Essex County Council’s was spending £850k annually on public notice advertising. But, budget pressures mean that they are always looking for new ways to work smarter and more efficiently. So they asked TMP to see if there were any ways they could cut back. We were able to save in excess £1.5m over three years.
The publishing of statutory highway notices, whether it’s about planned road works or major new highway schemes is a major part of Essex County Council’s annual spend. Year on year local government budget pressures mean that they will always need to work smarter and more efficiently. They required a plan to reduce their advertising costs while ensuring their legal compliance/obligation.
The annualised spend for public notice advertising was £850k, which used various media suppliers covering the whole of Essex. TMP were tasked to manage and provide technical expertise and guidance to implement a competitive tender process with the media. It was decided that an industry first procurement exercise would be introduced in order to identify a suitable media supplier.
TMP approached media organisations who could potentially be the ‘sole/preferred’ supplier for Essex County Council’s publishing requirement. TMP advised the team to construct a scoring criteria that the media suppliers would be evaluated against which included:
The suppliers were then measured against each other according to this criteria which allowed TMP to select the most suitable.
"Statutory notice rates have traditionally been impossible to reduce in cost – after all councils have no choice but to place them – but Essex County Council is always resolute in its pursuit of best value for money and savings council taxpayers’ money. In a ground-breaking deal, ECC was able to negotiate savings of £1.5 million over three years by changing the way it advertises statutory notices.”
Richard Puleston, Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Strategic Services, Essex County Council
The most suitable media partner was selected providing a cost effective financial resolution with Essex County Council generating an estimated annualised savings of £500k. Two newspaper groups were awarded the contract – together they provided the coverage required at a greatly reduced rate card cost.
TMP produced detailed coverage information to ensure the most appropriate media is always being selected. A caveat was also put in place to have an agreed volume ceiling. This also gives efficiencies to the payment process for both parties as only one purchase order is required for all the adverts placed. TMP continues to monitor the performance of this contract through ongoing quarterly review meetings with key stakeholders. We fully understand the placing of statutory notices is both a cost and labour intensive.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve the service we provide. We have helped to gain real efficiencies through refining internal processes, creating and implementing a cost effective template database and taking a more innovative and strategic approach to how Essex advertises their notices throughout the county.