Opus Trust wins major retail contract

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, January 7, 2021

Opus Trust Communications has expanded its foothold within the retail sector by securing a three-year contract with online retailer Freemans Grattan Holdings (FGH).

Farmer: "The on-boarding has been an outstanding success"
Farmer: "The on-boarding has been an outstanding success"

The Leicester-headquartered group said the deal, which went live in November after the contract was signed in October, has multiple extension options.

It will see Opus Trust deliver an omnichannel communication offering for Bradford-headquartered FGH that comprises both print and digital, which it said would take FGH on a digital transformation journey that will further enhance the retail experience for more than two million FGH customers across the UK.

After investing £4m into its internal IT functions and becoming the first UK company to join Quadient’s ‘Digital Now’ programme, Opus Trust was able to demonstrate its ability to transform FGH’s transactional processes with the phased introduction of innovative e-billing, while reducing operational costs.

FGH comprises established online brands including Freemans, Grattan, Kaleidoscope, Swimwear365, Look Again, Bonprix, Curvissa and WITT.

Jillian Maskill, head of customer experience for Freemans Grattan Holdings, said: “As a group that trades under a wide range of leading brands with a customer first mantra, we knew that we had to partner with a credible and capable organisation who we could trust to meet with our customers’ evolving expectations and preferred methods of communication, whilst delivering a seamless transfer of existing services.

“Throughout a detailed competitive tender process, the Opus Trust Communications team not only gave us confidence in their ability to meet our technical brief, but also demonstrated their commitment to strive for exceptional customer experiences on behalf of their clients and our customers.”

She added: “Our teams have worked closely together to meet tough go-live deadlines, resulting in the slick on-time transfer of existing services.”

Opus Trust Communications sales and marketing director Richard Farmer said FGH’s customer first ethos and innovative approach have “obvious synergies with Opus Trust’s vision, mission and strategy”.

“Adding FGH to our portfolio of retail clients is further confirmation of our ability to work in partnership with our clients, utilising our Opus CX technology suite to help them deliver even better customer experience through well-planned, well-executed digital transformation.

“Partnering with FGH not only reinforces Opus Trust’s position as a trusted partner to the retail sector, but it also highlights how our technical omnichannel capabilities can have a transformational impact on organisations across multiple sectors.”

Farmer told Printweek the contract win was significant for Opus Trust, “both in terms of revenue and strategic direction”.

“An important factor in FGH’s decision to award the contract to Opus was our ability to on-board a significant volume of transactional print quickly and efficiently, but also our ability to help FGH enhance their customers’ journey through the digitisation of transactional and promotional communications.

“It was a tough go-live deadline, but a joint project team worked incredibly hard to ensure the deadline was met. The on-boarding has been an outstanding success for both parties.”

The company will use BlueCrest IntelliJet 20 printers and Epic enclosing lines to produce the print element of the work. The number of staff working on the contract will vary according to demand, but initially there will be no additional staff requirement, Farmer added.

“Online retail was growing before the pandemic closed much of the high street, but that growth has certainly accelerated as a result of the pandemic and looks set to continue,” he said.

“FGH has seen phenomenal growth and I am talking to other online retailers who report a similar trend. We are certainly targeting this sector as we have a great story to tell on the back of this contract win.

“With print, mail and digital expertise, we are ideally placed to guide online retailers on a digital journey whilst including print and mail as part of the channel choice for many years to come.”

Opus Trust Communications works with organisations across energy, water, financial services, telecoms, business services, travel and leisure, construction and the public sector, and on behalf of FTSE 100 companies.

It is just over a year since the company acquired print and mailing business Critiqom. It followed that in summer 2020 with the takeover of customer communications management specialist DocCentrics. The business currently employs 187 people across the three sites with a combined turnover of £44m.

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