Case Study: How CERN uses asset management to underpin its scientific research.
To many workers, in-house apps or services are something to be learnt, understood, and then tolerated throughout their careers, serving a range of purposes from financial management to HR scheduling. But how much do we really understand of how these apps, and the infrastructure behind them, actually help?
CERN, the European research center located on the Franco Swiss border best known for its Large Hadron Collider facility and its quest to discover the secrets behind how matter began existing in the universe. Respected and admired around the world, CERN is an Infor customer, but not perhaps in the field you might immediately expect.
Systems Engineer at CERN and Infor Project Manager Pedro Martel is a key player in the organisation’s IT department, and was able to describe the advantages of working with a range of Infor services, particularly the company’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) product.
CERN uses EAM software to track maintenance and upkeep of over one million pieces of crucial scientific equipment used in major projects such as the Large Hadron Collider. The organisation has been working with Infor since 1997, when it adopted a data management solution which eventually became Infor EAM.
Alongside its huge inventory of equipment, CERN uses about 50 external service providers, using a wide range of service agreements and contracts are used, meaning the company was looking for a flexible system to keep track of all the various details.
Maintenance is a huge part of ensuring CERN’s work is accurate and successful, with more than 180,000 work orders generated per year. Martel explained how at least 30,000 of these were to do with work relating to CERN’s network of over 500 buildings, ranging from tasks such as caretaking and gardening to ensuring heating and cooling systems were fully operational.
"At CERN, maintenance starts as soon as an event has been generated in the Infor EAM system. If the solution is not available, maintenance cannot be carried out," he said.
In tribute to its successful usage, CERN was even named as "Infor Customer of the Year" at Inforum, being praised for its success in utilising the company’s services to help improve and develop their own operations.
"As a publically funded international non-profit organisation, it is of optimal importance for us to adhere to a strict level of operational efficiency. We are helped in this task by the Infor asset-management solutions," said David Widegren, CERN’s head of engineering processes support.
"CERN is an excellent example for organisations that are seeking a technology platform to help reduce operational costs while improving overall efficiency," Stephan Scholl, president of Infor said of the award.
Inforum took place in the US city of New Orleans this week. Infor says it has over 73,000 users worldwide, including 72% of American hospitals and 95% of the largest aerospace companies, Infor says it is the third largest private technology company in the US, providing a wide range of services to customers in a number of very different verticals.