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Quality Sleep at Sea with Familon

Image by Familon Oy

A while back I had a chance to talk with the nice people of Familon Oy about their recent changes in the organization and why their products are so highly praised among cruise ship passengers and hotel guests. Learn, what they had to say about the reasons for their success.

What are the latest news in Familon?

In  2014 there were a lot of changes in Familon. In July 2014 Trading House Scandinavia AB, one of the largest European bedding manufacturers, bought Familon including project sales unit. Familon Oy is now a subsidiary to Trading House Scandinavia. The brand name of project sales, changed from Finlayson Pro to Familon Pro. Familon is  a  very well-known brand in home textiles; pillows, duvets, mattresses and beds since 1966. Familon is a trusted company with certification for quality, environmental management, occupational health, and safety at work.

For those who are not specialists, why Familon’s products are the best in the industry?

Mattress Pad Master Safe 5 in SHIPSU Market

Since 1996, Familon’s pillows and duvets have been developed together with the Finnish Allergy and Asthma Federation and carry the Finnish Allergy Label. This label is awarded only to products that are safe for even the most sensitive of users. The Key Flag Symbol signifies that our products are made in Finland. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 mark is testament to the safety of our textiles. Familon beds have also been awarded the Swan label, which is the official ecolabel for the Nordic countries. We’ve taken care of every detail to make drifting off to sleep a pure pleasure.

All Familon beds are made at our own factory in Heinola, Finland, using advanced technology and over 30 years of experience. The manufacturing process includes several stages that require skill and precision. The beds are upholstered and the covers are carefully hand sewn. Each spring is made from specialized carbon steel, which is thermally tempered during production for maximum durability. Familon mattresses and top mattresses are also manufactured and tested in Finland, from where we ship around 150,000 products to destinations around the world every year. The high-quality Familon Pro products are suitable for a range of settings from cruise ships, hotels, hospitals etc. Familon Pro products belonging to ignitability class SL 1 and bearing the wheel mark have received MED certification.

What do your customers think about your products?

Pillow Diivi Safe in SHIPSU Market

Familon is designed for the deepest sleep. Our wide selection of quality products includes pillows, duvets, mattresses and beds can be found in the best hotels in Scandinavia and cruise ships around the world.  Our passion is well-being and promoting health. We are always proud to hear that people are satisfied with Familon products and  have slept well.



Have you tried any Familon products in a hotel, a ship or at home? Let us know what you think in the comments below.



Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU - Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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EU funded Lynceus-project awakes discussion regarding wi-fi -positioning on board

It was yesterday, when Northern European journalists spotted an interesting EU-funded project, which everyone can check through the website of Lynceus-project. According to Lynceus-project itself, the aim of this project is to “develop a distributed wireless sensor network system that will enable the ship safety officer and team to monitor the location of each passenger for safe evacuation, to monitor in real time the status and spread of the emergency (flood, fire etc) and also provide the engineers with vital information for proper maintenance and optimization of the ship operation” procedures. Source: http://www.lynceus-project.eu/

We did a positioning project back in 2012 with a Finnish technical partner, an indoor positioning specialist company Walkbase, whose system is running for example in airport environments in Finland. In their technology, the wi-fi network is utilized to determine where a mobile phone connected to this network is located with very impressive accuracy. There are naturally several applications, which can be then utilized with this system but the general logic of our project, called OPAL at the time, was not to recognize people but leave them private. This was mainly because the positioning system for vessels was designed to serve the mobile phone user by telling the user where he or she is located, not for the ship operator, where a certain individual is located. For the ship owner however, big data of crowd movements could be naturally used in several ways, such as planning crowd management both in business and safety, marketing to crowd onboard over the application or any other business intelligence purpose imagination could bring. So, our project was a bit similar but then again different. This project of ours was funded by us and Walkbase and outcome is therefore not public.

Onboard Passenger Assistand and Locator

Onboard Passenger Assistand and Locator

Criticism and proponents

The proponents, who see this idea of tagged human positioning as a vital and positive way of improving safety of lives at sea, flag the idea of control leaning into technical solution. The idea of positioning people is far from new, even on board cruise and passenger vessels. Quite the contrary, there are solutions at least tested, where children were tagged and positioned on board but as far as I know, the system has not been running any longer, as it has high risk of technical failure and lacks accuracy. I have to agree on this, safety of children should not rely on technical gadgets over parenthood and professional nursery services. Let’s not jump too far from the topic though. Lynceus-project has gotten its start from the Costa Concordia shipwreck and actually the need comes from the chaotic evacuation process, where many people were lost in the sea, two perhaps forever. This unfortunate average can teach a lesson, as bad things usually do. The technical study, which Lynceus-project is aiming, would like to create something technically and economically feasible, which would tell the ship’s safety organization the location of every passenger and when tagged with a wristband, even tell their identity linked to basic body  functions, such as blood pressure, pulse and body heat. This sounds interesting, technically. Criticism comes from several directions. One is privacy, second is technical accuracy and up-time and third is more related to good old seamanship. Let’s think about this, not just criticizing but thinking about the concept.

