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The ticket to maximized uptime

When a piece of equipment on one German manufacturer’s assembly line did not work properly, it took 30 minutes on average to request support—costing the company as much as to €50,000 in calculatory downtime per incident.

The German manufacturer turned to Deloitte and ServiceNow to modernize its shop floor service management to reduce downtime and generate savings.

Deloitte and ServiceNow designed and launched an Operational Technology Service Management (OTSM) pilot in one of the manufacturer’s plants, creating a one-stop-shop ticketing system that:

  • Established a single point of contact and end-to-end visibility across the company’s plant management, office floor, and shop floor employees.
  • Met shop floor employees where they were—both physically on the line and based on their digital skillsets—with an easy-to-use user interface (UX) and simple, single-word prompts for ticket creation.
  • Provided a knowledge base that offered quick fixes to common problems throughout the ticketing process, empowering shop floor employees to get tools back up and running faster—and without outside support. This “shift left” approach helped reduce downtime and the workload of local and central IT.
  • Automated the prioritization of critical tasks based on two criteria, which the foreperson selects from a simple pull-down menu when opening the ticket, to ensure that equipment with the highest impact on downtime was fixed first.
  • Consolidated a complex web of partially managed solutions, channels, and modifications.

The solution drastically improved and accelerated the resolution of tickets that could be solved on-site. The routing of tickets to central IT, a process that once took an average of 30 minutes, was streamlined to take a maximum of just six minutes. And within central IT, tickets are now automatically forwarded directly to the correct solver group per a qualified selection within ServiceNow’s first-level support (L1), saving additional time and effort.

The 80% improvement in routing speed alone would generate tens of thousands of euros in savings per critical ticket. And, if rolled out across the company’s approximately 30 plants, it could expect millions in annual savings.

Not only male profession

Watch how a 230-year-old manufacturing leader reinvented its OTSM operations with a one-stop-shop ticketing system.

The challenge

Manufacturing today looks nothing like it did when this German-based company opened up shop in the 18th century. What started as a water-powered mill had transformed into a state-of-the-art production facility; one that wasn’t just using automation technologies and mobile robotics tools—it was making them.

While the company was designing, manufacturing, and using cutting-edge OT, the process of maintaining production IT on its own shop floor fell behind. Why? Largely because it was using the same maintenance processes used to support office IT in the highly complex—and downtime-sensitive—shop floor.

When an office user had trouble opening a document, for example, the 30-minutes or more it took to raise a ticket through central IT was frustrating, but tolerable. However, the shop floor—and the enterprise at large—could not afford the same wait time when a critical piece of OT was stalled due to an IT matter.

Moreover, the convergence of IT and OT in production had resulted in increasingly complex machines. Unlike office IT, a maintenance issue on the shop floor often required the collaboration of specialists from different parts of the business, all executed in the right order and at a rapid cadence.

Yet these complex alignments and workflows were being manually orchestrated. Line workers had to physically call for support—either by phone or directly out onto the shop floor if IT maintenance was within earshot—and hope that the right specialists were available at the right time. And that they were able to overcome a previous lack of collaboration to suddenly work well together under pressure.

The company’s on-site manufacturing IT, central IT, and OT teams were historically siloed, and had few opportunities to collaborate in the past. Within their individual departments, all of which operated under different processes and key performance indicators, IT and OT team members lacked common ways of working, adding further strain to their already complex, time-sensitive shared projects.


global factories


tickets per year at pilot site


improvement in ticketing routing speed


Calculatory savings per critical incident

“As manufacturers adopt advanced tech on the shop floor, they must transform the service processes that keep that equipment up and running. A seemingly simple transaction—the routing of a ticket from the assembly line to central IT—has a huge impact on overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and downtime, and it must be transformed to match the speed and efficiency of smart manufacturing in the future.”

- Deloitte manufacturing client

The solution

The repair of dynamic machines calls for diverse, cross-department expertise. The company’s disparate systems perpetuated the pain points of siloed people and functions. However, to improve its OTSM operations and reduce downtime, Deloitte and ServiceNow went beyond connecting the company’s systems—it connected its people, too.

Eight C-suite leaders, including the chief technology officer (CTO) and head of production, were invited to a one-day workshop at Deloitte’s Smart Factory @ Dusseldorf were able to not just visualize, but get hands-on experience with the advances possible in their own facilities.

This collaborative experience was the first of its kind for the company’s historically siloed business leaders. By sharing their individual goals and exploring solutions that would power long- and short-term wins, the leaders emerged from the workshop aligned around one common objective: reduce downtime and costs with efficient shop floor maintenance.

The company was already successfully using ServiceNow as its platform of action in other parts of the business, making its application on the shop floor seamless.

In collaboration with the newly connected leadership team, Deloitte and ServiceNow prioritized and launched a set of standardization services at plants in Germany and Turkey with a rollout that included:

1) Customized training sessions to get each employee—from line workers to plant managers—upskilled per their specific function. 

2) Change management to build confidence and investment in the new way of working.

3) A shared governance, including platform architecture, roles and responsibilities, service definitions and delivery mechanisms, and methods for continuous improvement.

4) An evolving knowledge management platform to push troubleshooting solutions to shop floor employees when and where they need them.

The impact

The pilot showcased that modernized OTSM operations, orchestrated through ServiceNow, could generate savings to the tune of millions of euros per year across the manufacturer’s nearly 30 plants.

Deloitte and ServiceNow powered efficiencies and savings through:

1) A structured, smarter ticket resolution process for issues that can be solved on-site. 

2) 80% faster ticket routing to central IT.

3) Automatic forwarding of tickets to the correct solver group. 

4) A “shift left” approach embedded into the ticketing process, which empowered shop floor employees to troubleshoot common issues before submitting a ticket and helped to shift the solution of tickets to lower service levels.

Inspired by these great successes, ServiceNow is being deployed as a platform of platforms across the manufacturer’s entire enterprise. By connecting the company’s previously disparate specialist systems, Deloitte and ServiceNow are helping the manufacturer maximize its existing technology investments and unlock business value with streamlined workflows.

From the assembly line to the boardroom, find out how Deloitte and ServiceNow can help connect systems and people to scale your manufacturing capacity today.

Professional car mechanic working in auto repair service.; Shutterstock ID 118548658; PO: LPX15962-01-01-0000; Job: Potentials for; Other:  Alexa Steinberg
Standardize and integrate

Industry 4.0 services and solution management to decrease costs.

Achieve IT and OT workflow alignment

through sophisticated change management and the connection of critical production processes.

Adopt agile service management models

with flexible and modular production systems.

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