From data project to information management process


Alstom is one of the world’s leading providers of electricity generation and distribution as well as railway infrastructure services. In 2013, the French Alstom Group’s reported capital stock totaled approximately EUR 8 billion. The enterprise employed about 93,000 workers during the reporting period.

The Alstom Power Division was established in 2000 as a result of the acquisition of a joint venture with ABB. In 2011, the Division was separated into the two autonomous Thermal Power and Renewable Power entities to place a greater focus on the growing importance of renewable energies. The focus of both segments is on the production of electricity. In 2012 they produced a total of EUR 11 billion in revenues. Alstom Thermal Power components have been installed in about one forth of all power plants worldwide; while Alstom Renewable Power delivers to about 25 percent of the global water power market. Turbines made by Alstom are used to produce electrical power by 30 percent of all nuclear power plants.

«The objective of the project was to uniformly and clearly identify our customers.»

Andreas Beckmann, Head of Global Power Data Management Alstom


In 2004, Alstom Power’s management realized that it had to get an overview of its global customer base. «The objective of the project at that time was to uniformly and clearly identify our customers across all applications,» recalls Andreas Beckmann, Head of Global Power Data Management at Alstom. «We wanted to be able to see our customers’ group affiliations and we wanted to know who we were actually selling which products to and determine how our revenues were distributed across the board. D&B’s global company database offered us the perfect tool to record all network affiliations.» The product was so successful that Alstom Power expanded it to the identification of suppliers in 2006. Furthermore, we also recorded our own organization since about half of all of our shipments are delivered to interim in-house customers. Since then, the original project has evolved into an anchored “master data management process,” which now also comprises the data of all power plant installations as a global standard.

In 2013, the master data management program comprised about 220,000 global customers and suppliers. It contains all data attributes that are required on the global level to provide users with the essential information efficiently and at the right time. Overall, about 100 facilities in 60 countries access the data through their CRM and ERP systems. «Thanks to its D&B data based master data management, the Alstom management has at its disposal accurate decision-making fundamentals for strategic planning as well as marketing, sales and purchasing purposes. This makes it possible for us to implement professional end-to-end reporting within the value chain,» concludes Beckmann. The data cleanup activities that were initiated as a project about ten years ago have since evolved into a firmly established data process at Alstom. Andreas Beckmann: «The solution we developed with Bisnode D&B with the objective of attaining our strategic business goal turned into a successful project for us.»