Privacy of people onboard

IMO’s ISPS –code requires some enhancements to older and comprehensive SOLAS. It  among many other things, requires the ship to know who is on board. Well, this is obviously purely safety and security issue and there is no harm in it. However, when tagging people and knowing exactly where they stand or go, the privacy issues jump into game. Some people say, that their location can be followed in the name of safety and security. However, most of the people do not like mobile applications or Internet service providers to know their position even when they are not recognized as individuals but not being recognized, only followed, does not even do the difference to at least data security professionals. It is hard to believe that great masses of people would allow them to be tagged with wristbands, even when it is safety issue. I have to say, I would rather pass the wristband.  When not taking the privacy into consideration, it seems interesting and I look forward to seeing the methodology the Lynceus-team is coming up with, as I know the challenges of onboard positioning, which I will sum up in the end.

Technical accuracy of the positioning system

A cruise ship is a challenging environment for the radio wave based positioning. The ship structure is complex, the signal propagation has many obstacles, as well as the signal may propagate freely through open areas and the decks make the positioning 3-dimensional. It is not said how the positioning is going to be executed. Whatever the technical solution is, the power supply and 100% uptime is in critical role when talking about positioning people in case of emergency. Usually, when the situation is so critical, that the ship shall be evacuated, unstable power supply and black-outs occur. Once again, it is very interesting to see how Lynceus-project members will ensure the real 100% undisturbed power supply for the positioning system. In our OPAL –project, with the technical partner’s technology over wi-fi network, we were able to determine the location of the mobile phone using the network with rather accurate level at least for the purpose the OPAL –project had designed, which was more business driven than the current Lynceus –project. Our testing results are basically rather accurate and this system could actually be used on board in the purpose we had designed it to.  This picture describes a fire zone, which was covered with wi-fi network by using three wi-fi hot-spots ie routers. Note that this technology does not do triangulation, before leaving comments about that.

Accuracy of OPAL

Accuracy of OPAL in cabin area using wi-fi positioning on board

Old-school evacuation methods and the actual need to renew those

Last criticism I read and which also popped out when discussing this idea over social media with my seaman friends, including captains and safety officers brought into discussion, which I personally agree totally, is the need of this kind of technical solution to support evacuation. The traditional method, in case of emergency is to lean on a safety and security plan of the vessel. The procedures are clearly designed and described in the safety manual, which is communicated to educated crew members and officers. For a person not trained for this kind of events the ship is not just a big entity filled with people, who act randomly. This is not the case, at least it should not be and in most cases it is not like it. Without describing my own experience and training, I can tell, that people on board vessels are in the hands of skilled professionals, who has training, who practice on monthly basis and who know what to do if the worst case scenario is on. The safety organization is managed by the bridge management team consisting professional in charge, distributing orders according to plan, which is exercised on monthly basis by everyone in the crew. Now corner is left unchecked and no locker is left opened, beds and balconies are controlled and made sure no one is left behind. At least this is how I’ve learned it should be done. Lucky me, the procedures have only been tested on standby which have not lead into evacuation. The only technical devices used these days are tested and controlled walkie-talkies . Personally, I think it is enough. Good old seamanship of the crew and officers is the best safety and security asset.

Positioning of people on board technically

I do not want to be just another critic only. There might be useful solutions coming out of this interesting project. I have been involved in a project we called OPAL, Onboard Passenger Assistant and Locator. The idea was to exclude safety and security functions and focus on customer service, bringing something new on board for the customers to enjoy and the ship operator to use when analyzing the big data of passenger movements without identifying individuals. This however, could be used when planning not only marketing and ship lay-outs but also to support safety plan rehearsals without being in major role in safety and security.

How our onboard positioning project would have been connected to safety?

Although safety and security operations were excluded from this visionary project, we wanted to literally play with the idea. What if the technology will leap fast into environment, where for example enhanced reality goggles will be economically and technically feasible to purchase for the ships safety and security team? What if they could simulate in enhanced reality a digital fire onboard and see digitally generate passengers, flames, flow of fire and other digitally created crisis situations and use the positioning in training? Wouldn’t  it be not just cool but also useful? Well, I think yes it would be cool. For example a Finnish Premium member of SHIPSU,  Markku Kauriala Ltd Fire Engineering and Fire Safety Design can and has simulated fire on board with their novel software. These kind of simulations brought together with on board positioning system, the gaming industry and enhanced reality technology could actually create a great training environment to ship’s safety organization without being critical factor in the actual operations. The future may not be exactly like this but we’ll wait and see.

Do you have any idea’s how to utilize on board positioning systems? Let me know or comment below. In case of requests regarding our OPAL –project from year 2011, I will be happy to discuss more and connect you with the right persons behind the technology here in Finland.

Mikko Varjanne

Chief Operational Officer, M.sc Econ, Bachelor of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, In maritime industry since 1998

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Increase maritime aftersales with QR codes


Example code for TVV Marine Lighting’s product

QR codes are widely used in advertisement, whether it’s outside advertisement or product packaging. Even though we see QR codes as an advertisement support to get clients to go to a website with their mobile devices, we rarely remember that they were originally designed for industries.

