Thanks to our partnership with Salesforce, we are now able to guarantee a high level of systems availability to our customers.”

— Matteo Raccanelli, Customer Service Director

Elettric80 reinvents Industry 4.0 solutions with the help of Salesforce.

Elettric80 revolutionized factory design more than 20 years ago, creating what everyone nowadays calls Industry 4.0 — the fully integrated and automated digital factory.

Thanks to its cutting-edge hardware and software expertise, Elettric80 guarantees highly efficient solutions to optimize logistics for midsize and large companies in the food, beverage, and tissue sectors. The company is one of the leaders of world-renowned “Made in Italy” production technology. At its headquarters in Viano, it develops tailor-made solutions to meet the individual needs of its customers.

As part of its continuous improvement approach, Elettric80 has always adopted innovative solutions to provide and manage its services. This is why it chose Salesforce as a partner — to make the technical support and maintenance that it offers to its customers a key differentiator.

“Thanks to our partnership with Salesforce, we are now able to guarantee a high level of systems availability to our customers. And, in the near future, when our IoT-based predictive maintenance solution is adopted, we will offer an even higher level of availability,” said Matteo Raccanelli, Customer Service Director for the company.

The company works to ensure global customers are always up and running.

To date, Elettric80 has installed over 2,000 robotic systems and 4,500 laser-guided vehicles worldwide.

The main products manufactured by the company are palletizing robots, laser-guided vehicles (LGVs), high-speed robotic stretch wrappers, depalletizers, pallet control systems, robotic labelers, automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) warehouses, and something called the Smart Store — a high-density, multilevel warehouse system.

The systems and processes are controlled centrally by a single software platform called SM.I.LE80, or Smart Integrated Logistics. Developed by Elettric80, the platform is designed to ensure the best possible warehouse logistics, covering everything from incoming raw materials to shipping.

In addition to its headquarters in Viano, Elettric80 has branches in 12 countries — including Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the U.S. — to provide its customers with both 24/7 remote support and onsite support.

Plant engineering and IT systems at Elettric80 have a life cycle of more than 10 years. During this time, various changes can occur — new market situations may appear and a customer’s manufacturing needs may change, too. For this reason, the customer service team needs to respond quickly to customer requests. The team operates 362 days a year and handles 6,000 tickets a year, all aimed at providing customers with a consistent level of service.

When a customer service visit is required at a plant, the remote support team forwards the request to the service team that manages onsite requests. The service team has 220 employees in Italy and at the company’s foreign branches. With the support of 50 offices, the team carries out an average of 440 repairs and 160 maintenance or retrofit jobs a year.

For larger and more complex systems, onsite service visits are also carried out by Elettric80’s engineers. There are currently 36 specialist engineers around the world at customer plants.

Guaranteeing support services based on service-level agreements is key.

In 2018, Elettric80 launched an initiative to digitize and monetize its support services. The main aim was to measure uptime and availability. This in turn would enable Elettric80 to draw up contracts based on service-level agreements, offering customers a set of KPIs and, if required, a calculation of their return on investment (ROI).

Another goal of the initiative was to increase service levels with predictive maintenance. This innovative project monitors LGVs remotely through the Internet of Things (IoT).

Salesforce is a ready-to-go and all-encompassing solution.

Elettric80 had been using Sales Cloud for years to manage its sales process, so it began looking for a digital transformation solution for customer service. “We assessed several options,” Raccanelli said. “One of the leading suppliers in the technical support software field proposed a customized solution, which would have taken a long time to develop and required specific expertise to maintain.”

The company met with Paolo Bergamo, Senior Vice President of Salesforce, who gave Elettric80 other factors to consider when making its choice. “Bergamo helped us understand the spirit behind Salesforce,” Raccanelli said. “It was the classic ‘egg of Columbus.’ We understood the advantages of a solution that was already 90% ready for our current and future needs — and that required minimal customization.”

Elettric80 decided to adopt Salesforce Field Service to manage the entire process, which covers sending an offer to the customer, obtaining confirmation of the order, creating a work order, planning a customer visit based on engineer availability, sending the required documentation to the engineer, and producing reports for the customer. The solution, which was implemented in just 12 weeks, included an integration with an SAP system.

Thanks to the collaboration between Elettric80 and Salesforce, what was previously just a simple mobile device (a smartphone or a tablet) is now an indispensable work tool for engineers. They can use their device to see electrical diagrams and equipment manuals, consult maintenance checklists, obtain a customer’s signature, and deliver reports to the customer at the end of a site visit.

Salesforce Field Service was adopted as the work platform for remote support. Digitizing this activity (which had been mostly manual) resulted in a clear increase in efficiencies. Operators can now check the availability of engineers immediately and preassign jobs regardless of the time zone. In the future, Elettric80 can manage the deployment of engineers outside their geographical areas, creating synergies between the various branches.

Elettric80 has also created a self-service portal through Community Cloud, which allows customers to monitor the progress of their support requests.

“Field Service has made the work of our engineers and our back offices easier, and reduced the number of transcription errors and delays. The service is now quicker and more accurate, which our customers really appreciate — even billing times are shorter,” Raccanelli said.

The management team gets more efficient service and better visibility.

The flexible Salesforce interface provides a full picture of the historical and current situation of each customer. “Now, even on a smartphone, I can see all the information in one place: existing contracts, problems that arose in the past, the installed base, and so on. Before, this information was saved in several different places and could not be accessed immediately,” said Raccanelli.

Predictive maintenance for LGVs completes the transformation.

Elettric80 is about to complete the last stage of the project: the remote monitoring of LGVs through IoT technologies for predictive maintenance. To do this, IoT interfaces with the vehicle software developed by Elettric80. The software detects signals generated by numerous sensors that monitor the functionality and condition of the product.

A green signal is displayed on the interface to indicate that everything is working properly, a yellow signal indicates that maintenance is required, and a red signal means a field engineer needs to intervene immediately. Any warning signals generated by the vehicles are handled by the remote support team in the same way that requests are handled for customers.

Challenging established processes and accepting “contamination” from competitors proves valuable.

The feedback for the entire project has been positive. “Salesforce convinced us to challenge our work processes, to avoid replicating the things we did when we were working on paper,” Raccanelli said. “Also, thanks to positive ‘contamination’ from other industrial sectors, Salesforce helped us develop best practice for providing support to our customers.”

Digitizing its customer services and developing IoT-based predictive maintenance has enabled Elettric80 to protect its market position. “Salesforce has enabled me to make the service we provide to our customers top-notch and a true differentiator in the marketplace.” Raccanelli said.


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