WH Smith, the high street retailer with over 1,200 sites around the UK, has a well-established history of outsourcing help desk and supplier management functions for property management activities.

The key objective of the business is to ensure that every store is able to maintain optimum trading conditions. With a clear brief based on experience, WH Smith was eager to realise value for money around the scope of activities in relation to the services provided and undertook a market review.


SSS was able to demonstrate flexibility within its organisation to adapt systems and processes as defined by WH Smith. With a strong heritage and competence in helpdesk management, SSS had the knowledge and expertise internally to expand the scope of activity. The strength of the database that powers the information from the helpdesk was able to include a focus on cost management and supplier performance, thereby creating visibility on supplier response times and budget status.

SSS established:

  • Management reporting and data analysis in line with WH Smith’s reporting mechanisms
  • Efficient cost management and invoice reconciliation processes
  • Performance management and benchmarking of suppliers

Critical outputs

WH Smith was searching for a supplier that would be able to adapt a helpdesk solution and structure reports to mirror the specific elements of the internal WH Smith management reporting system.

A robust cost accounting and supplier management process focuses on contract management expertise rather than the technical aspects of the service delivery. SSS has deployed the most effective and proportional resource to manage the scope of activities.

All invoices received in a month are processed and validated. Clear and relevant data enable an accurate and objective rating of supplier performance. A published league table encourages each supplier to improve their own performance across the KPIs.


  • The objectivity of the SSS team ensures that cost reconciliations are managed without prejudice
  • Visibility of costs and forecasted spend enable more rigorous budgeting and financial control
  • The SSS helpdesk manages first time fixes to over 40% of all calls
  • An award winning solution
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