Despatch of highly secure mailing for Companies House results in £200,000 saving

The requirement

Companies House, who is responsible for incorporating and dissolving UK limited companies, required a provider to take on the printing and despatch of the Companies House highly secure mailing activity, comprising of over 8 million letters and enclosures a year. Using our Managed Print and Digital Solutions agreement (RM3785) they were able to find a supplier and work in collaboration.

The solution

APS were appointed through the Managed Print and Digital Solutions agreement (RM3785). Upon appointment they worked in collaboration with Companies House developing a comprehensive work stream plan – this included a parallel run of work during the final week of transfer to account for its highly critical and no-fail nature.

APS developed and managed a risk register, which also included developing and testing a disaster recovery solution.

APS and Companies House implemented a secure communications channel in order to receive daily automated print requests. APS’ Chester facility holds full PCI DSS certification – all data coming into the facility is fully encrypted and rigid data retention standards ensure that all customer data is deleted within 30 days.

The items are then printed through an automated production line, where mail is sorted and despatched. Print quality has been guaranteed through a combination of Six Sigma sample size calculators and internal quality management tools.

The results

By APS and Companies House working collaboratively to understand their mail profiles and volumes, APS were able to recommend the most appropriate mail tariff. This was fully tested through APS’ in-house high speed mail sortation machines to validate address quality and qualification.

This joint working has introduced significant postal savings for Companies House of over £200,000.

The fully automated file receipt, validation and production readiness routines are much more efficient, with Companies House now only needing to become involved if any discrepancies arise. The main SLA of zero spoils and 100% correct despatches each day is fulfilled.

“Thank you to APS for delivering a seamless and pain free transition. The whole project was on a short timeline, but APS demonstrated agility and flexibility in adapting to what was required. The Companies House team quickly developed confidence in APS’s delivery capabilities, and we did indeed achieve the target that we both wanted.” Key stakeholder, Companies House

For further information

If you are interested in making significant savings on your managed print services through our Managed Print and Digital Solutions (RM3785) framework.

Visit the framework web page.

Complete this online form.

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23 October

We are speaking and exhibiting at Procurex Scotland 2018

Procurex Scotland 2018, featuring Scottish Government 14th National Procurement Conference, is Scotland’s largest procurement event and brings together key organisations from across this £11 billion procurement marketplace for a day of innovation, collaboration and education.

Procurex Scotland 2018 will enhance the knowledge and understanding of all personnel engaged in the public procurement process about current and planned developments, initiatives and legislative changes taking place within this evolving marketplace.

Our very own Paul Hansen will be speaking with Grant Montgomery, from Scotland Excel, in the Efficiency and Collaboration zone on how partnership’s can drive a good deal.

You will also be able to visit our stand as part of the Scottish Government Procurement Pavilion.

The event is expected to attract over 1500 peers and colleagues from local government, health, education, housing and central government in Scotland as well as many leading suppliers.

Find out more.

Supply Teachers framework now live

Sponsored by the Department for Education (DfE), the Supply Teachers framework gives schools access to a compliant, cost-effective way to recruit temporary staff.

You can recruit all temporary roles ranging from supply teachers and classroom assistants, to admin support and cleaners, through to head teachers. The framework will help you fill both urgent short term positions and longer term assignments.

classroom assistant with primary school pupil at a low deskWith transparency on agency mark-ups you will know exactly what you are paying, and have the peace of mind that agencies adhere to standard levels of practice, including no temp-to-perm fees after 12 working weeks (subject to 4 weeks notice being given).

This means you can manage costs without sacrificing quality and standards, safe in the knowledge that agencies are audited and accredited and comply with the best safeguarding standards in education recruitment, including DfE’s Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance.

If you are a multi-academy trust, local authority or part of a group of schools that collaborate and have a high volume of requirements, you can also choose a managed service provider who will source all your temporary staffing needs to the same audited, accredited standards.

Accessing the deal

You should have received an email from DfE at the end of August (and again at the end of November) giving you access to an Agency Selection Tool. This tool will help you find suitable suppliers in your area that can meet your needs.

We’ll be adding more suppliers who have been through our procurement process to the tool over the coming weeks, once they have demonstrated their robust assurance processes. Please check our web page for all the latest updates.

If you didn’t receive a copy of the tool or would like to request an updated version please get in touch stating ‘Supply Teachers – Agency Selection Tool’ in the comments box.

We’re here to help

If you have any questions about the framework or would like help getting started please do not hesitate to get in touch:

Are you overpaying for your Microsoft licences?

Could you be driving more value for your organisation through your technology procurement?

