The Demise of Communisis: A Lesson for Businesses to Bring Content Composition Back In-House June 11, 2024


The recent demise of Communisis, a leading printing company, has sent shockwaves through the business world. Once a dominant player in the industry, its transactional business went into administration at the end of December 2023 with parts of the business sold to Paragon and leaving a deficit of more than £200m behind. This took place after much speculation within the Customer Communications Management (CCM) industry and serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with outsourcing critical functions like content composition. In this blog post, we delve into the contributing factors in Communisis’ downfall and explore why businesses should use it as a prompt to consider bringing their content composition back in-house.

The Rise and Fall of Communisis

Forged in the early noughties, Communisis quickly became known in the communications market as a specialist in the provision of transactional communications, helping businesses create and distribute high-quality marketing communications. It won a series of high-profile customers including some of the UK’s largest financial and public institutions, seemingly cementing its market position.

However, alongside the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic brought for Communisis’ performance, the company had been experiencing a number of issues associated with a decline in transactional print and the exponential rise of digital technologies, which contributed significantly to its decline.

Bringing Content Composition In-House

But what does this all mean for businesses now, particularly those who are currently outsourcing their content composition capabilities? The unfortunate situation with Communisis should serve as a wake-up call for businesses and prompt them to reassess their content composition strategies. While outsourcing may appear convenient at first, the risks and limitations that come with relying on external providers highlight the need and opportunity for in-house content composition capabilities to not only reduce this risk but also better serve business needs.

Here are a few of the benefits we see:

1. Brand Control: Keeping content composition in-house enables businesses to have full control over their brand’s messaging, tone, and style. This ensures consistency and strengthens brand identity, promoting customer trust and loyalty.

2. Agility and Speed: In-house content composition allows businesses to respond quickly to market trends, industry news, and customer demands. By eliminating delays associated with external providers, businesses can seize opportunities and deliver content in real-time.

3. Improved Communication: Internal content composition teams facilitate direct and efficient communication. Collaboration across departments becomes seamless, reducing errors, revision cycles, and time wasted on clarifications.

4. Reduced Costs: In the long run, bringing content composition in-house can lead to significant cost savings. Avoiding external provider fees, add-ons, and revision charges allows businesses to allocate resources more effectively, investing in their internal capabilities.

5. Flexibility and Adaptability: In-house teams can easily adapt to changing business needs, adopting new technologies and strategies without relying on external providers. This adaptability allows businesses to stay competitive in evolving markets.

Nirva’s position

The team at Nirva has seen businesses benefit from an in-house approach first-hand. We worked closely on a project with a major Swiss credit card company that had outsourced everything and then needed to bring its entire composition back in-house. Our developer team was crucial to the success of the project, working on a range of tactical deliverables, from MI file consolidation, PDF and XML wrapping, and web services for on demand, to automated batch functionality, local printing interface support, and error management.

By bringing its communication processes in house, the customer was able to not only establish full control of its documents without disrupting the business, but it successfully rolled out a full integration with e-billing, archive, and application systems, as well as a new third-party print supplier. This was no small task, but with the right consultancy, and support throughout the project the customer was able to streamline the process.

This case study was not unique in the challenges it faced with regards to migration. It’s something we at Nirva are experts in and work with many customers to ease the process with the help of solutions including Rationalizer and data transformation.

Of course, there are incidences where your cloud needs might be best met when delivered via a managed service. The key to success here is selecting the right model and provider, something the team at Nirva are experts at, helping organisations identify the right way forward for them and identifying a SaaS option that best fits the business. 


The story of Communisis certainly serves as a cautionary tale, reminding businesses of the potential pitfalls of outsourcing critical functions. The risks that come from dependency on external providers are significant. However, by partnering with the right experts businesses can avoid the pitfalls and bring content composition back in-house in order to regain control, improve agility, enhance communication, reduce costs, and strengthen their brand. Now is the time to learn from the demise of Communisis and future-proof your content composition strategies for long-term success.

Want to find out more about how Nirva can support you to bring your composition back in-house? We’d love to connect. Contact us today.

About Nirva

Nirva is the UK’s agile expert in driving smarter customer communications. Nirva specialises in driving better standards of customer communications through solving the everyday problems that people in CCM roles face. It helps clients improve their business-critical documents, messaging and processes, maximising return on CCM tech investments. Experienced in all industries, Nirva has specialisms in the insurance, healthcare, finance and utility sectors. Nirva provides high-level communications consultancy, and its consultants are able to carry out any or all phases of a project, including project planning, solution design, migration, implementation, training and mentoring of staff. For more information visit

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