New strategy to cut print costs by £500k

By on 26/07/2013 in Cllr Stacey, News

Plans to streamline Birmingham City Council's printing bill could save almost £500,000 a year according to a report to Cabinet on Monday (July 29).

Instead of different council departments using up to 250 different printing firms, often by inefficient, old-fashioned ordering systems, a single supplier 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 last year.

“This is exactly the sort of thing this portfolio was established to sort out. A total of £2.4million a year is currently being spent with no formal contract in place, meaning there are 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.”

Under the new proposals the council's corporate communications team will process all requirements for leaflets, posters and other similar materials, ordering them electronically from one supplier 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.

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.”


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 proposals, which cover solely transactional printing as it is not covered by an existing contract.

For more media information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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