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"We have been able to double our telephone support availability by using a call center and OTRS, while keeping costs the same. With the connection of OTRS via web service into our system landscape, the process has been digitalized and we can now work faster and paperless."
Nicolas Hoffmann, project manager and main person responsible for the implementation of OTRS
Salvagnini Deutschland GmbH
Agents: 25
Tickets / Month: 250

Salvagnini designs, constructs and sells machines and flexible systems for sheet metal work; provides service support for repairs and overhauls; and helps customers get the most out of Salvagnini equipment.

Salvagnini stands for machines and flexible systems for sheet metal work: punching machines, bending centers, press brakes, fiber laser cutting machines, FMS lines, automatic sheet metal storage systems and software. The company has been designing, constructing, selling and offering reliable, durable and adaptable solutions for 50 years and has a dense service network with 23 branches. These are dedicated exclusively to sales and technical customer service and are located worldwide.

The Hüttenberg site in Germany specializes in after-sales support for all Salvagnini equipment in the countries of Germany, Switzerland and Benelux: It has a staff of approximately 60 employees who are responsible for more than 700 installations in various industrial sectors. Salvagnini Deutschland GmbH provides daily support and assists customers in the use of their equipment with services such as repair measures, spare parts supply, maintenance, supply of punching tools, tool repairs, programming training, maintenance, operator training and much more.

To ensure optimal support and the best possible customer service through, for example, standardized inquiry recording and reduction of response times, the company opted for professional support through the use of the service management software OTRS, a work structuring and communication solution.

This was to provide customers with transparent and efficient support from the very first moment of contact and to keep them informed about the status of their request at all times.

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Impact of OTRS

Reachable on the first customer call
All important information about customers and machines available in the ticket
Increase in availability by telephone at a constant cost
Customer inquiries can also be made digitally
Customer can view his request at any time
Improved quality of inquiry processing
Integration into existing system landscape
Customer or machine data can be adapted by the customer himself

Features Used

Customer service center
Web service
Role and authorization management
Prioritize and assign tickets
Ticket history
Ticket monitoring
Enhancement dynamic fields
Phone communication channel
E-mail communication channel


Highly customizable
Simple operation
Free interfaces for integration into existing data systems
Available documentation

The Challenge

Customer inquiries were received exclusively by an external call center and were not recorded or classified uniformly. Due to the call center's data management, the potential of OTRS could not be fully exploited. Logical linking, inquiry evaluation and a web-based customer portal were not possible due to the lack of integration of customer and machine data.
Customer service is crucial to the success of a company and must be efficient. Service quality is measured, among other things, by short response times, clear responsibilities, assignments and complete documentation.

In order to offer its customers the best possible support, Salvagnini decided some time ago to replace an internal helpdesk, which still operated in the traditional manner with collective email addresses and a switchboard, with a professional, external call center. They used stand-alone software, and at Salvagnini GmbH, ((OTRS)) Community Edition was installed. The call center only serves as first level support, i.e. for recording and inquiry classification. The actual problem solvers, e.g. technical support, were to be relieved by this measure.

This was a major step forward and a significant customer service professionalization. Customer inquiries were now received by call center employees by telephone and then forwarded to Salvagnini as a ticket. However, despite the improvement over the previous way of working, this procedure was still prone to errors. Incorrectly recorded data made it difficult to process an inquiry, and mistakes could only be corrected in the system by the call center. In addition, important information about the customer, the customer user or the machine in use was not automatically linked to the ticket or support process, so it was not sufficiently visible. Details, such as the serial number of a machine in use, were only entered as text in the subject line.

Above all, a period of uncertainty began for the customer after his call, because there was no way to view the status of his request anywhere. This is especially problematic when machine downtime is reported and one urgently needs this information.
So action was needed to maintain OTRS independently of the call center and optimize it for internal use.

The company realized that the professional service management solution could remedy the situation and provide significant support in overcoming the existing challenges.

It was also important to find software that had the right interfaces and could be connected to the external call center's system.

The Solution

With the expertise of OTRS experts, the call center software was connected. Customers can now create tickets themselves and have insight into their inquiry at any time.
The decision to switch from the ((OTRS)) Community Edition to the professional solution OTRS 8 had clear advantages for Salvagnini Deutschland GmbH and, above all, for its customers that have already become apparent after only a short time. Whereas with the previous approach, customer or machine data could only be adjusted in the system by the call center, this can now be done independently by Salvagnini service staff.

