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How PaperCut saved aircraft engineers from walking half a kilometer to get their printing

Airplane and people

Cutting to the chase

Problem

While engineers moved from one hangar to another, their print jobs couldn’t


Solution

PaperCut made it easy for users to get vital documents from the nearest printer.


Outcome

A significant increase in operational efficiency and reduction in printing costs.

KLM UK Engineering is a subsidiary of KLM that provides maintenance for a range of aircraft, including Boeing 737, Airbus A320, Embraer 170/190, Bae 146, Avro RJ, and Fokker 70/100 types.

The company has been operating for over 40 years and prides itself on having an experienced and skilled workforce – delivering a superior service and high-quality product at a competitive price to its customer base.

“Each aircraft check generates between 5,000 and 20,000 sheets of paper,” says Mark Walker, IT Manager at KLM UK Engineering, based at Norwich International Airport.

Mark leads a lean team of six that’s kept busy looking after the IT estate, which comprises 500 users, 450 endpoints, and 50 virtual machines hosted on 10 physical hosts in two computer rooms.

“We’ve certainly saved something in the region of between £3-4,000 worth of print costs already. And the solution’s only been live for a few months.”"

- Mark Walker,

IT Manager, KLM UK Engineering, Norwich, England

Problem

In an effort to find opportunities to improve, KLM UK Engineering asked its staff to participate in a ‘Happiness’ survey. “Printing came out as the second biggest problem in the company,” Mark reveals. “We are still reliant on paper. If the non-routine job cards don’t come out of the printer, then this impacts the engineer’s ability to sign off the work.”

When checking the aircraft, engineers often moved from bay to bay, covering significant distances, but having no way for their print jobs to follow them.

“It’s probably the most important thing for the hangar floor, because if they can’t get the manuals and the non-routine job cards out in time, it delays the aircraft from departing because they can’t sign off the CRS – Certificate of Release to Service – paperwork,” Mark explains.

“The engineers use a platform called RDS – Remote Desktop Services – and we struggled to find a script or mechanism to allow them to log on to one terminal in one hangar, print to that printer, and then move to another hangar and print to that hangar’s printer.

“If non-routine jobs cards have been printed out, we were able to track the destination and inform the engineer which bay printer they were on. This could sometimes involve a 500-meter walk to another hangar to avoid a paperwork exercise of signing off the missing non-routine card.”

Solution

“We tried all sorts of options and couldn’t find anything,” Mark says, “One of my colleagues, Daniel Johnson, said, ‘Why don’t we try PaperCut?’ There were some noises about it being too expensive, but when boiled down it had the simplest pricing model, which is visible on their website.

“So far to date it’s only been in three or four months, but the headache and the problems have disappeared for me. We literally get one or two assistance requests a week now for printing, and that’s usually because their employee number is not synced, or maybe they’re not even setup yet.”

Outcome

PaperCut has not only significantly reduced how far the KLM engineers need to go to pick up their printing, but it’s also had a positive effect on the bottom line as well.

“I had a quick look on Sunday to see the number of prints that haven’t been collected and the number of prints that have been cancelled,” Mark offers. “And we’ve certainly saved something in the region of between £3-4,000 worth of print costs already. And the solution’s only been live for a few months.

“If I extrapolate that, we’re going to make some considerable savings, which is going to pay for the software itself.” It seems printing will no longer be an issue in the next KLM UK Engineering ‘Happiness’ survey.

“I am pretty confident that the printing problem is going to have reduced dramatically,” Mark reckons. “We had a whole fleet replacement as well as the rollout of PaperCut, and the only thing I hear nowadays is engineers saying that they really like it and it’s taken away the headache. It’s just not a problem anymore.”