Rheinbahn AG has put its procurement process on a new footing. Since the mobility group is using our AVA and SRM applications, procurement processes have greatly accelerated. Since 2009, the procurement process in civil engineering below the threshold specified by the German Construction Contract Procedures is taking place electronically – starting with the creation of item lists, then sending out a request to suppliers, creating the price comparison list through to the awarding of contract and the release of a purchase order in SAP.
For a long time, paper was one of the most important storage media of Rheinbahn purchasing. The responsible structural engineers created large item lists, sometimes with up to three-digit item lines. For that purpose the engineers used classic AVA software (for tendering, awarding and billing of construction works). In the end, the purchasing department had to print the item list or save it on a disc and send it by mail since their software was neither integrated into the SAP ERP-system of Rheinbahn nor were suppliers electronically connected over a platform.
Suppliers used to return their offers to Rheinbahn on paper. This presented the purchasing department with another problem: The price comparison list was created manually. “This was a very tedious and time-consuming process,” said Klaus Rabe, who was project manager at that time and is area manager for controlling / finance/ and purchasing today. Every year around a 100 calls for tender were sent to a varying circle of suppliers. Depending on the construction project, there may be up to 25 bidders.
Things have changed now. As usual, the departments still create the item list, but electronically by using our FUTURA AVA-application, based on the GAEB standard and with an ordering number structure. That was new at Rheinbahn. This transition did cause some trouble, as Klaus Rabe concedes. The reason: First, the existing data had to be checked for consistency. “But we had to do this so that all technicians, purchasers and suppliers, speak a common language”, Klaus Rabe justifies this step. The item list is electronically conveyed to the purchaser, who initiates the inquiry process on the side of the supplier by using the same application. And now – as soon as offers arrive via the connected FUTURA cloud – the purchasing department can create a price comparison list virtually without effort – with a single click.
Ever since we are using the AVA and SRM applications made by Futura Solutions, the entire procurement process is clearly faster and better structured. This represents a great advantage for our company.
A key requirement for the new AVA application: The procurement and handling of construction and maintenance works was supposed to be deeply embedded into the SAP ERP-system of Rheinbahn. Once the Rheinbahn purchasers release a tender electronically, a purchase requisition is automatically triggered in SAP. After the awarding all the items and details of the item list are transferred as an order to the SAP module (MM) Material Management. In addition, suppliers receive the order with the item list from the SAP ERP-system electronically via the FUTURA cloud. The Benefit: They can record their services rendered online via FUTURA. That saves a lot of time and accelerates the accounting process – at a much higher transparency rate.
Since then, Rheinbahn has accomplished a considerable number of bidding rounds in terms construction works – in the end there were no reductions to the number of bidders related to the new electronic tendering process. Rheinbahn is also handling services and framework agreements with FUTURA SRM. Unplanned maintenance is no longer a thorn in the flesh: In the case of blanket orders, suppliers submit clear activity recordings with priced items from the master contract and verifiable quantities so that surprises no longer occur during settlement.
Acceleration of maintenance processes by means of interconnecting FUTURA® SRM and SAP
Automated onboarding of suppliers and price comparison lists
Autonomous online billing by suppliers due to access to their framework contracts
High data quality in SAP, all details are automatically conveyed FUTURA® to SAP