April 30, 2014

One of the largest Local Authorities in Europe awards contract to CDS

Victoria Square, Birmingham

Victoria Square, Birmingham

Birmingham City Council, one of the largest Local Authorities in Europe, has awarded its Managed Printing and Ecommunications services contract to the innovative and market leading agency CDS.

CDS has a strong track record of working with Local Authorities to help them deliver more value to tax payers through improved control over spend on communications and enhancing the effectiveness of printed and digital communications.

According to a report to Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet, the Council could expect to save almost £500,000 a year.

Instead of different council departments using up to 250 different printing firms, often by inefficient, old-fashioned ordering systems, CDS will be responsible for getting the work done – utilising local small and medium-sized companies.

In addition, council bosses will be instructed to use the new service to ensure the money is saved.

Cllr Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Commissioning, Contracting and Improvement, said:

“I was astounded to discover the antiquated and inefficient systems this administration inherited. This is exactly the sort of thing this portfolio was established to sort out. A total of £2.4million a year was being spent with no formal contract in place, meaning there were high transactional costs and no opportunity to get volume discounts. Even the council’s print commissioning team were using 70 different providers with individual directorates ignoring even them and buying from 180 more.”

Local Authority improves control over budget and communications

Under the new contract the council’s corporate communications team will process all requirements for leaflets, posters and other similar materials, ordering them electronically from CDS who will then seek local firms to produce them.

Not only will this streamline and make the process more cost-effective, but the actual need for printed material at all can be challenged before the process begins.

Unlike traditional print management companies, CDS has no vested interest in communications being printed. The agency has independent creative and print, and digital divisions and its focus is on ensuring communications are delivered by the most effective channel so that they reach the right person at the right time in the right context.

CDS’ award winning approach, use of innovative technology and the development of a fully integrated digitisation and managed print service has won praise from organisations such as the British Institute of Facilities Management.

Cllr Stacey added:

“Using other means of communication can be cheaper and greener – every print run needs to be justified. And because of that, Strategic Directors will be instructed to use the new service to ensure that we really do save Council Tax payers’ money.”

CDS Chief Executive Fergus Bailie said:“Local Authorities are looking for genuine partners to work with who can demonstrate that they understand the deeper issues public sector organisations face, their specific requirements and business objectives. CDS was able to demonstrate all of these things together with the expertise to deliver effective communications through different channels and the innovative use of technology and systems to control content, branding and expenditure.”

CDS Print and Creative Services director, David Burton said:

We’re delighted Birmingham City Council has chosen to award this contract to an SME like CDS, following a competitive tender under the Crown Commercial Services framework agreement RM1687. We have put a lot of work into building relationships with the small and medium sized local print companies that we will manage under the contract and we’re looking forward to working with them.”

CDS is the contracted supplier to eight local authorities in the UK, plus a number of smaller authorities that buy through the larger authority’s contracts.

Notes to editors

Print in the Council can be categorised into four main areas as follows:

  • Bulk print e.g. Council Tax, wage slips.
  • Office Printing e.g. desk top printers and photocopiers.
  • Business stationery e.g. letterheads, compliments slips and business cards.
  • Transactional printing e.g. leaflets, posters, mailing, bulk photocopying and other printed material produced in small quantities. Not currently covered by an existing contract.

Given that bulk print, office printing and business stationery are covered by existing contracts, they are out of scope for the new contract, which cover solely transactional printing as it is not covered by an existing contract.

About CDS:

  • Launched 1994
  • Part of The Baird Group since 2000
  • In the top 100 of the eConsultancy Top 100 digital agencies 2014
  • Drum Magazine Top 20 creative agency
  • 200+ staff and operate out of 8 main UK locations
  • CDS is the contracted supplier to a number of Local Authorities for services ranging from print management to ecommunications and creative design for:
    • Basildon Council
    • Birmingham City Council
    • Borough of Poole
    • Buckinghamshire County Council
    • Essex County Council
    • Harlow
    • London Borough Bromley
    • London Borough of Sutton
    • London Borough of Waltham Forest
    • Northamptonshire County Council
    • Surrey County Council
    • Thurrock
    • Wakefield Council
  • Certified ISO standards
    • Quality ISO 9001
    • Environment ISO 14001
    • IT Service Management System ISO20000-1: 2011
    • Information Security ISO/IEC 27001
    • Health and Safety OHSAS 18001
    • Evidential weight & Legal Admissibility of Electronic Information BS10008

For more information please:

Contact Paul Meersman

Email: paul.meersman@cds.co.uk or
Call: +44 (0)113 399 4020.