B. Braun operates in a highly-competitive environment that requires consistent production quality and maximum efficiency. Whether it’s providing a single medical device or an entire solution, medical practitioners and their patients rely on B. Braun for innovative tools to support flawless procedures. In order to maintain this level of performance, the company needed to identify a technology partner to provide highperformance PC hardware to its employees around the world and deliver premium service and support when needed.
The new PC solution needed to span B. Braun’s diverse global network of production, sales and customer sites. The solution had to be adopted by a majority of employees to achieve economies of scale, yet flexible and customizable to comply with varied industry requirements and regional and government regulations. In addition, not every B. Braun location has an onsite IT team, so the new partner had to be able offer superior service and support on a local level, varying from PC set-up and providing replacement parts to onsite help-desk support to troubleshoot problems for employees.
B. Braun chose to update the majority of the company’s global network with Lenovo® PCs, upto eighty five per cent with ThinkPad laptops and mobile workstations, as well as ThinkCentre desktops. B. Braun selected the Lenovo brand for several reasons:
B. Braun’s competitive advantage rests on its ability to offer its products and services to those who need them, at a reasonable price. To do so, the company’s operations must be efficient and error free.
A strong technology base that its employees can rely on is the cornerstone for all activities. From product development and manufacturing to clinical support, managing inventory and tracking orders, B. Braun’s business is run on the PCs used throughout the organization.
Peter Doell, Manager, Competence Center Basic Infrastructure, and the IT team at B. Braun recognized the need for a PC solution that established a foundation for greater efficiency and reliability. They needed to identify a partner that could deliver high-performance PC hardware that is supported by a global technology partner network. Such a solution would ensure that all employees, including sales associates, scientists, engineers and medical practitioners have the most reliable tools for their activities whether they are on the road, at their desks or in the operating room.
In addition, the PC solution would assure the IT team that all activities are performed on technology that meets varied industry, regional and governmental standards – a complex web of requirements that B. Braun must abide by across its locations. Up to that point, B. Braun worked globally with over 20 different vendors for PCs, so the transition would need to be handled on two levels – streamlining IT procurement processes and aiding employee adoption. The team didn’t want to disrupt existing technology lifecycles, which differed across the company’s locations. In addition, each location required different levels of onsite support.
In several offices such as in Norway and Peru, it was not uncommon for employees to double as the IT point person working with a local Value Added Reseller (VAR) to install PCs, manage the network infrastructure and provide help desk services onsite. Since not every B. Braun location has an onsite IT team, the selected PC partner would also be required to offer superior service and support on the local level to handle daily questions, onsite help desk inquiries and updates throughout the lifecycle of the PCs.
Peter and his team narrowed their search to four vendors, including Lenovo. The team tested the PCs for a number of variables, including:
Design: Does the PC have a classic and professional appearance? Is it ergonomically designed with a comfortable keyboard and bright display, in addition to being easily portable (for laptops)?
Durability: Will the PC break if dropped? Can it withstand various
environments with high temperatures and humidity?
Reliability: Beyond the physical design, what components are included inside the PC that will keep it running securely and connected to the network?
Serviceability: How easy is it to fix the PCs if a single part needs to be replaced or swapped out? If an employee has an issue, is there a certified PC technician available to help?
Lenovo scored high marks in all areas for its ThinkPad laptops and workstations and ThinkCentre desktops. B. Braun’s team handed employees several Lenovo PC models to test themselves in their daily work environments. Typical tests included durability (i.e. drop test, physical connectors) as well as functional tests (i.e. WLAN range, light reflection, keyboard grip). They were opened up and had various parts replaced without any issues. The Think PCs operated flawlessly in production environments where temperatures were above 90°F and humidity can be as high as 80 percent. The wireless and wired network connections on the PCs were also tested in multiple locations inside buildings.
While the quality and reliability of the PC hardware was a fundamental part of the decision-making process, the IT team’s top priority was the ability to easily maintain a global PC platform that includes superior service and support across the company’s dispersed and varied locations. Peter and his team spoke with vendors and several of their Value Added Resellers (VARs) to gauge the level of support and flexibility that could be provided to his team, especially for those locations without designated IT staff onsite.
Lenovo’s global network of trained technicians and VARs mapped perfectly to B. Braun’s business locations and proved it could provide the level of support needed to make deploying Lenovo PCs simple for location managers and their employees.
Lenovo worked closely with B. Braun to develop a portfolio of customized and tested Think PCs that meet the company’s needs, including models with custom screen sizes and memory – this allows employees in every B. Braun location worldwide to identify the type of PC that will best support their daily activities. Facility managers simply present a PC model number from the B. Braun Think PC portfolio to their local VAR to obtain new PCs. The PC is delivered equipped with B. Braun’s corporate image and any specific applications. Local IT support from Lenovo and its partners ensures employees have limited downtime and feel
comfortable with their new PC.
Using Lenovo’s global partner network, B. Braun’s locations have been able to deploy Lenovo PCs according to their specific refresh cycles with no interruptions to daily activities and without incurring additional costs. Local Lenovo representatives and VARs have further eased the transition by providing set-up services, as well
as onsite training for employees. Even after the deployment is completed, the technicians and VARs remain available to handle break-fix requests and other services for maximum productivity. Lenovo PCs have been integrated into every aspect of B. Braun’s business. For example, all members of the sales team are equipped
with portable and durable ThinkPad T Series laptops, which they can securely synch to the network to upload the latest product specifications and inventory updates.
Lenovo ThinkCentre desktops are also the “control stations” monitoring machinery and production line workflows. In hospitals, ThinkPad laptops run software used to operate devices such as control pumps in operating rooms. ThinkStations are also used to create architectural renderings (build and production floor
design) in CAD, as well as outline product designs with Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA and SolidWorks’ 3D design applications.
In just over a year, 20,000 B. Braun employees have transitioned to Think PCs, more than 75 percent of the company’s staff. To this point, employees have transitioned to their new Think PCs enthusiastically and with minimal headaches. Given the positive reception, B. Braun plans to continue evolving its Lenovo solution to include more custom models and new applications that are tested to meet changing industry and government regulations and equip its workforce with the tools they need for their specific scope of work.
The Lenovo PC solution and roll out has proven to be successful and efficient in a number of ways for B. Braun. PC downtime has decreased since B. Braun deployed Think PCs globally, resulting in greater employee productivity. The reliability of the Lenovo solution has also enabled B. Braun to increase operational
efficiency, which has help the company decrease costs associated with product inventory storage, production line disruptions and IT help desk requests.
B. Braun’s Lenovo solution continues to become more ingrained among employees as well. For example, when a new application is deployed on PCs or a new fix is developed to a common issue, it is made available globally and employees share best practices and tips.
Using its Lenovo PC solution, the B. Braun team is confident that their business has the foundation it needs to continue to evolve and deliver superior customer care. The IT team is identifying additional opportunities to deploy more Lenovo PC in the future to enable B. Braun to continue raising the bar for quality services.