Customers can now not only place inquiries by phone in the call center, but they also have the option of digitally recording their concerns via their own customer portal. This means that the customer is optimally supported from the moment they make contact and can view the status of their inquiry at any time. They know that their case is being processed and who is currently dealing with it.
This information is particularly important for customers with critical support requests, such as machine downtimes. The same applies to the prioritization of requests, which helps to significantly shorten response times in such cases.

Overall, communication is more transparent, has more structure and is audit-proof, because everything is fully documented. All of this benefits Salvagnini's high service standards and increases the quality of customer service. Functionalities such as immediate ticket classification, targeted assignments to support staff, communication templates or the ticket history help.

"We have been able to double our telephone support availability by using a call center and OTRS, while keeping costs the same" says Nicolas Hoffmann, project manager and main person responsible for the implementation of OTRS.

Another advantage is the integration of the CMDB and all customer data in OTRS. Whereas in the past the call center used its own database and entered customer and machine data there manually, today everything is logically linked. This means that all important information about the customer, customer user and machines is immediately available in every ticket.

The call center, which is important for Salvagnini's customer service, can still access all tickets, customers, contacts and machines via web service and can thus easily help customers who have submitted their request electronically.

To successfully integrate the call center into processes and workflows, OTRS experts undertook a complete redesign of the workflow between the call center and the company after the evaluation, provided support to the external service provider, and helped with testing.

The use of OTRS 8 has even changed and simplified the work of the on-site technicians. By implementing another web service, a service call can be generated from the ticket. For this purpose, the request is sent to another software where the planning takes place and the technician digitally records his assignment log. After the assignment, the invoice for the customer can be generated from this program using an ERP system, which is also linked. In principle, the entire process is digital - saving time and enabling paperless work.

Now all information, from the inquiry to the log to the invoice, is assigned to the respective process and bundled in one place in OTRS. The customer receives a ticket number in the call center / customer portal that accompanies the process all the way to the invoice. All processes are now managed under one number for the customer. This significantly increases transparency and enables easy handling for the customer.
The cooperation with the OTRS Group experts before and during the implementation made the advantages of using a professional helpdesk solution directly from the manufacturer apparent.


Individual solution with future perspective
For Salvagnini Deutschland GmbH's deployment scenario and selection of service management software, a high degree of customizability, access to comprehensive documentation and free interfaces for integration into existing systems, especially for connecting the call center, were particularly important. OTRS was able to fully meet these requirements and, therefore, represents a central service solution for the company.

Already the experience with the ((OTRS)) Community Edition in version OTRS 6 were convincing. It awakened the desire to use the full potential of this service management software and to be able to access the multitude of possibilities and functionalities with the professional solution of the manufacturer in order to optimize the quality of customer service.

Another important advantage was the availability of extensive documentation for OTRS. For example, ambiguities regarding OTRS 8 could sometimes still be resolved with 15-year-old forum entries.

Not to be neglected was also the fact that both the call center staff and the service staff at Salvagnini already had knowledge of how to use OTRS. Although OTRS 8 can no longer be compared to the outdated version, they still benefited from existing basic knowledge.

However, due to the special situation of connecting an external call center, Salvagnini GmbH was able to benefit, above all, from the expertise of the OTRS experts, who were able to prove that OTRS is a customizable solution that can be tailored to the very specific needs of a company. In addition, the timeframe for the upgrade from the community edition to the managed version was very limited: Still, the experts at OTRS Group completed a complete redesign of the workflow between the call center and the company. Within the time limit, the system was successfully migrated, reviewed, and optimized; the update was prepared and an external PHP-based call center software was connected. The previous implementation was standardized, customer information was inserted into dynamic fields so that, not only was the customer data in the tickets, but the CMDB was also properly integrated.

Not only the company, but also its external service provider was accompanied and supported during testing. Salvagnini Deutschland GmbH's OTRS instance now contains the correct customer and customer user information, and the call center can also add new customer users from its own software, as needed.

Salvagnini GmbH also appreciates the fact that OTRS is software that grows with the company and offers so many possibilities. Flexibility, modularity and adaptability are among its strengths.

So things remain exciting at Salvagnini, because the company chose a future-oriented solution in OTRS. Most importantly, the customers of the world market leader for bending centers will benefit from this - not only through cutting-edge technology in machines and systems but also through excellent support and customer service.