Bluefin - OfficeTeam

Case study


“Following a period of expansion, we’d inherited several suppliers along with the offices we’d acquired. We wanted to streamline our costs and admin by consolidating our requirements with a single supplier. OfficeTeam helped us identify the common requirements across our business and introduce a Group-wide core list. The result was a 70% saving across our stationery and print.” – Expense Management Team, Bluefin

The challenge

Bluefin had expanded rapidly by acquisition. Naturally, the acquired offices each had historic supplier arrangements in place. Following the acquisition, this meant Bluefin’s network of 80 offices was ordering stationery and print from over 40 different suppliers. With each site ordering independently, Bluefin lacked central control of its overall supplies spend. In addition, this scenario was generating hundreds of invoices each month, burdening staff with administration.

To regain control of its supply chain, Bluefin wanted to select a single supplier for stationery and print across the Group. As well as streamlining its procurement processes and admin, it expected to achieve savings through a rationalised, Group-wide core list.

Our solution

In the past, Bluefin had partnered with Phase office supplies – part of the OfficeTeam Group. So, when it came to analysing its Group-wide stationery and print requirements, Bluefin asked OfficeTeam to identify where its requirements could be streamlined.

OfficeTeam began by processing a year’s worth of past invoices. Over three days, our office supplies professionals analysed around 5,000 invoices to identify spend and usage patterns. The result was a rationalised core list of stationery products that reflected the Group’s key product requirements.

Meanwhile, analysis of Bluefin’s print requirements revealed that savings could be made by identifying common requirements across the sites, which could be offered on a Group-wide scale. A streamlined selection of printed items would be offered across the Group, instead of sites managing their print requirements locally. As well as securing savings through economies of scale, this approach also ensured brand consistency.

Following presentation of our findings, Bluefin asked us to become its consolidated supplier and gave us the go-ahead to mobilise the proposed service. At this stage we introduced our expert Implementation team. Working closely with the Phase team – who had first-hand knowledge of Bluefin’s structure and processes – the team was responsible for getting the account up and running.

Based on the usage data we had used to identify Bluefin’s core requirements, we agreed a level of stock to be maintained for each core item to ensure these regularly ordered supplies were readily available. The Implementation team coordinated the accumulation of this stock, spanning stationery and pre-printed products, along with some non-standard items which we sourced from third party suppliers. These products were all held in our warehouse, ready for call-off upon the start of the contract. By managing stock on Bluefin’s behalf, we’re able to offer its entire core list on a next day basis.

To facilitate Group-wide ordering and centralised control of costs, we introduced an online ordering portal, pre-loaded with Bluefin’s core list and agreed pricing. Users at each site were given unique logins with triggers set to notify their individual managers when any orders which require approval are submitted. We also provided an online web2print tool, so staff can order personalised printed products – e.g. business cards. The tool was pre-loaded with templates for each item with customisable fields, allowing users to amend, proof and order personalised items.

The service is supported by dedicated contacts within our Customer Services team to answer product and service queries, along with specialist print staff to oversee the management of Bluefin’s printed stock and fulfil orders for personalised printed items.

Our consolidated service has cut Bluefin’s stationery and print costs by 70%. In addition, Bluefin has less administration and fewer suppliers to manage, which has freed up some of its time and increased efficiency.

Who is Bluefin?

Bluefin is one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers, placing over £500million of insurance premiums. Through its team of over 1,400 staff, Bluefin has expertise across a range of insurance disciplines and offers advice within several specialist sectors; from agriculture to construction, hospitality to healthcare.

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