“We did Continuum for the first year and within six months we’d utilised almost 70% of the agreement. We realised that we’ve have got so many things that we could change in the business if the hours were available, so we started to use Continuum as another member of staff and arm of support for the business.”

One year has passed since Daifuku Airport Technologies, one of the world’s leading airport technology companies, first signed up to Vanilla’s Continuum service and after twelve months of continuous improvement, Daifuku has decided to not only renew their support subscription for an additional year, but to also extend their Continuum investment by an additional 50 per cent.

Daifuku has spearheaded the development of industry-leading technology and is now the number one material handling supplier in the world, with a workforce of more than 9,000 people throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. The company initially engaged with Vanilla in 2017 for ad hoc support services before signing up to their first year of Continuum and now view Vanilla as an extended arm to their internal IT support team.

Continuum is a flexible service which lets IFS customers draw upon any mixture of certified IFS resources to deliver improvement initiatives within their business for a fixed monthly cost. The aim is to create a deep partnership that delivers great value for the customer while being simple to administer.

Clare Webster, Senior Systems Administrator at Daifuku Airport Technologies, explains how Vanilla’s Continuum service has not just supported Daifuku’s internal IT team, but also helped them to grow as a team and build on their own knowledge and expertise. “Vanilla has been instrumental in supporting us. It is an area where we do not have a huge amount of expertise in. As IT people, we have got quite a broad spectrum of what we need to manage and look after, but Vanilla have got the specialist knowledge so if it is something from a day-to-day that we are unable to deal with, they can offer that support as and when it is needed.

“There has also been an element of upskilling which is one of the main reasons why we chose to go through Continuum. We are a team of two IT people looking after several sites not just in the UK and it takes a lot to manage. Just to have the confidence that we have got that support and once Vanilla have worked it all out, they are not shy in saying to us, ‘this is how we did it’. So, we have been upskilled. Next time we have that problem, we have got a little more knowledge to resolve it ourselves. A lot of companies cling on to things and say, ‘no we can’t tell you how we’ve done it, but you can just pay us to show you again’. It is a working relationship and Vanilla understands the need for us to be able to react.

“We just fire off an email describing what it is we are hoping to achieve and that we would like Vanilla to assess it and suggest a solution. It really is that easy, followed up by a quick Teams call to sort out the detail of it and Vanilla just go away and do it so there is no waiting for quotes, waiting for approvals or internal management sign off. It is just done. We have bank hours, which is the whole point of it. If you were to get a quote that was misquoted, you can end up paying more, whereas with Continuum, you know you are paying a set fee every month and it does not matter if that project overruns a little bit.”

It did not take long for Daifuku to realise the value that Continuum offered and very quickly treated the service as an ‘extra arm of support’ to their IT support with a review of the company’s back-up processes being a highlight of their first year with Continuum.

Clare Webster explains, “We did Continuum for the first year and within six months we’d utilised almost 70% of the agreement. We realised that we’ve have got so many things that we could change in the business if the hours were available, so we started to use Continuum as another member of staff and arm of support for the business.”