Case Study

How we helped Stockport Homes to streamline their marketing strategy

Executive Summary

As a print management company offering a hybrid service of creative design, manufacturing and print, as well our Web2Print marketing platform HubTec, our service offering functions as a marketing resource for a lot of our clients. This case study details how we worked with Stockport Homes (part of Stockport Homes Group) taking a consultative approach, to help manage the increase and diversity of their marketing activities due to changing business needs.

We drew on our own experience in this area, to improve processes and implement initiatives covering marketing requirements, which allowed them to work more efficiently and effectively, releasing time and resources in the process.

In September 2016, SF Taylor were asked to participate in a tendering process for Stockport Homes. As a housing organisation, servicing a large client base and a streamlining of their workforce, their marketing team were challenged with producing larger amounts of collateral for various sectors, in a limited space of time, both on brand and within budget.

Efficiency and brand guardianship were important factors, along with the knowledge of cost-effective print and production solutions. They quickly realised that they needed to streamline their activities, to meet changing business needs. As such, their Marketing and Communications Manager, Verity Calderbank decided to undertake a review of their creative and print processes.

After a successful tender process, SF Taylor won the contract, we performed an initial scoping exercise, to learn more about their requirements as a business and analyse their challenges, in order to find solutions, to improve their overall communications strategy.

About Stockport Homes

Stockport Homes was formed in 2005, to manage housing stock across the region, on behalf of Stockport Council. Whilst the company is owned by the Council, they operate independently on day-to-day matters, delivering services to their customers.

They are committed to building new homes across Stockport and helping to transform the lives of their clients. In 2019 they established ‘Foundations Stockport’, a community benefit society which will work to alleviate poverty and provide positive opportunities to improve the lives of people in Stockport. We are proud to work with a company providing such integral work in the community of Stockport, where we are also based.

The Challenge

The key areas due for review are listed below:

  • Print production system – with the needs of the business changing, they required much larger amounts of high-quality print, with a new system and strategy in place to support this.


  • Event support – they required large format production of exhibition stands and supporting collateral and a company who could deliver this. On time and within budget.


  • Streamlining the ordering process – As various departments were ordering print for different campaigns and initiatives, there was potential for confusion and duplicate ordering which needed to be addressed. Their previous provider offered a basic solution that allowed marketing to call off pre-printed stock, but it needed to be developed and go further than this. They required a system in which various people could order exactly what they needed, from the same resource.
  • Turnaround time – As their business was changing, engagement with the local community was increasing, and events were often held locally at short notice. This meant they needed quick turnarounds, for short run digital promotional collateral, as their current process was not working for their changing needs.


  • Stock storage – Increase of ordering could potentially lead to a lack of storage space. As the supplier was not local to them, there would have been an increase in delivery costs as well as an unfavourable impact on the environment to order on demand.
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Solution & Benefits

Our initial approach to any new contract is to engage with the team, using our 4D approach to really get under the skin of the issues they are facing. Then we can fully understand their processes and ultimately provide a better service in the future.


Establishing the facts. We conducted a full audit of the current processes, to gain a clear insight of any hidden inefficiencies or expenditure. We obtained feedback from their end users on service experience, product usage, potential wastage any further pain points. During this stage, we identified that our online platform could deliver further benefits to the team, rather than just an online ordering system; by introducing additional modules, we could deliver so much more!


Creating a solution bespoke to the needs of Stockport Homes. We introduced our Web2Print system HubTec, skinned every template they would need, making it very easy for a team member to log in and re-print or amend pre-designed templates. There are many different brands within the Stockport Homes Portfolio. This system is specially designed to ensure all users have access to the one that is relevant to them, so make creating and printing is simple.


We believe (and Stockport Homes agree!) that we have kept our promise and have delivered an effective, efficient print production solution, within agreed Service Level Agreements, which are a significant improvement on their previous process.

Print production – digital and litho production for over 200 products, both functional and marketing, across the many business names which sit under the Stockport Homes umbrella. We put a strategy in place which streamlined their current process.

