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How ITSM laid the foundation for a cultural transformation

Clint Boulton | Sept. 20, 2016
In its quest to craft a more nimble culture, Oshkosh Corp., an industrial vehicle manufacturer, replaced a hodgepodge of clumsy IT service management tools with ServiceNow.

Oshkosh hired Greg Downer, a senior IT director who had experience working with ServiceNow, to set up the software architecture and transition plan. Meanwhile, Schecklman worked with finance, HR and other departments to clean up bad data, which would have inhibited the real-time processes ServiceNow was designed to facilitate.

As it implemented the software, the team created one set of management modules to share across all 15 organizations, providing one "way for people to speak to one another,” Schecklman says. The unified workflow eliminated 36,000 unnecessary approvals across Oshkosh's processes. Ninety days after implementing ServiceNow, Oshkosh turned on the tool's analytics feature, which notifies IT when service is "out of tolerance" and requires an escalation by a staff member to resolve the situation.

Schecklman says using a single solution resulted in accurate compliance rates for help desk services. "It got out of way and let me lead transparently across the globe," Schecklman said. The implementation was successful enough that other departments, including facilities operations and HR, are requesting the tool in their own departments.

On to the next set of challenges

Solving the service management conundrum has allowed Oshkosh to turn its attention to other pressing matters. Schecklman is currently trying to consolidate 15 disparate general ledger systems, including some 20-year-old Mapics and J.D. Edwards ERP software, and operate them under a financial shared services model.

Oshkosh is also improving cybersecurity to protect the company's intellectual property, including details about such new machines as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, which the Army is using to replace its Humvees. Creating a layered strategy for defending data is crucial because interest in hacking Oshkosh broadens after it wins contracts in foreign countries worldwide, Schecklman says.

And, of course, like Navistar, Caterpillar and many others in the trucking and industrial machine industries, Oshkosh is equipping new vehicles with internet-enabled sensors, which fortify predictive maintenance and telemetry. "We need to hone the manufacturing process to catch everything [data] that comes off the truck," Schecklman said.

Through all of these changes, Schecklman says he hopes that the IT choices he makes will stand the test of time: "Our customer may change their mind and the market may change but the things we’ve invested in our timeless."


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