DST signs three-year deal with Virgin Media

DST has signed a three-year deal with Virgin Media for the production of all of its marketing communications print in the UK.

The seven-figure deal is entirely new business for DST, which will produce most of the work in-house while using an audited roster of suppliers for specific items, such as envelopes, where it does not have the manufacturing expertise.

DST calls this hybrid of print management and in-house production its Lead Supply Solution, where it is the lead supplier to the client, who works with a dedicated account team to source the required products and services.

"DST’s Lead Supply Solution offers significant benefits and innovation," said Natasha Oram, director of acquisition marketing at Virgin Media. "Direct access to a knowledgeable and expert team who always see the bigger picture will help us make smart investments whilst increasing the effectiveness of our communications."

DST chief executive Jeremy Walters said that the service was one that he had originally developed with Dialogue Solutions (prior to the merger of DST and Lateral Group) before growing the supply chain over the past three years.

"The great thing from the client's point of view is that it's all audited by us to our standards, including our environmental and data standards, so whether the product is sourced from DST or the supply chain they have that guarantee," he said.

Walters added that Virgin Media was the biggest client to date for its Lead Supply Solution, while early adopters included the likes of the Institute of Directors.

The contract covers all of Virgin Media's marketing print in the UK, including retention and acquisition direct marketing, door drops and press inserts, but does not include any transactional work or any work outside the UK.

"At the moment it's a local contract, but we're a global business so we certainly have the capability to offer a global service as the opportunity presents itself," said Walters.

Virgin Media previously managed its own roster of approved suppliers, all of which have been given the option to join DST's supply chain.

Walters said that DST had already started production for Virgin, since signing the contract in October, and that the new business would have a positive impact on this year's accounts. "We've had massive growth in 2013/14 on what we did in 2012/13 in the UK," he added.


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