Event support – As one of the requirements was large format production of exhibition stands and supporting collateral, our large-scale operations were able to support them in executing this.

Consolidated ordering – We used our online platform HubTec to facilitate this. As there were multiple departments ordering various amounts of collateral and print, our system allowed multiple end users to order directly from one supplier. We introduced print on demand, short run and long run and multiple users.

Turnaround times – this was one of their initial challenges. We facilitated shorter delivery times to multiple locations across the city. We also offered short and long run deliveries, to facilitate all requirements, whether they were routine or ad-hoc.

Stock holding – the previous incumbent offered a basic call off service via an online portal, with a weekly delivery only. As the supplier was not local, the lead times were too long compared to requirement. Our stock storage system allowed the clients to continue to order in bulk, to avail of discounts and ensure that holding their stock was not an issue.


We’ve steadily increased the use of our online platform since the beginning of this contract and have also added new functions, such as ID card creation and production.

Multiple end user logins – with associated permissions, allows the marketing team to review orders. Full visibility of all assets – including full pdf artwork to enable the end user to preview a document before ordering.

Pre-agreed templating tool – allowing end users to create their own marketing collateral for localised campaigns. The Digital Asset Management System allows for uploads to be checked for ‘fit for purpose’ print or pdf downloads.

Fixed price calculators providing cost transparency

Approval loops for authorisation of all orders, with the ability to annotate and make amends.

Management Information Reporting – we provide an easy to use reporting system so users can see what is being ordered, how it’s being used and delivered and at what cost.

“SF Taylor provide all our print for publications and business stationery, and have also helped with building artwork at our new HQ. We have found them to be super-organised, efficient, innovative and helpful. They always go out of their way to help us with urgent deadlines and deliver on time every time"

— Verity Calderbank, Marketing and Communications Manager, Stockport Homes.


How Stockport Homes benefited from the solutions we delivered.

With the expertise of our team, combined with the commendable dedication of the team at Stockport Homes, we were able to implement a robust print and communication management strategy, which supported the increase in their marketing activities. They have been able to scale up their communications efforts, while streamlining their strategy and improving the efficiencies of their day-to-day activities. We decreased their usual delivery turnaround by approximately 70%, which meant that they were confident in order larger quantities whilst also ensuring that deadlines were still met. New requirements and demands within the business were met with ease and each individual department was able to respond to these requirements within budget, while ensuring brand compliance and successfully invigorating their marketing and communication efforts.

We continue to support Stockport Homes with their ever-changing business requirements and challenges, particularly during a time of national lockdown restrictions. Ensuring we contribute to ideas and ways to communicate with their customer base, whether it be by newsletters mailed out or banners to keep the local community updated. Our expert opinion is always valued and in return we have a fantastic relationship with the whole team at Stockport Homes”

Rachel Moores – Account Director, SF Taylor

Do you want to find out if we can do the same for your business?

At SF Taylor, we are continually looking for ways to improve the service we offer. In this instance, we were able to support the in-house design team within Stockport Homes, with resources from our studio to cover holidays and busy periods. Our aim is to continue to enhance our partnership with Stockport Homes as their business grows and requirements change.

This case study is a fantastic example of how a growing organisation requires a more flexible solution. New requirements or challenges within a business, can sometimes be a good opportunity to review your spending and change your processes or supply chain. You want to ensure you can work within your budget and also scale up, increase efficiencies and potentially reduce costs. If you would like to learn more about what we do and how we do it, we would be happy to speak to you and hear more about your business and your requirements.

We typically save our clients an average of 22% on print and design spend. We do this by first analysing the overall spend and delving into any potential hidden inefficiencies and making recommendations, once we conduct a print audit. We do this completely free of charge and with no obligation. Your business could be our next great success story. Do you think we might be able to help your organisation to reduce spend while increasing quality? Contact us today to find out more and we will get back to you to discuss how we can help.

Contact us today to book your own print audit

Simply email call 0161 429 7200 or book a FREE print audit online here