Expertise and value

Magazine – ‘Defence Science’ Quarterly Magazine

Magazine – ‘Defence Science’ Quarterly Magazine

Expert Account Management – one call is all you need

The foundation of our print management service is to provide our clients with relevant expertise.

Every single request that comes to CDS is scrutinised by an experienced account manager.

The account manager is the first point of contact for all enquiries, providing advice and guidance, discussing specifications, providing quotes and acting as a bridge between you, design agencies and print specialists. As highly skilled print and communications professionals they offer support to all levels from senior marketing professionals with a complex campaign, through to a user with a simple one-off digital print requirement.

Our account managers rapidly gain knowledge of your business, objectives and corporate identity to ensure effective policing of all your communications.

We have deployed this expert account manager approach successfully across numerous client accounts, including Transport for London, Birmingham City Council, Middlesex University, Northamptonshire County Council and Northamptonshire Police.

Located remotely or on-site based on your preference, this approach typically results in more effective communications, greater brand compliance and significant savings.

Advice and Consultancy – expert and impartial support when you need it

Our expert advice and consultancy ensures your communications meet the needs of the audience and are on brand, on time and offer best value for money.

CDS reviews each job to identify the most appropriate solution and we then market test these options to ascertain the most cost effective production route.

Your account manager typically consider and discuss:

  • Which channels are most appropriate – print or digital – or a combination of both
  • If the product is printed, is the print specification fit for purpose taking into account:
    • optimum paper sizes and weights
    • pagination
    • use of colour from 4-colour to spot colour
    • finishing processes
  • That jobs are properly scheduled to maximise print press production and finishing processes to minimise cost and risk
  • Whether Print on Demand offers a lower cost and lower risk option
  • Benchmarking both local and national suppliers if required to support sustainability initiatives and ensure best value options are presented to you

Triage – access to innovation and continuous improvement

As print technology and digital channels advance, the best approach to meeting the needs of your audience may not be the way you have done this previously. Our specialism in both print and digital techniques coupled with the pool of knowledge within our supply chain means we are able to give impartial and expert advice – offering innovation and continuous improvement.

Using our triage process, your account manager takes into account your communication requirements and, following discussion with you, market tests the various options in terms of price, turnaround and quality to ascertain the most cost-effective route to follow.

Transparency and management information

CDS believes in openness and transparency.

We ensure that our clients have full visibility of everything that happens on their account. All key information is captured on our on-line Print Portal system – providing clients with real-time management information, a comprehensive audit trail and an open view of all data.

We provide bespoke management information reports based on individual client needs – available in real time from Print Portal or compiled for you by your Account Manager at whatever frequency you need.

Click here to find out more about our Print Portal system.

Demonstrable cost savings

We have highlighted a selection of quantified savings that we have achieved through our expertise and multi-channel approach.

Essex County Council – Single supplier print management contract

CDS and Essex worked together to save £500,000 (20%) in the first year on an annual spend of £2.8M. Thereafter, we saved £250,000 per annum reducing print spend to £1.3M.

West Sussex County Council – Single supplier print management contract

In the first year of the contract CDS achieved 22.6% of cost savings against an annual budget of £814,000. Year 2 achieved a further 21.13% of savings against. budget. Spend was subsequently reduced to less than £500,000 per annum.

Surrey County Council – Surrey Matters magazine

The Council produced a residents’ magazine three times each year at an annual cost of nearly £134,000. The council consulted CDS to see if they could save £3,000 per issue, whilst maintaining the quality of this key publication.

CDS researched alternative production methods and provided samples of alternative approaches. By using an alternative printing and finishing method, CDS was able to deliver savings of over £11,000 per issue.

Ministry of Defence – CODEX magazine

CDS’ journalism, editorial, creative design and print services worked together with the client to double circulation whilst saving £100,000 pa through standardising print and providing alternative channels via website and tablet versions.

Northamptonshire County Council – School meals pack

CDS redesigned the ordering pack (distributed to 23,500 families eight times per year) to a leaflet format, saving £9,546 pa (17%) on print, fulfillment and postage costs.

Click here to download case studies detailing how we have helped our clients to communicate more effectively.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility is a major consideration in our procurement practices.

We strive to ensure the environmental credentials of the product or service, its supplier and delivery method are taken into account during our supplier assessment reviews which focus on consumables, processes, operations and waste management.

CDS is certificated to BS ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and has a documented Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.

Materials and Waste management

We help support our clients’ sustainability goals, insisting that PEFC/FSC or recycled materials are used in production wherever possible and for waste materials and packaging to be recycled.

Supplier audits are also used to ensure that all waste is disposed of responsibly. For litho printers this includes disposal of ink and waste chemicals including fixer, developer, fount solutions, blanket wash, emulsions, water and solvent-based inks, ink tins/wipes, old plates and oil. For digital print providers we require toner cartridges to collected and recycled wherever possible.

Sustainable production

We only work with print suppliers who share our commitment to sustainable production.

When ‘vetting’ suppliers, a key factor is condition of equipment. We want to see investment in latest technologies to make efficient use of energy and consumables. Additionally, evidence of regular maintenance checks to manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure performance is optimised and emissions minimised.

For all suppliers we also want to see efficient use of low energy light and minimal energy waste underpinned by appropriate working practices and certification to industry recognised standards.

Supporting communities

Many organisations also seek to support the communities in which they operate. CDS can help through promoting the use of local supplier by developing and extending our supply chain in specific geographical regions.

We have an active policy to help employment in local communities in which we operate and we are particularly focused on young people via apprenticeship schemes within CDS and our supply chain.

We provide regular management information to feedback on progress against measurable goals.

Click here for more details of our Social Charter achievements with Birmingham City Council.

Ethical trading – a two way street

We only work with suppliers who reflect our own standards of ethics and standards. We would not risk our own or our clients’ reputation by working with suppliers whom we do not trust completely.

We also believe that working ethically demands that we treat our suppliers with respect. A strong and sustainable supply base is fundamental to our business – we will not ruthlessly drive down costs for short term gains in a manner that jeopardises our suppliers’ future.


ISO Certification – CDS is certified to ISO14001.

Birmingham City Council

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A key deliverable in our print management solution for Birmingham City Council is support for their Business Charter for Social Responsibility (BC4SR).
CDS worked closely to develop and promote local suppliers capable of meeting the Council’s print requirements. Our early engagement combined with energy and commitment paid off with CDS being awarded the BC4SCR within three months of the contract going live. As part of the process, we had to produce an annual report recording our achievements and then produce a new action plan. Our accreditation is valid for another 12 months.

Wakefield Council

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A key priority for the Council is to create a stronger local economy with improved job opportunities and a skilled workforce. This is embedded in the Jobs and Growth Delivery Plan and the work of the Wakefield Enterprise Partnership. As part of our successful bid to provide Print Management Services, CDS committed to supporting the Council in respect of local youth unemployment by taking on two apprentices under the NVQ scheme.

Essex County Council

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Since winning the original contract back in 2005, CDS has worked in partnership with the council to support the local economy. The initial target of 45% spend within the County was quickly exceeded and over the years CDS has worked to build strong local partners to now source over 75% of spend locally.