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case study: Consumer Packaged Goods

Manufacturers: Need to Manage your Equipment Downtime Events?
We Got IT.

Case Study at a Glance


A Fortune 100 consumer packaged goods (CPG) company


Seeing an opportunity to gain deeper insights behind downtime events, our client wanted a system to better manage the processes for requesting, reviewing, and approving planned downtime events in its plants.


Vertex created Downtime Planner, an end-to-end digital solution that not only eliminated our client’s manual paperwork processes, but also provided visibility into the reasons behind downtime requests along with updates of the approval status.


All downtime planning events have been streamlined, saving over 1,800 work hours annually. Plus, the plant now has a single searchable, sortable calendar that provides a view of upcoming events, allowing personnel to schedule coordinated or combined downtime to improve efficiency.

We Got IT: Downtime Planner Automates the Request, Review, and Approval of Your Downtime Events

downtime illustration

Problem and Background

Manufacturing facilities rely on machinery to produce products. From time to time, production supervisors find it advantageous to shut a line down – whether to clean gear, replace parts, wait for an ingredient, or other reasons. Scheduling downtime is better managed when all affected parties know of upcoming downtime events. Yet, a common manufacturing problem involves the ability to schedule and coordinate equipment downtime events.

When our client, a major CPG manufacturer, approached us about a problem concerning their ability to schedule equipment downtime, Vertex’s Solution Scientists understood that a multi-faceted fix was needed. The solution would have to eliminate manual paperwork while providing total visibility into the request and approval status process for the entire enterprise.

Downtime requests are required when production resources (including but not limited to making systems, production lines, or materials) will not be available for production. Scheduling downtime may be needed for initiative testing & validation, checking process reliability improvements, or for other site-wide activities.

Our client’s original process involved several steps with multiple communications that would take days or weeks to accomplish. Requests from emails were transferred into forms whose data would later be entered into a spreadsheet. Additionally, individuals who wanted to know if their request had been approved were required to attend a schedule review meeting each week to hear the response from the planner in person. Each request was reviewed one by one to highlight if it was approved or not (non-value-added time).

The plant needed a solution that was easily accessible and would streamline the flow of information on request status to improve productivity.

Vertex Solution

Vertex collaborated with leaders at the company to develop a solution in Microsoft Sharepoint that simplified the process by implementing electronic approvals and automating email notifications for status updates. Downtime Tracker now allows planners to approve requests. Notifications are automated via email for real-time response. The tool has also improved awareness by providing a calendar view and status report summary. Plus, it eliminates the need to maintain separate Excel spreadsheets and sends lists to a wide distribution. Team members can now track individual requests and filter relevant information.


Downtime Tracker provides the following:

  • Calendar view of planned events with the ability to sort at multiple levels (resource, department, or module) improves visibility of the planned downtime events
  • Ability to coordinate and combine events, reducing overall downtime needed to execute work – improves overall capacity
  • Keeps the right people informed throughout the approval process
  • Ability to summarize the number of downtime hours for capacity analysis
  • Status updates and reports at your fingertips
  • Improved process flow
  • Ability to analyze past and future planned downtime events in hours
  • Anticipated soft and hard savings of approximately 9,000 touches and elimination of 1,825 hours per year in communication and data analysis activities


  • Calendar view
  • Collaborative environment
  • Automatic email notifications
  • Always available


  • Increased visibility of downtime status
  • Reduced touches
  • Better insights
  • Improved flow of information
  • Improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

About Us

Vertex is a business and technology consulting firm that helps customers transform their business processes with leading edge technology. Learn more at

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Vertex Computer Systems

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Office: 330-963-0044
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25700 Science Park Drive
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Beachwood, OH 44122

[email protected]

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