De La Rue

Company profile 

De La Rue is the world’s largest commercial security printer and papermaker, involved in the production of over 150 national currencies and a wide range of security documents. The company is also a leading provider of cash handling equipment and supplies software solutions to banks and retailers worldwide.

The challenge 

Each of the three primary internal divisions of De La Rue traditionally had its own IT organisation. The arrival of a new CEO fuelled the belief that the commodity nature of IT services ought to provide opportunities for significant efficiency improvements and cost reductions. Because of its independent status and proven expertise, Quantum Plus was engaged to work with De La Rue personnel to advise how best to achieve these goals and to sustain continued improvements.

Quantum Plus's engagement covered three main areas:

  • Organisational development
  • Defining and implementing a sourcing strategy for service management
  • Managing the competitive tender process for wide area network infrastructure and services

De La Rue’s IT organisation was restructured to align it with the needs of the business, focus on process and solution standardisation, build centres of excellence and deliver performance improvement and operational effectiveness. This involved the development of a new organisation structure, the definition of the scope of responsibilities for each department and the development of new working processes, and then the implementation of these using formal training sessions and structured workshops.

How Quantum Plus helped 

A sourcing strategy was defined by first establishing which components of IT were sufficiently commoditised and non-core to be potential candidates for outsourcing.  Quantum Plus then managed a competitive tender process for the outsourcing of these services, whilst comparing the benefits and cost of outsourcing with in-house service provision. This included the development of a formal tender document specifying the background to the project, the detailed services to be provided and the associated service levels, service reporting and governance requirements, contract term sheets, pricing templates and credentials information required. The responses from potential service providers were then evaluated against pre-defined weighted criteria and the proposed outsourced services compared to the in-house proposition.

Ultimately the decision was made by De La Rue to keep the services in-house and to apply the benefits of outsourcing methodologies to transform in-house service provision. This included the implementation of formal service management processes (Incident and Problem Management, Change Management, Release Management, etc), the development of Service Level Agreements with the business and the implementation of effective governance structures.

To further deliver service improvements and cost savings, Quantum Plus was retained by De La Rue to advise on and manage the competitive re-tender process for outsourced wide area network services. This followed a similar sequence of activities to the original tendering process, as described above, but concentrating solely on the delivery of a single service component and thus with the additional need to integrate effectively with the in-house teams providing the other IT support services.

The outcome 

For all three areas, Quantum Plus worked in partnership with De La Rue management and staff, operating in joint project teams, and providing specialist expertise and experience in performing similar projects, whilst De La Rue personnel provided company knowledge and in-depth knowledge of their technical environment and the activities required to provide an effective support service.

The approach to the sourcing projects was based on Quantum Plus’ methodology that has been used successfully many times to help companies create outsourcing relationships that deliver benefits above and beyond their expectations. 

The methodology has the following advantages:

  • The process is complete and robust, and ensures that every necessary step is taken to create the best possible outsourcing deal.
  • Each step in the process maps back to the previous ones, so that at every stage the client’s objectives are in focus and the resulting documentation and the eventual contract fully reflect the desired direction and goals.
  • A full audit trail is created that explains and justifies the decisions taken at every point.
  • The process gets the client to the point of awarding contracts in the shortest time possible without jeopardising quality or integrity.