The AFC Asian Cup 2015 was a 23-day festival of football, hosted in Australia across five cities.
The tournament featured 32 games between the top 16 football nations in Asia, and commanded a cumulative audience of 434 million. With some 650,000 tickets sold it was also the biggest football tournament ever to be staged Down Under.
As experienced suppliers to the Commonwealth Games in 2006, Konica Minolta knew they had the capacity for such an intense project and were keen to rise to the logistics challenge.
As the chosen supplier, Konica Minolta worked for five months installing, commissioning and supporting multifunction devices and printers, configured with OPS Advanced Monitoring software, for 30 sites across the country. They provided on-site technical support to all locations and followed a strategic plan for device removal in a record time.
John Cant, ICT Manager for the AFC Asian Cup, commented: “It was important that Konica Minolta had exactly the right range of products and solutions. They met all of our requirements - from a small desktop printer all the way through to the reasonable sized MFD for press centres that mass produced information. They just made our life really easy.”
The final solution comprised of MFDs with OPS Advanced Monitoring and printers for a variety of communication needs including media use, marketing, faxing, scanning and general printing. In total, 98 devices were deployed including 21 bizhub C364e MFDs, 24 bizhub C224e MFDs, 39 bizhub C3110 MFDs and 14 bizhub C3100p printer devices (capable of Paper Feed Unit PFP14 500 Sheets).
Christel Coulon said: “The bizhub C364e could do anything – it was the stand out performer. In the end we didn’t use all of its capacity but, with all the machines operating in different states and climates, it was imperative they were robust.”
Over the Christmas/New Year shutdown period a dedicated Konica Minolta team, including Inventory Control, Operations, Service Engineers, Delivery Contractors and Dealers, installed the machines in hotels and stadiums across Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Newcastle. The team worked with the AFC Asian Cup ICT team to resolve international faxing and network connectivity issues across disparate network systems. The team responded to last minute changes.
Access to venues was only available 24 hours before the devices were required to be operational so they were run up and configured by the team in the Konica Minolta workshops before delivery to site.
Tight demands meant zero tolerance to downtime and rigorous KPIs were put into place to ensure business continuity during key events. The team provided on-site support engineers at events, ensuring the Konica Minolta fleet performed at the top of its game.
OPS Advanced Monitoring was also deployed across all MFDs enabling automated support calls, device management, print management and also automated consumable deliveries. The ICT support service processes were integrated with the teams’ in-person support.
Within hours of the final whistle, the team worked to a tight deadline to collect all devices while the country celebrated the Socceroos success.
The 2015 Asian Cup experience has cemented Konica Minolta’s appreciation of the demands of a high paced event and clients’ need for 24/7 technical support. The overall customer experience including the quality of the equipment supplied and the level of service were both highly endorsed by the client.
AFC Asian Cup ICT Manager, John Cant, said: “The fact that Konica Minolta was flexible enough to actually have people on site, in what was a fairly unusual situation, solved a lot of problems for us. In the end we were unable to use the paper we’d planned for and the new stock wasn’t ideal for what we were trying to do. Konica Minolta worked hard to optimize the devices so that the risks were mitigated.”
Christel Coulon, added: “They were an excellent team and our great working relationship with them made all the difference. We did experience teething problems, like having to put new hard drives quickly into the C3100p machines, but these were resolved quickly. Also, even when the team had to go beyond the terms of our agreement, they were happy to accommodate us.”
John Cant commented: “To be honest I always knew where I stood with deliveries. The communication was really good. I could find out exactly where we were with everything. Despite tight delivery times, at no point did I feel we were at risk of not meeting our deadlines. It was tense during the delivery phase but the strength of the communication meant I had one less thing to worry about.”
Christine Coulon added: “The technicians’ customer service was really incredible. As soon as a problem arose they quickly planned a solution.
We would certainly think of them favourably for another event.”