Kent County Council’s comms team makes £193.5K savings on print expenditure

Kent County Council’s central comms team was created in 2013 to implement and lead a cohesive approach to the council’s communications. Employing skilled staff for each specialist area, the corporate team’s remit covers all aspects of communications, including media, marketing, advertising, online and digital activity. 

In April 2014, with the closure of the council’s in-house print service, the new team also took responsibility for all print services and managing a full print tender, with no additional resources. The comms team used Panacea Software to establish new working processes to help them find efficiencies across the huge volume and variety of work required and to ensure the council fulfils its strategic communications priorities.

The workflow is shared by the team’s colleagues, clients and suppliers. It allows the automation of competitive estimating as well as many administrative processes. In the first six months of implementing these new working practices, the communications team reduced the price the council pays for print by 55%, saving the council £193.5K.

To reduce the time and cost involved in standard stationery materials, the team’s colleagues can use templates to create their own artwork. This also saves time for the designers, allowing them greater focus on the council’s priorities.

Once the new workflow was embedded, the team made further efficiency savings, using Panacea Software to automate the end-to-end purchase-to pay process and so eliminating the time-consuming process of matching supplier invoices to orders and processing internal charging.

While dealing with the inevitable disruption caused by change on this scale, the team has consistently delivered a good quality service and is highly valued by colleagues throughout the organisation.

Our team provides a full comms service to the council, including marketing, digital, design, print and brand management. We implemented Panacea Software this financial year to create a truly collaborative way of working with our colleagues and our suppliers, to automate our administration and financial processes and to make our service more efficient.

We are very proud of the excellent approval ratings we have achieved and are delighted to have saved the council so much money already. With Panacea we have invaluable management information and I don’t think we could manage the volume and range of work we produce without it.
— Kelly Law, Communications and Engagement, Kent County Council