As you may be aware, we negotiate MOU’s (Memorandums of Understanding) on behalf of the UK government with key commercial partners including Microsoft. These MOUs ensure that the entirety of the UK public sector is able to access the best possible price for Microsoft software and licences, by leveraging the size and buying power of the public sector. This avoids public sector organisations having to individually negotiate less favourable terms, saving the taxpayer money and delivering efficiencies for the public sector and the supplier.

Despite this high level understanding being in place between the UK public sector and Microsoft (among other companies), there remain multiple routes to market for you to access the MOU. In this article I aim to outline the benefits of choosing  our Technology Products 2 framework for Microsoft software and licensing.

Microsoft Licences & the MoU

CCS negotiated the MoU directly with Microsoft and so is perfectly placed to explain how to access it and how to get the most from it. We can provide an impartial review of current or proposed licence requirements, linked to the longer-term strategy of your organisation. What’s more, Microsoft licences can be purchased quickly and simply via the Technology Products 2 framework (RM3733).

What are the benefits of using the Technology Products 2 Framework for Microsoft licensing & support?

  • Microsoft licences can be purchased alone or as part of a wider procurement including hardware and/or other software; all bespoke requirements can be considered
  • Best public sector prices – CCS suppliers’ margins are contractually capped (max 2.5%) and these margins can be routinely audited by CCS, with rebates imposed where required to ensure best value is maintained
  • Reduced timescales – no further OJEU process needed and we can provide tender documentation and templates to make the process even easier. Using the framework for your Enterprise Agreement renewals can also be faster than other routes.
  • Pre-defined terms and conditions and a simplified order form allow for an extremely simple contracting process

What about Value Added Resellers (VARs) & Technology Products 2?

  • There are a wide variety of Microsoft partners on the framework meaning that you can be confident you will get a good response to your tender and that the pricing will be competitive
  • There are differences between VARs – these companies tend to have different operating models and USP’s, with some more focused on service than others.  Some will have closer relationships with Microsoft than others (different levels of partners dependent on volume of sales etc.) Some account managers will be better than others and staff can change frequently, all of which can impact on the deal attained.
  • Technology Products 2 provides access to the best VARs – adding value for many customers in innovative ways.  Types of reseller value added services include;
    • Licence tracking
    • Asset management
    • Software assurance benefits
    • Training vouchers
    • Classroom days
    • Technical support
    • Suppliers can be tested on these value added services as well as price
  • Price and value scoring mechanism – customers should use a price / quality mix on TP2:  For example; 10% Quality / 90% Price. Quality could measure – delivery time, sales service, accessories, and service fitness for purpose.  Price could measure life cycle costs, cost effectiveness & price; price and running costs. Using a scoring mechanism is good practice, as you will want to test the market and the resellers in order to attain value from them. Not all resellers are equal so it is wise to test them at tender stage.
  • Some customers may be using a reseller that is also a supplier on our framework. Contracting direct is both non-compliant and non-competitive i.e. you could be paying too much for the same product.. Using Technology Products 2  will allow you to ensure you are getting the best price for your licences and service.

Want to find out more?

Get in touch via our contact form, quoting ‘Microsoft’ in the comments box and one of our experts will be in touch.

Management Consultancy Framework Two is now live

Management Consultancy Framework Two completes the CCS suite of management and business consultancy frameworks.

Business, procurement, supply chain and commercial, complex and transformation and strategic consultancy options are all now available following the launch of the Management Consultancy Framework Two on 4 September.


Colleagues around table in image. Words read management consultancy webinars book your place now

Starting on 16 October, we will be hosting regular webinars to support public sector customers interested in using the frameworks.

If you would like to join us to find out more please check out all the available dates and book your place.

To ensure you get the most from each webinar places are limited to 10 per session. Make sure you don’t miss out – reserve your space now.

If you have a particular requirement or topic you would like us to cover please let us know –  we may be able to run a webinar specifically for your organisation.


Our management consultancy frameworks offer you the benefits of:


    • all our suppliers are Cyber Essentials accredited
    • standard terms and conditions
  • financial monitoring of suppliers

Value for money

    • maximum rates are capped for the life of the framework
    • further competition is the recommended way to ensure best value
  • choice of pricing models including fixed, risk and reward or time and materials

Easy access

    • a selection tool to help you quickly shortlist suitable suppliers
  • comprehensive guidance and templates to make getting started as straightforward as possible


    • all suppliers will share their knowledge with you as part of their contract, meaning you can build your organisation’s future capability
    • all suppliers can help you put their advice into practice, if required
  • procurement support from a dedicated and knowledgeable team at CCS


    • a wide range of suppliers from SMEs to large multinationals
  • sector based lots give you access to a broad range of industry experts

Download a brochure for further details of the scope of services available.

We’re here to help

For more information on how we can help you optimise your consultancy requirements, achieve efficiencies and make savings please get in touch.

You can also visit the web page or call us on 0345 410 2222.