But how could they be used in maritime industry? Well, the short answer is: aftersales. To give more insight here’s the long answer on how you are able to use these codes to do more aftersales and help the end buyers find product’s manufacturer by combining QR codes and SHIPSU Market.

Provider in SHIPSU, whether Lite or Premium, is able to add their products and services to the Market. From there they can take the needed link information and create a QR code, which can then be put to the products sold. When the Buyer feels the need to order a new piece of the same product, they can simply scan the code and find the product right away.

See, how easy it is to find products with QR code in just 30 seconds

and learn how to do it, from the Market with QR code in to two different sets of guides:

Provider – How to create a QR code for your product in 3 simple steps

Buyer – How to find the provider of a product you have

If you have any other ways of using QR codes to ease up marine industry’s sales and sourcing, please leave a comment.

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU - Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Create QR code for your products in 3 simple steps

Follow this step by step guide on how to create and use QR codes to enable your end buyers to find you through your products and get aftersales through SHIPSU.

Step 1

Once you have inserted a product to the Market, you can open the product view and copy the URL from your web browser.

This method requires that the Buyer needs to join or sign up to SHIPSU (which in the case of end buyers is for free).


To avoid the sign up requirement and give little information directly from the QR, you can insert for example product code to the product page and search with that code and copy the URL from your browser, when you see the results page.

Step 2

Just copy the URL to a QR creator such at this one. (There are many more free QR creation tools online and many of them very good, you can choose the one of your liking.)

Generate the code.

Step 3

Print and attach to your product.

Now your buyer is able to find your company and product information from SHIPSU Market.

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU - Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Sell benefits instead of features: The FAB Method

Even though marine industry and shipbuilding is a highly technical and engineering driven field, it still works with the same principles as other B2B and B2C industries, when it comes to selling and buying products and services.

Buyers are buying solutions, not products. These solutions just happen to come in the form of your products. The buyer might not know as much about the products you are selling or the best way to compare them with your competitor’s. This is why your company, when doing a bit more leg work to bring out the actual benefit to the customer, can benefit a lot.

Bringing out the benefit

One simple way of making your goods more desirable is to bring out, what exactly does the buyer benefit. Feature – Advantage – Benefit (FAB for short) model helps with this. The model works in any field of business. Here’s few examples from everyday life and marine industry. So which one sounds better? “Buy this car, it has a hybrid engine” or “Buy this car and you save money, when you use it” Very often the information given about a product is left to the Feature level, which is already good, but when selling benefits instead of features, you are providing solutions to the actual problem or need.

If you want to learn more ways to rethink your marketing and sales, pre-order our upcoming eBook.

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For more ideas and good tips about sales and marketing to both maritime and in general pre-order our upcoming ebook free of charge and get it as soon as it’s out!

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Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU - Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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New payment methods

In the beginning of May, SHIPSU will enable payments via credit cards. In the beginning these payments are available for paying the subscriptions of Provider Premium and Buyer Regular. In the future additional services can also be paid with a credit card. Here’s few ways our users can benefit from using credit card instead of invoicing:

It’s faster. The chosen subscription type will be activated at the time that the payment for it has been made. Previously this has taken up to days or even weeks. With a credit card payments it will literally take only seconds.

It’s more secure. No more worrying about, if the bill has gotten paid or has it been lost in transportation. Now the user will be dealing directly with the credit card operator.

It’s more flexible. Paying for the subscription won’t be tied to being in the office to get the bill paid.

Credit card payment will be available to both old and new customers. The payment method change will not change the idea of Provider Premium being a fixed rate annually paid subscription with no extra charges.

For any questions about the change please contact info@shipsu.com

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU - Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Videos will increase customer satisfaction

Previously, we focused on how videos your company produces help you sell better. This time we will go through, how videos can keep up your customer satisfaction with less resources. Simply said, happier customers with less work. Naturally customer satisfaction comes from a number of things such as living up to promises. Still lets stay on the side of videos to create the satisfaction.

[Read more…]

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU - Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Using videos will increase your sales

It might sound like promising a lot, when saying that your sales can increase by simply doing videos. Still, there is logical reasoning behind these claims.

Take a real work example that often comes, when you are sourcing for something. Anything from services to products. You go through different providers’ web pages, brochures and whitepapers full of technical and marketing text, which takes minutes, hours or even days. Suddenly, you find a provider that offers the same mass of reading material and in addition a simple 1 to 5 minute video that explains it all. Which one would you go for, video or text?

Which one would you choose?

[Read more…]

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU - Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

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Updated Provider profiles


This time we are tackling the case of Provider profiles. So far we have offered the Provider Regular profile for our users, which has been very successful. Still, during the last months we have been developing a new level of membership to get new users started with the service easier.

[Read more…]

Juha Pihkakoski

Marketing Manager at SHIPSU - Writes about the latest development of the service and how to create additional value in your marketing efforts through digital solutions.

More Posts - LinkedIn - Google Plus