IT and AV Rental Solutions Used by Magenta Star for Seasonal Demand
High performance PCs for digital imaging deliver lasting photo memories for families and friends.
Hamilton Rentals helps Magenta Star scale up to handle seasonal operations with confidence and ease.
Capturing Once-in-a-Lifetime Moments
Since 2012, Magenta Star has built a reputation for delivering outstanding photography systems and experiences for theme parks, holiday parks and major attractions.
Offering permanent and seasonal installations that act as a value-add draw for visitors and guests, their extensive offering includes POS and marketing support, photography and retail skills training, as well as photo merchandise.
“We help our customers create unique branding experiences for guests. There’s no better way to remember a vacation or special event than with pictures – and today’s consumers want to see their pictures right away and share them immediately,” explains Colin Gentle, Director of Technical Development and Support at Magenta Star.
“We provide everything that organisations need to capture, virtually any guest experience, and turn memorable moments into an additional revenue stream. Our event-imaging solutions are fully integrated and managed – and include triggered photography for things like roller coasters, green screen applications, as well as print and instant sharing on email and social media.”
The only company in the UK and Ireland licensed to use Kodak’s specialist event-imaging solutions software, the company continues to evolve and grow its offering.
For example, at Christmas, Magenta Star now provides a full ‘Santa Grotto’ managed service that includes a photo fulfilment system, the provision of staff and characters like Santa and his elves, an on-line booking system tailored to client requirements, as well as the sourcing of wrapped gifts for multiple age ranges and gender – which for the Christmas 2018 season involved around 50,000 gifts.
As Colin explains; “This service takes the pressure off our Christmas clients, who know from an operational standpoint, they don’t have to worry about a thing.”
Managing Seasonal Operations
Demand for seasonal installations peaks across the year creating operational challenges for the team at Magenta Star.
“We handle requests for long seasons, like the summer period at holiday parks, alongside relatively short promotions such as Santa Grottos in the run up to Christmas. In recent years, we’ve seen Halloween growing into a major consumer event too,” explains Colin.
In the past, Magenta Star purchased powerful PCs to run the special Kodak imaging software and capture systems for creating souvenir pictures that families and friends want to buy. However, wear and tear on the equipment, and the constant need to upgrade to new machinery represented a considerable capital investment.
But that wasn’t the only challenge. Predicting how many seasonal sites would need to be up and running throughout the year was no easy task. What’s more, space at the company’s own workshops was at a premium. Which meant storing kit ready for anticipated use was becoming an unrealistic proposition as customer demand continued to grow from strength to strength.
“We needed to find a better way to support our technology needs,” says Colin. “That’s when we turned to Hamilton Rentals.”
On-Demand Access to IT
To streamline its logistics operations, and cost-effectively manage the provision of PCs, keyboards and monitors to its seasonal installations, Magenta Star took the decision to rent the equipment it needs from Hamilton Rentals and deliver it, ready for action, the moment it was needed to go out onto customer site.
“We provide Hamilton with a series of pre-built master images so that they can pre-configure each device to our exact needs,” explains Colin.
“All we have to do is call off how many PCs we need, tell Hamilton which image needs to be loaded, and request a delivery date. It’s as simple as that.”
Distributed to Magenta Star’s central offices, each device is asset tagged by the company before being dispatched with an engineer for deployment on customer site. At the end of the booking, the equipment is returned to Hamilton Rentals.
“Being able to rent only the equipment we need for a pre-determined time is a significant advantage for us – and we have the confidence of knowing that should any equipment fail in the field, Hamilton will get an advance replacement sent out straight away.”
What’s more, Colin confirms there was one further key advantage of engaging with Hamilton Rentals. Following initial discussions about their rental needs, Colin was also able to hand over 100 ageing PCs to Hamilton, who undertook a full data wipe and refurbishment of the units before selling these on.
Magenta Star received a credit note for the sold units, which it was able to use to offset the rental costs of its new fleet of equipment.
Working with Hamilton Rentals has enabled Magenta Star to handle peaks and troughs in demand in a much more controlled manner.
“It’s true to say we’re now able to manage our internal engineering resources much more effectively and can focus on simply coordinating the practical logistics of our seasonal rollouts without having to worry about cycling equipment into and out of our workshops,” continues Colin.
Last year, for example, Hamilton Rentals provided over 130 desktop PCs and monitors for a multitude of Santa Grotto installations across the UK. The first orders went out in October, with the final delivery completed in early November. All rentals ended in the first week of January.
“We’re now able to treat the equipment element of our seasonal installations as an operational expense that has a fixed and pre-determined cost,” says Colin.
“That makes a big difference to our operational bottom line and means we don’t have to ramp up bench engineering resources to cope with short windows of demand.”
Why Hamilton Rentals
Experienced at collaborating with companies that need the agility to respond to unpredictable customer demand fast, Hamilton Rentals has proved to be the ideal solution for Magenta Star’s needs.
“It didn’t take Hamilton Rentals too much time to get on board with our unique operating model,” says Colin. “Once they grasped what we were about, they were easy to engage with and have proved very responsive to any change requests.”
“Renting IT technology from Hamilton gives us the confidence of knowing we’ve got a fixed and predictable operational cost and can scale the service up and down according to needs,” continues Colin.
After talking to other rental companies, the decision to work with Hamilton Rentals was an easy one.
“You very quickly get a gut instinct about these things. Hamilton were very easy to talk to from the offset and asked all the right questions. They gave us the right price point, designed their service around our very particular requirements – and never given us cause to regret our decision.”