Complete customer satisfaction

This fully integrated service solution is also
ideal for daily work

Good on-site service is one advantage, improved processes and more precise master data is the other. DB Services even utilizes the mobile service solution from e-switch to update master data and system attributes in the SAP system. In addition, the facility management service provider of the Deutsche Bahn Group plans on using the new FX version of the Visual Planning Board from


1.3 million orders per year

1400 customers both within and outside of DB, maintenance of 50,000 technical systems, monitoring of 5400 train stations and more than 1.3 million orders per annum – the technicians at DB Services really have their hands full. Needless to say, the tasks of the facility management service provider of the Deutsche Bahn Group could not be completed without a mobile service application.

The mobile era started early at DB Services. At the turn of the millennium, the company commissioned a mobile service application that helped to cut on-site use of paper by technicians in half. By 2008/2009, the company realized that both the back end system and the mobile solution had become outdated. It made a decision not to migrate these systems because during the same time period, DB Services had decided to use SAP for its future maintenance needs and to implement the corresponding module.

Steve Leffs, Head of Requirement Consultation and IT Support at DB Services: “It was time for a fresh start with respect to integrated production systems. The introduction of SAP that followed a fundamental realignment of maintenance procedures at DB Services was the final step in the restructuring process.”

Recommendation from the affiliate

The DB Services affiliate DB Systel serves as a proven IT service provider for DB Services in issues related to SAP. e-switch was already well-known within DB from similar projects, including projects for DB Kommunikationstechnik.

e-switch had already impressed us with “flexible reactions to our needs” and “excellent collaboration”, explains Birgit Wiesner, DB Systel Project Manager for the customer project.

In this project, DB Systel also took advantage of the high level of SAP expertise and its complete product range of material planning tools, middleware and mobile applications offered by the service provider near Lake Zurich. The functional scope of e-switch products for material planning and in mobile applications was impressive. The real-time data processing function called AutoRefresh was a big hit in Berlin, and this cemented the decision to opt for the Swiss company.



The issue of performance

Birgit Wiesner recalls one particular challenge that all parties were aware of from the start. The quantity of orders handled by companies like DB Services places high demands on the capacity and performance of the entire system, including the mobile system.

It was also important to DB Services that much of the SAP data be made available to the service technicians on their mobile devices, which puts further strain on system performance. This issue was tackled from two angles. The performance of the e-switch was improved with each release change, and at the same time, DB Systel grew into its role as a SAP consultant for the customer and simultaneously optimized processes.

DB Systel is looking forward to the redeveloped Visual Planning Board, which will be offered
by e-switch in 2017. The FX version is based on Java 8 and provides more options for adapting the system and interface to customer needs.


Ten months until the rollout

After a very brief decision and design phase shortly before Christmas in 2011, the design was finalized. The successive rollout began ten months later in six regional areas and 190 service areas of DB Services. The fact that the service technicians of the facility specialist were already familiar with a mobile application was an advantage, reports Birgit Wiesner.

However, at the insistence of DB Services and DB Systel, they now had to learn SAP nomenclature. Steve Leffs:”There were initial difficulties with the new terms because beforehand, the DB Services production department had operated without SAP. Nevertheless, this new vocabulary was quickly acquired and continues to be an important part of our production language to this day.”

"e-switch impressed us with its flexibility in responding to our needs and with excellent collaboration."

Birgit Wiesner, DB Systel Project Manager

"e-switch impressed us with its flexibility in responding to our needs and with excellent collaboration."

Birgit Wiesner, DB Systel Project Manager

Tried-and-tested consumer tablets

In terms of hardware, the two DB subsidiaries opted for Samsung Galaxy devices. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 is used at DB Services. Employees find that this tablet with seven-inch screen is ideal for service calls. According to Birgit Wiesner, the actual consumer product proved itself in harsh use “in the field“. When it is equipped with a protective cover, there are no frequent hardware failures.


Comprehensive documentation allows for expansions

At DB Services, several functions were added to the standard scope of the mobile service solution. One of these functions is feedback with technical system characteristics. This helps on-site technicians update the current inventory status, which is then processed in the SAP system.

Context: DB Services depicts the entire device inventory with complete SAP classification. There are still numerous assets that cannot be fully documented or are documented differently in SAP due to historical reasons. As a result, the technicians were given a function that enables precise detection of devices because they have the necessary detailed knowledge, reports Birgit Wiesner. Then the reported attributes are reviewed once more at DB Services before they are loaded into the SAP inventory.

According to Wiesner, the entire workflow functions very well, but it will function even better if new tablets can read out the device ID using NFC or barcodes, as is planned.



Intelligent deployment

The new mobile solution also helps DB Services to depict process changes. There used to be dedicated malfunction teams, but now there are teams equally dedicated to maintenance and malfunctions.

In case of a malfunction, the technician that can get to the site the quickest and has the necessary qualifications is the one who is deployed. The dispatcher can select this person based on qualifications, locate the site of the current job for this person using geographic data and deploy this person immediately to deal with emergencies.


Useful functions for technicians on site

DB Services technicians also appreciate functions such as uploading photos related to the service order, the option of reporting back additional services resulting from conditions on-site that go beyond the original service order scope and detecting previously unknown defects on-site. If requested by the customer, a document containing field data and defects detected on-site is signed.


Customers save cash

DB Services is also satisfied with the ever-expanding service solution. Steve Leffs points out that this fully integrated service solution is not just beneficial to the team itself, but also to DB Services customers. He states that customers appreciate working with state-of-the-art mobile technology because, among other things, it ensures that their systems have fewer downtimes and there are fewer operational malfunctions. Says Leffs, “The bottom line is that this type of solution saves cash.”


The website of the company:

Used daily at DB Services

All products


Make work easier for your staff in the field and let our mobile app handle order processing and updating.

Visual Planning Board

Wir schaffen Übersicht. Unser Echtzeit-Tool unterstützt Sie optimal bei der Planung Ihrer Service- und Wartungseinsätze.

Our solution successfully provides support for 80 dispatchers, 1500 service technicians and more than 50,000 orders per month.

30 percent more output for dispatchers, a higher first-fix rate and satisfied customers – Hako strikes a positive balance

Used successfully every day for the last ten years. And still as good as new.

Make it simple

... and contact us. We use our in-depth, comprehensive skills and knowledge to help your company find the solutions you need for the mobile digital revolution.