The broadcaster is seeking a single supplier to manage the “pan-BBC print requirements” and take responsibility for all print production. This will involve the print partner entering into sub-contracts with print providers to fulfil jobs across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The contract, which has been held for the past eight years by Cheshire-headquartered APS Group, is a streamlining of the BBC’s original strategy of contracting with different suppliers for individual print jobs. Although BBC production still occasionally sources print from local suppliers when on location, the bulk of BBC print is now handled through this print management process.
“The ideal candidate company for this tender would have to be able to manage the pan-BBC requirements and be responsible for all print production in relation to these requirements. They must be able to offer the most cost-effective, reliable and efficient print service,” said senior procurement manager Angela Swanson.
“They would need to be of sufficient size and capability to provide the necessary level of responsiveness to our regional offices in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“The general nature of the regular work is varied and usually campaign-led. However, it also involves managing the printing of materials for high-profile projects including the BBC annual report and accounts, the Proms guides and associated programmes, and Countryfile calendars.”
The broadcaster's deal with incumbent APS Group, which has sales of £114m, is set to expire next year.
Swanson said that APS will be able to re-apply alongside all other applicants. The BBC is legally obliged to advertise the opportunity to demonstrate fairness and transparency.
Initially set to last two years, the contract will then have two renewal options of up to 12 months in length apiece.
As part of the same tender, the BBC is offering a second lot worth £600,000 for up to three suppliers for the fulfilment of direct mail services. The DM deal is also for two years, with two 12-month renewal options.
Both lots will close to applications at 2pm on Wednesday, 14 November.