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Owens-Illinois logo

Owens-Illinois creates 100s of custom business apps with ServiceNow low-code/no-code development


Service requests automated across the business


Faster at responding to business needs


Weeks or less for typical application delivery

Owens‑Illinois is the world’s largest manufacturer of glass containers and a preferred partner for many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands. When Owens‑Illinois decided to replace its aging IT ticketing system, it chose ServiceNow, citing its industry‑leading incident, change, and workflow capabilities; ease of use; and reporting as key differentiators.

Owens-Illinois accelerates digital transformation across the enterprise
Owens-Illinois is the world’s largest manufacturer of glass containers and a preferred partner for many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands. The Ohio company has annual revenues of $6.9 billion and employs more than 26,000 people in 23 countries.

Several years ago, Owens-Illinois decided to replace its aging IT ticketing system. After assessing options, the company chose ServiceNow for its industry-leading incident, change, and workflow capabilities, citing ServiceNow’s ease of use and reporting as key differentiators.

Owens-Illinois started out with ServiceNow in IT, then expanded the Now Platform to more areas of the business
While Owens-Illinois started out using ServiceNow in IT, it rapidly realized that ServiceNow could automate many of its core business processes. The initial opportunity came when the company wanted to retire Lotus Notes. Owens-Illinois’ web services team was responsible for the Now Platform® and chose ServiceNow as the replacement. As they continued to migrate Lotus Notes applications to ServiceNow, they started to see a broader business need. 

The Now Platform made it very easy to create new applications and thus, deliver services in record time
According to Troy Dowd, who managed the web services team at Owens-Illinois, “The business started coming to us. They were stuck in email hell, using shared inboxes to handle service requests. With ServiceNow, we could give them an intuitive interface where they could capture these requests. Rather than having email requests slip through the cracks, they would be able to assign and track requests through to completion. It would give our business teams the visibility and control they needed to deliver better service more efficiently.”

Owens-Illinois sees remarkable results using the ServiceNow low-code/no-code capabilities and people who understood business processes for app development
To meet this need, Owens-Illinois decided to create a dedicated development team. However, this would be a team with a difference. Rather than using classically trained developers, the company used the ServiceNow low-code/no-code capabilities. This allowed the team to use people with other backgrounds–people who understood business processes but didn’t have the development experience.

Troy says, “Steve was our first team member. He had an IT background and came from our service desk team–so he knew ServiceNow–but he wasn’t a developer. In fact, his coding experience was limited to some basic scripting.”

“We started to see remarkable results. Steve would go into a requirements session with a business team. At the end of the meeting, the team would ask him when the new app would be available. Steve’s reply? More often than not, he told them that the app was already in production in the ServiceNow service catalog. Steve had multitasked during the meeting, configuring the forms and workflows in real time. The business teams were incredibly impressed. This type of collaboration was unprecedented.”

By growing its low-code/no-code development team, Owens-Illinois scales app creation across the business 
As Owens-Illinois grew its low-code/no-code development team, the number of business apps it delivered skyrocketed. Within the first year, the team delivered more than 300 new forms—that number now stands at more than 1,000.

ServiceNow is now embedded across the company’s business, including in areas such as supply chain, legal, accounts payable, accounts receivable, facilities, corporate communications, and manufacturing. For example, supply chain uses ServiceNow to handle activities such as expedited stock transfers between plants, and manufacturing has a dedicated ServiceNow portal to log and track issues with manufacturing equipment.

Owens-Illinois logo
Perrysburg, Ohio, USA
A clear glass bottle sits on a wooden patio table on a sunny day

ServiceNow makes it very easy to create new applications. If it’s a simple request handling application, we can deliver this almost instantly.

Troy Dowd

Supervisor of Web Services

Troy continues, “Medium complexity applications take more time, but we typically develop and test these in a single two-week sprint. In some cases, we use JavaScript, but we usually don’t have to. It’s mostly a matter of configuration–filling in tables and modifying form layouts. The platform takes care of everything else. And, as ServiceNow continues to enhance its development toolset, it’s becoming even easier.”

With the benefits of ServiceNow, Owens-Illinois sees relations between IT and the business strengthening 
This level of responsiveness and transparency has strengthened relations between IT and the business. Troy explains, “As we bring more business teams onto ServiceNow, they become our champions. ServiceNow gives them significant business benefits. The ServiceNow service catalog gives business teams one place to go for all of the services, and automation is helping them to drive significant cost savings. So, when a business team that’s using ServiceNow hears about a new requirement from another team, they recommend us right away.”

“ServiceNow dramatically increases the value that IT delivers to our business. With low-code and no-code development, we respond 10 times faster to business needs. We can automate most low- and medium-complexity business processes within a couple of weeks. And, we don’t need hard-to-find developers with years of formal training and experience. Instead, we can bring in people from across the business, leveraging their business and process skills within our development team. Without ServiceNow, we couldn’t do that,” concludes Troy. 

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