Vohkus’ many years’ experience in managed print services made it a natural fit when Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines approached about improving printer support across its fleet.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines operates four ships which together carry 4,000 passengers. Each vessel generates over two million documents a year, a total of around 10 million copies across all vessels.
The company had been experiencing reliability problems with other brands of printers and maintenance issues with existing suppliers. It approached HP for advice and HP introduced Vohkus, a specialist partner.
“We’d had spare parts issues as well as reliability concerns with our previous printers,” explains the IT service manager for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, “but when we switched to HP products these problems were largely solved. The trouble was that the managed service we were getting from the incumbent dealer was also falling short in a number of areas.
“We raised this problem with HP and they recommended we talk to Vohkus. Vohkus had a great track record, having been running managed print services for many well-known clients over the previous eight or nine years, and had worked closely with HP throughout that time.”
In many organisations anything between one and three per cent of turnover is spent on print, but because that spend is often piecemeal – on support, toners and hardware – companies don’t realise what they are spending or what they can potentially save by moving to a managed service. In Vohkus’s experience a managed service can save, on average, around 30 per cent of print costs – and that cost then becomes visible and transparent.
For many organisations Vohkus designs consolidated solutions, using larger devices that are cheaper to run and easier to maintain. But the Fred Olsen situation was unusual in that space on board each vessel was limited, and that generally meant using a larger quantity of smaller printers. Reliability was vital, and HP’s reputation for reliability of these kinds of devices was second to none. When a vessel is at sea for weeks at a time, the customer does not have the luxury of being able to call an engineer every time something breaks, so the devices must be fit for purpose and able to work throughout the entire duration of the cruise. The service uses HP’s access control in the fleet in order to deliver the sort of efficiencies that would normally be delivered through consolidation of printers.
The IT service manager also highlights the benefit of managing users in this way: “We use access control because it allows the management of print consumption. We can print anywhere to any device, and we know who’s printing what.”
Preparation for installation on each vessel was undertaken using Vohkus’s own facilities and engineers, as there was very limited time while each ship was in port to get everything installed.
The planning element was one of the most essential in a project like this. Vohkus had a very limited window of opportunity to be able to get the devices to the quayside and then on to each boat. In order to make this is as seamless as possible each unit was brought into Vohkus’s warehouse and preconfigured. Arriving at the ship it was a simple case of plug-and-play for the devices to be up and running.
Print devices were installed in various parts of each ship to address local tasks such as reception administration, reporting on the bridge, and the entertainment area for production of a daily on-board newspaper.
Managed print in action
With the managed print solution, Vohkus not only carries out hardware installation, driver installation and related professional services, but in addition recycles old devices.
Vohkus also takes care of the Fred. Olsen service delivery contract, while the service engineers themselves are specialist HP staff. Fewer parts need to be carried on board and maintenance windows are necessarily particularly flexible. Vohkus was able to design a unique service level agreement (SLA) for Fred. Olsen; normal SLAs are nine-to-five Mondays to Fridays, but because a cruise ship can arrive at, say, 6am on a Sunday, there is a requirement for the engineer to arrive out of normal hours.
The benefit of HP’s managed print service for the customer is that the costs are predictable. Fred.Olsen knows exactly what their printing is going to cost them across a year, and arranging engineers and acquiring toners is a very simple process that can be scheduled along with the boats’ arrivals.
Fred. Olsen’s IT service manager says: “We chose to work with Vohkus because they understand our requirements, they provide planning and support, and implemented the best solution for our particular needs, which was an HP managed print service.”
Fred. Olsen has been sufficiently impressed with the quality of the solution that it is examining options for HP managed print from Vohkus in the offices of its UK businesses.