If you migrate, the move should also entail improved purchasing processes: The end of maintenance of the interface software which connects the AVA-Tool and SAP gave the Stadtwerke in Ingolstadt the impetus to review their processes. Instead of manual data exchange via import-export and double service master file maintenance, FUTURA® SRM now provides more transparency and control with an automatic integration into SAP.
Stadtwerke Ingolstadt awards contracts worth 27 million euros annually. Around 65 percent of these are services – above all in civil engineering and pipe construction as well as planning services in accordance with “HOAI” (Official Scale of Fees for Services by Architects and Engineers). FUTURA SRM is now used for this purpose instead of the SAP interface solution provided by the AVA tool which is no longer maintained. Unlike in the past, however, FUTURA SRM interconnects the SAP system with the original AVA processes interactively and also integrates bidders and suppliers into the tendering and billing processes in real time.
Redundant, unconnected data that must be identical always carries a high risk of error – not to mention the fact that manual intervention involves additional effort. At the Stadtwerke in Ingolstadt, this resulted from the structure of the IT landscape: in the construction sector, planning was handled by using an AVA tool, tenders and orders were processed via SAP, which was also the leading system for material and service master file maintenance.
This scenario had a number of weaknesses, including the nature of the data exchange, which was carried out via export: during the night, master data was read out in SAP and imported into the AVA tool in the morning, which still had to be released manually. The transfer of planning data from the AVA planning tool to SAP was also carried out by a manually triggered export. The problem: there was no feedback from SAP as to whether an export was successful. It was therefore unclear whether the order was transferred entirely or only partially. This lack of transparency entailed a considerable amount of monitoring and, at the same time, risks. The aim was real-time data exchange. The handling of FUTURA SRM is based precisely on this. Instead of importing files into SAP, it provides only a single cloud-based database. This makes double master data maintenance superfluous.
In the industry, energy utility companies face similar process challenges – solely as a result of legal requirements, e.g. in the area of division accounting. FUTURA SRM offers an established industry solution for this.
The willingness to use FUTURA SRM for entering measurements is there – even without an explicit introduction on the part of Stadtwerke Ingolstadt. “The companies with whom we work most closely and who handle the largest sums of money are the construction companies – and they are enthusiastic,” confirms Andreas Penzl. But smaller suppliers and companies can also be easily integrated thanks to automatic onboarding.
The status of a measurement can be monitored at any time. Whether created, under verification, adjusted or verified. Once the measurement has been released, the corresponding service entry sheets are automatically created in SAP. Adjustments are resolved online, outside of SAP, directly in FUTURA SRM. No new files have to be created and imported in order to overwrite old values. Changes to a measurement remain traceable at all times.
Despite the pressure to act due to the end of maintenance of the current AVA interface, it was necessary to eliminate resistance. Stadtwerke Ingolstadt also had to make the same experiences. “We did not introduce FUTURA SRM on a greenfield but changed existing processes. Many people had to rethink; it was not so easy to convey this. They would have liked to see their old system reproduced – even in places where it was not necessary because FUTURA SRM offers much more efficient workflows,” says Andreas Penzl. It was helpful that representatives from IT, technology and purchasing were involved in the preparation of the requirement specification. The technical implementation and training followed an introductory workshop.
“The Futura Solutions team was very supportive. The know-how about the processes as well as about SAP was also excellent,” recalls the Purchasing Manager. “We were also able to keep to our implementation schedule as far as possible. Now we are continuously pushing all tenders into the FUTURA world.
In the first year after introduction, more than 600 tenders, more than 1000 orders and service entries from around 50 users from different specialist areas were already processed via FUTURA SRM.
It is crucial that we now have an overview of the number of orders and – more importantly – of the billing status of our projects at all times.
Automatic transfer of data between FUTURA SRM and SAP - transparent billing status at all times
Bidirectional integration, reliable data synchronization and reduced error potential
Measurements are entered by the service provider, thus reducing effort in the planning department
Transfer of GAEB-based quotations with all details to SAP