Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Driving automated, integrated enterprise asset management
Different flags flying in front of PNNL headquarters
Business challenge

To keep pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge, PNNL relies on state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities. How can PNNL manage these critical assets effectively?


PNNL uses IBM® Maximo® software to deliver a comprehensive view of some 44,000 assets, and support teams in coordinating equipment and facilities management.

Results 10+
asset and service management systems retired, reducing complexity
point of control for asset management
insights support operational planning
Business challenge story
Keeping equipment and facilities available

For more than 50 years, scientists at PNNL have been advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, conducting research and development that illuminates the mysteries of our planet and the universe.

To drive this groundbreaking work, it is essential for PNNL to provide an optimized environment where people, assets, technology and science interact seamlessly. Its people depend on properly managed and maintained equipment to achieve their research objectives—making effective asset management a top priority for the laboratory.

Previously, PNNL relied on a mix of point solutions to manage assets, facilities and services. The outcome was inefficient and inconsistent processes, which made it difficult for teams to ensure that assets were being utilized and maintained in the most cost-effective, compliant and productive way.

PNNL wanted to adopt a more streamlined and integrated approach to enterprise asset management. This would provide better visibility and control of assets, and enable PNNL to keep research and operational equipment functioning to very high standards.

Transformation story
Taking asset management to the next level

PNNL embarked on a transformation of its enterprise asset management strategy. It has designed and built a new solution that a unified platform for managing approximately 40,000 assets, as well as related processes and policies. This system is built on top of IBM Maximo Asset Management software.

PNNL has enhanced the software’s user interface to deliver an intuitive front-end interface that provides an easy way for users to search, view and manage information.

The lab’s support helpdesk is finding the new PNNL asset management solution particularly useful. In the past, when a user called up with a request, helpdesk agents typically had to access 10 different systems on average to gather background information and work through the issue to resolution.

To solve this problem, PNNL created a new helpdesk interface that pulls in data from multiple enterprise systems and presents all the information to the user in a single view. Instead of having to click through many different applications, helpdesk teams can gather all the information they need and take action directly within the interface.

Additionally, PNNL has established a series of workflows for work and asset management, automating and standardizing the end-to-end work order management lifecycle. Today, when a work team lead or supervisor wants to create or update an order, they simply click a button, select the appropriate option from a drop-down list and the system will take the necessary action, based on pre-established business rules.

The new approach is also helping PNNL to plan work orders for facilities management more effectively. The lab has seven teams who oversee maintenance work, and who meet every morning to plan the day’s work. Previously, this involved compiling work orders in a spreadsheet and prioritizing them, before manually assigning them to relevant team members. PNNL has automated this process, and today the system pulls in all open work orders and sorts them by degree of urgency; the team just has to check the details, then they can approve and allocate all of the orders in the system.

Results story
Driving scientific research

PNNL has improved visibility and control of enterprise assets, helping teams work more effectively. From a single point of control, people can see exactly what assets are in use, what condition they are in, and what is the status of maintenance and repair work.

By embracing a more integrated approach to enterprise asset management, PNNL is reducing operational complexity. The lab has retired around a dozen existing point solutions so far and has also been able to defer purchasing new systems.

Importantly, PNNL has gained fresh insight into assets and maintenance that teams can use to drive smarter operational and financial planning. Comprehensive process tracking and reliable metrics allow teams to make better-informed decisions when it comes to planning maintenance, service delivery, budgets, hiring and more.

For example, where work orders are concerned, supervisors can now see how many open work orders they have, which orders are currently being worked, which ones are queued or reviewed, and so on. They can also view metrics such as how long it takes on average to complete different types of work orders, if there are any areas where certain orders get delayed, or if PNNL processes more work orders at specific times of the year.

With this kind of insight, the enterprise asset management team can more readily identify areas for improvement, make better use of existing resources and forecast for future demands more accurately.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory logo
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)(link resides outside conducts basic and applied research and development to advance the frontiers of science and address some of the most challenging problems in energy, the environment and national security. One of the United States Department of Energy National Laboratories, PNNL has been operated by Battelle Memorial Institute since 1965.

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