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At Communisis we recognise the importance of having a strong, capable and well-managed supply chain. Our clients can have confidence that Communisis’ supply chain offers the best value when considering overall cost combined with financial stability, risk management, and the wider aspects of sustainability including modern slavery. It’s vital to establish and maintain the right kind of supplier relationships so that our clients know they can continue to rely on us to attain the high standards that meet their needs and expectations.

At the heart of our supply chain management capability sits our strategic sourcing function.

The team is comprised of procurement professionals and category Subject Matter Experts who are the key entry point into Communisis for our suppliers. Our team is a crucial source of expertise and support for our Client Service teams, especially when it comes to supplier on-boarding, contract management, supplier relationship management as well as broader commercial expertise.

Suppliers are selected and managed using our 5 step model:

STEP 1 – Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)

Communisis ‘tiers’ its suppliers into three categories based upon spend value, credit rating, potential client impact, operational risk, data risk and ease of replacement, which in turn drives the level of due diligence and future supplier engagement

Tiered suppliers must first complete our pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). Key supplier information is gathered via an online questionnaire, accessed through our supplier portal. The comprehensive questionnaire covers key areas such as:

  • Overall company profile
  • Company financial information, credit checks, sanctions checks
  • Quality and Process standards
  • Information Security, Data Management, and Cloud Computing
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Disaster Recovery

The information submitted via the PQQ is stored securely within our supplier database and forms the basis for our ongoing supplier relationship management activities. Each supplier has access to its own file via a unique login and so can maintain an up-to-date record of its credentials, certifications and such like.

STEP 2 – Benchmarking

Once the initial PQQ stage is fully completed, suppliers are then benchmarked to prove cost effectiveness against existing Communisis suppliers within the same category and or sub-category. Our subject matter experts have designed baskets of goods that are representative of our activity within each category. Existing suppliers are required to return pricing on a quarterly basis against which new suppliers are measured.

STEP 3 – Payment & Terms

We exercise financial control across our supply chain by offering both standard terms or 7-day terms through a bespoke banking partnership, which benefits our suppliers through improved liquidity and quicker access to working capital.

STEP 4 – Pricing & Transaction

Upon completion and return of all commercial terms and in order to be able to transact with Communisis, vendors are required to engage with our e-procurement tools:

  • CDB – ERFx, ordering and ERP
  • Curtis Fitch – E-auction platform
  • eProcure (IQ) – Instant quoting and catalogue pricing

Our custom eProcure software is designed to manage the procurement of products and services from the supply chain across multiple categories. Within eProcure, the supplier owns its prices in the system and quotes automatically against any job that is within their capabilities. Each job is then price compared, and the selection made accordingly. This has the advantage of allowing every approved supplier to provide pricing for every item they can produce, without needing the resource to estimate and quote on each individual job.

STEP 5 – Supplier Relationship Management

At this stage in the process, we are ready to establish a broader relationship between Communisis and our suppliers.

The Communisis Strategic Sourcing team retains the overall relationship with our suppliers and maintains close oversight of their performance. Supplier performance data is provided by our operational buying teams, ensuring that we can continually review the effectiveness of our supply chains and make improvements and adjustments to their profile as may be necessary.

Communisis Sourcing also carries out periodic audits of suppliers, which will include ensuring that the supplier has maintained an accurate representation of its credentials and certifications via our supplier portal.

Our objective is to build long-term partnerships with suppliers who prove they are capable of meeting or exceeding our clients’ expectations and the high levels of performance we expect. Those suppliers will become “tier 1” can look forward to a long and mutually beneficial trading relationship.

Highlights and benefits

Communisis sources and manages printed communications for clients across the UK and Europe with a wide and diverse supply chain, we excel at maintaining control, cost, and quality whilst still offering diversity and choice.

  • Shown below are headline figures that illustrate the breadth of the available supply chain but complimented by controls implemented by Communisis to limit risk.
  • 1,004 approved vendors across UK (223) and Europe (781) for print, Point of Sale and Premiums
  • 366 ‘tiered’ vendors covering 90% of Communisis spend
  • 20-30 vendors supporting the E-procure instant pricing platform for general marketing print depending on process and finishing
  • Communisis would not award more than 25% of a Vendors turnover

Whilst cost is always a primary driver the procurement team consider the wider requirements of quality, service, risk, regulatory requirement, and sustainability to ensure the client is gaining the very best value.

Key features and benefits of our procurement processes include:

  • It is dynamic, meaning that our supplier base is under constant review to ensure standards are maintained
  • It is sustainable and scalable, allowing for organic growth through the continued success of Communisis whilst maintaining the same high standards
  • Forward thinking suppliers that bring innovation and continuous improvement to our supply chain
  • Access to our world-class in-house manufacturing and operations for security print, marketing and operational print and direct mail, underpinned by state-of-the-art print technology
  • A managed paper supply chain that sources on a global scale through mill direct routes
  • Suppliers having to conform to our stringent standards for colour adherence and repeatability. All proofs produced from our suppliers must conform to ISO12647-2 and FOGRA specifications to ensure that we consistently use the same colours for all jobs produced.
  • It has in-built risk management and mitigation, for example providing robust Business Continuity to address single points of failure

All materials supplied are from sustainable managed sources (FSC or PEFC accredited).

Communisis is committed to conducting business responsibly. We also seek to ensure that our supply chains operate to those same high standards, including in relation to employment practices, workplace conditions and, more specifically, the prevention of forced, bonded and trafficked labour. This is upheld through the company’s policies and processes, and is supported by the Communisis Executive Board. Our latest statement pursuant to the Modern Slavery Act (2015) can be found here.

Approved suppliers can log in here.

Companies wishing to become Communisis approved can apply here. Please title your email “New Supplier Request“.

To contact us please click here.