OPX CASE STUDY

The Detroit Tigers
put FORM OpX at-bat

to deliver unforgettable ballpark experiences
to over 20,000 fans per game.

Introduction

Each spring, Major League Baseball (MLB) teams across the country prepare for the hustle and bustle of baseball season. Millions of fans flock to ballparks for the excitement and nostalgia of the game— not to mention peanuts and hot dogs—but today’s games require even more action behind the scenes to maintain that beloved baseball experience.

For the Detroit Tigers, one of the most iconic teams in the league, each game is an opportunity to provide flawless experiences to every fan in attendance. And while all eyes are on the pitcher and batter once the game starts, there’s another group of key players who have equally valuable positions off the field. Adam Wexler, Manager of Sports & Entertainment Technologies for the Detroit Tigers,  Red Wings, and three amphitheaters in the city, works closely with a team of Field Support IT technicians to ensure flawless delivery of the ballpark’s technology systems and infrastructure before each game. From inspecting digital menu boards to ensuring network strength for the ballpark’s connected devices, including scoreboards, POS systems, IDFs, and the infrastructure supporting the audio and video systems, Wexler and his team rely on accurate inspections and quick corrective action to create a seamless, inspiring experience for fans on-site and at home during every game.

The Challenge

Before FORM OpX, Wexler’s team used pen and paper to track inspections and record issues for pre- and post-game checklists. “We had a basic guide, but there wasn’t a lot of direction involved,” says Wexler. “We didn’t have an accurate way of checking or confirming what actions were being taken where.” When a team member found an issue, he or she manually recorded it before creating a ticket via email, which resulted in significant inefficiencies for Wexler’s technicians and slower issue resolution for the ballpark.

With 81 baseball games per year and hundreds of additional events across multiple venues the same team supported, Wexler’s team knew there had to be a stronger digital solution to streamline inspections—and they also knew the risks of issues going unresolved. “Imagine a POS system going down, a battery failing, the Wi-Fi going out, or a power outage happening in the middle of a big game,” says Wexler. “Having the whole ballpark running smoothly and stably is our biggest priority.” In order to reduce risk, speed resolution, and maintain the unique fan experience at Comerica Park, Wexler sourced the top mobile audit and inspection solution for teams, FORM OpX.

Imagine a POS system going down, a battery failing, the WiFi going out, or a power outage happening in the middle of a big game. Having the whole ballpark running smoothly and stably is our biggest priority.”

ADAM WEXLER
Manager of Sports & Entertainment Technologies, Detroit Tigers

The Solution

With its ease-of-use and offline mode capability, FORM OpX gave Wexler’s team what they needed to work more efficiently in all areas of the ballpark before each game—including areas of low cellular connectivity. “We’ve dramatically simplified pre-game and post-game procedures,” says Wexler. “Now we have a system for tracking how, when, and where things are getting done, and we require sign-off at the end for stronger accountability.”

We’ve dramatically simplified pre-game and post-game procedures. Now we have a system for tracking how, when, and where things are getting done, and we require sign-off at the end for stronger accountability.”

ADAM WEXLER
Manager of Sports & Entertainment Technologies, Detroit Tigers

The team also uses photo tasks within FORM OpX to gain visual confirmation of equipment status on-site, and if a team member detects an issue, it can be automatically escalated to ServiceNow, the team’s work order software that seamlessly integrates with FORM OpX. “If we came across an IT issue in the past, we’d have to manually draft, write, and send an email to create tickets,” explains Wexler. “Now we can create a ticket on the spot with one click.”  This newfound ability to drive corrective action in real-time has resulted in labor savings, cost savings, and risk reduction for the Detroit Tigers—and has created ongoing training and engagement opportunities for Wexler’s team. FORM OpX has allowed Wexler’s technicians to do their jobs more easily and more effectively with a single mobile app that offers on-demand training guides in the flow of work. This feature proved especially helpful to new members, who joined Wexler’s team after stadiums were reopened from pandemic shutdowns, and learned new processes for pre- and post-game checks. “The solution provides an excellent guide for our teams,” says Wexler. “They’re able to understand expectations and achieve standards instantly, and we’re giving them the tools they need to do it all themselves.” After each game, the team analyzes performance in preparation for the next event. In addition to the team’s commitment to continuous improvement, Wexler has also used FORM OpX to foster a team culture of engagement through gamification—in the true spirit of baseball, of course. “At the end of each season, we tally up and compare our scores from each game. We’ll ask ourselves, ‘which Tigers team really won the game?’”
Wexler laughs.

But the team’s success to date is just the beginning: Wexler hopes to deploy the technology across all venues, including Little Caesars Arena, to enhance operations and monitor staffing. “Eventually, we plan to use audit results to inform our staffing models and ensure we have strong coverage in all venues,” says Wexler. “We want to do everything we can to deliver incredible experiences to fans, and continue to bring transparency to our partnership with other vendors. So far, I’m proud of all of us for what we’ve been able to accomplish using FORM OpX.”