As a high-profile public organisation, Leeds Beckett University had a number of reasons for implementing a sourcing platform.
The university was keen to embrace innovations to help it derive better value for money from its suppliers. It also wanted to broaden its supplier base and encourage greater competition amongst its approved suppliers. WSS introduced the university to their print-sourcing platform as a way to visibly and demonstrably reduce their print spend.
As a public body, Leeds Beckett University has a responsibility to obtain value for money through competition using a fair and open procurement process. The university wanted a system to improve the quality and depth of benchmarking, whilst ensuring regulations were consistently adhered to on every project. It also needed a platform which automated the process of creating information on supplier performance.
The university required a system that would provide management information on the types, volumes and cost of the print purchased by the faculty buyers so as to be able to analyse spend and proactively manage print buying for the university. Any sourcing platform had to include functionality to create instant financial reports, vital when analysing the effective use of marketing budgets.
Leeds Beckdett University has a strong commitment to reducing its environmental impacts and has certification to the international environmental standard ISO 14001. Consequently, it requires a system that facilitates its buyers in easily obtaining options for using recycled papers and to supply information on volumes, paper weights and recycled papers of the print purchased, which allows the university to understand and manage its environmental impacts.
Webmart Software Services’ cost advantage as a print, procurement and management business is largely due to its in-house integrated print procurement and management software platform. It was therefore a natural step for Webmart to offer this value to the open market.
Leeds Beckett University identified WSS’s sourcing platform as a potentially powerful vehicle for controlling print procurement and for improving visibility of spend and buying patterns, thereby serving as an agent for change and delivering the required reduction in print spend. Webmart was keen to introduce the university to their procurement technology, to enable their print-buyers to work more effectively – saving money through process optimisation as well as locating direct savings within the print market.
“We needed a solution to help us drive compliance throughout the organisation and to enable us to get value for money from our suppliers. We also needed a central point through which our print buyers could easily request quotes from our suppliers – and which offered process and reporting transparency. The WSS solution allowed all this and didn’t involve any IT expenditure or on-site installation by the university. We aggregated our incumbent suppliers with some new suppliers sourced by Webmart and received excellent support from the WSS professional services team to help us to get up to speed. Looking back, it was a very successful and painless implementation. It continues to reduce direct spend on each project placed as well as saving staff time.”
Mike Briggs, Purchasing Manager
The software provides print buyers with a simple and intuitive mechanism to build and manage their approved supplier list. It also provides unparalleled commercial intelligence both to the print buyer and out to suppliers who are active in each sourcing project. This allows buyer and supplier to work in close partnership and actively encourages supplier participation, unlike many other software products which can damage the relationship. The process creates a virtuous price/quality cycle, providing approved suppliers with data which allows them to improve their quality and price to market.
Printelligence sourcing is the most comprehensive, end-to-end sourcing platform designed specifically for print. The SaaS model means no internal IT expenditure and no ongoing support from your IT team.
E-procurement platforms traditionally require significant investment of employees’ time and energy to educate their supply chain to the new processes. WSS’s implementation is unique because it can bring its extensive approved supplier list of over 300 active suppliers to participate in any new implementation. This means users are guaranteed a pre-vetted supply chain who are well versed in the use of the software from the outset. This can be combined with the user’s own approved suppliers, improving adoption and reducing time from implementation to successful sourcing.
During the course of the trial, it became apparent that university users would benefit from WSS’s instant price estimator module. The price estimator allows users to input one of several million different print and format specifications and gain an instant price for each product.
This has the immediate benefit of allowing marketeers and media buyers to quickly experiment with a wide variety of both creative and budget options, maximising their budget and offering an improved creative service to internal clients. It also removes the dependency of getting estimates from partner printers, in turn reducing their workload and speeding up the estimating process.
Printelligence sourcing has enabled Leeds Beckett University to work as a much more effective print buying unit. The trial phase took place over a 4 month period and has now become a full implementation, with the majority of Leeds Beckett University print projects being sourced through the software.
“The Webmart sourcing tool makes getting quotes from my suppliers very easy. Not only does it directly save money by helping us purchase print at a lower price, but it also saves me a considerable amount of time. We have found it very effective to use and the support from WSS very good.”
John Beaumont, University Print Buyer