 15%. In the first 13 months of the contract, the partnership between BCC and CDS smashed the target to deliver savings of 57% against annual budget.

The Requirement

Birmingham City Council also wanted locally based supply chain to boost the local economy and comply with the Council’s Business Charter for Social Responsibility.

The Council did not have a formal print contract in place and their existing solution was fragmented, attracting high transactional costs with no opportunity to obtain volume discounts.

The Solution

CDS was appointed to manage the marketing and communications print spend for Birmingham City Council under the Crown Commercial Service Wider Public Sector Print Services agreement (RM1687),

CDS’s Account Team provides guidance on all areas of print specification and supports the move towards electronic solutions.

A bespoke browser-based Print Portal system manages the Council’s end-to-end requirements.

CDS engaged with local printers to ensure the Council’s Business Charter for Social Responsibility was met. This now means that where local capability exists, CDS delivers 100% of the print spend via suppliers within 30 miles of the Birmingham Council House.

The Results

With the print contract in place, the Council is dealing with just one supplier, rather than the 250 individual suppliers they dealt with previously. The single supplier model ensures visibility of all print requests and all print spend. It also provides consistency of branding and messaging.

Previously, 40% of all print spend bypassed corporate communications and went directly to printers leading to inconsistencies. By working in close partnership with the Council and the local supplier base, CDS helped achieve efficiencies and transform the way the organisation thinks about print – from print by exception to increasing use of digital channels. This approach has helped the Council in the development of a strategy for moving away from tactical print to digital solutions.

In the first 13 months of the contract, the partnership between BCC and CDS delivered savings of 57% against annual budget. In year two, this partnership delivered additional savings of 33% against year one spend – a combined saving of over £1.7M over two years.

CDS demonstrated a real commitment to the local economy and the principles of the Business Charter for Social Responsibility. These include embracing local employment, Buy Birmingham First and Partners in Communities.

To date, 92% of external print jobs have been placed within the local economy (KPI 90%), with only the lack of local capability for certain printed requirements requiring CDS to source outside the area. CDS actively promoted the Birmingham supply chain to other CDS contracts, leading to a net influx of £255,000 of additional revenue into the local economy to meet the 100% stretch target.

Andrea Webster, Strategic Contracts Manager at Birmingham City Council said: “We felt from the outset that CDS was committed to Birmingham City Council’s CSR objectives and they have delivered on this commitment with positive outcomes for local SME suppliers to develop the Birmingham economy.”

If you would like to know more about how CDS delivered huge savings to Birmingham City Council, you can visit their stand A29 at the Public Sector Show, on 26 June at ExCel London.