SAP service procurement

SAP integrated workflows for the procurement of services and construction services

Besides offering a continuous tendering, awarding, billing process with its full integration, FUTURA also has a wide range of additional functions that enable users to be as flexible as possible in their work. The SAP ERP-system can be remote-controlled by using FUTURA: Users work in one system only and do not have to switch between several applications – for the sake of convenience and usability.

Compared to original SAP solutions, FUTURA is offering a fully integrated approach and much more flexible application possibilities on top of that. Instead of deploying individual SAP-modules, all workflows for the procurement of services and construction services are merged into one single cloud-based application. In the process, FUTURA can reproduce different workflows, just as required and practiced by the client.

An exemplary workflow in FUTURA


Accessing various data sources

Consumers have various options to create the item list. They can use the master item list in FUTURA (by using FUTURA, service master files can be created in SAP); they can use completed measures or projects, or they import a GAEB-file provided by an external planner, e.g. an engineering office. They can also import an Excel template.

Estimating costs and consistency check with a value limit

Since in FUTURA the item lines for cost estimation can be correlated with prices (a price database is available), a value is automatically determined and validated in relation to the specified value limits – in case the value limits are exceeded, a FUTURA-workflow is nominating a purchaser who can continue the work started by the consumer. Switching systems is not necessary, both work seamlessly within the same system. As a result, both receive real-time information about the current processing status.

Downloading GAEB and Excel-files is possible

The purchaser launches the call for tenders and the suppliers can either calculate their offers online or use the GAEB or Excel interfaces to prepare the offers with their local applications. After the deadline the offers can be evaluated automatically in FUTURA by means of price comparison lists.

Different request and negotiation rounds are possible. Then again, the purchaser and the consumer are both involved in the decision making. Thereupon a purchase order is automatically generated via an integration module. Once released, the purchase order is imported from SAP – automatically in correlation to the transaction – into FUTURA. Thereby the purchase order can be initiated via FUTURA and the purchase order document is automatically generated in SAP – all details of the purchase order including the multilevel item list are transferred to SAP.

If no further clearance of the purchase order is required in SAP, the purchase order can be conveyed directly to the supplier in FUTURA: Over an automated process, suppliers receive login details for the FUTURA-cloud and can invoice their services rendered. For this purpose, suppliers record their services online and enter their measurements with estimated quantities. The verification of the measurement or the activity recording is also happening online and is optionally also possible on multiple levels.

Clearance and verification outside of SAP

Measurement changes are clearly indicated to suppliers so that they can adjust their invoicing. Only upon final approval, a service entry sheet is generated and the goods receipt is booked automatically in SAP. Subsequently a credit note can be generated or alternatively an invoice can be booked in SAP. Thorough invoice verification is no longer required, since the details have already been accepted in the course of the measurement verification.

Change order management via FUTURA

If a change is required in the course of the process, the order can be changed in FUTURA. This change, in turn, is transferred automatically to SAP and, optionally after a further clearance, is conveyed to the supplier in FUTURA. Thus the purchase commitment in SAP is under real-time control.

Unser Anspruch an eine digitale Prozessabbildung

Die FUTURA® Collaboration Plattform vernetzt alle Akteure auf Auftraggeber- UND Auftragnehmerseite: Planer, Bedarfsträger, Einkäufer, Lieferant, Dienstleister, Prüfer, Controller. Diese hochfunktionalen, kollaborativen Prozesse kommen am ausgeprägtesten bei der Planung und Abwicklung von Bauprojekten und -maßnahmen sowie Abwicklung von Instandhaltungs- und Kleinmaßnahmen zum Tragen. In FUTURA arbeiten nicht nur alle Akteure auf derselben Datenbasis, sondern vielmehr prozessintegriert auch mit dem SAP-System.

What is the specific connectivity of FUTURA and SAP based on?

The basis consists of standardized, bidirectional, real-time interfaces, which are mainly using standard BAPIs. A BAPI is a standardized programming interface of the SAP Business Objects and enables FUTURA® to access data of particular business processes of the SAP system and to directly call and run functions in SAP. That is the big difference compared against a simple interface (e.g. XML), which only ensures a data import and export.

A sophisticated so-called error handling ensures that the processing status is displayed in the other system in real time. ALL project information is recorded and provided across system boundaries. This increases user-friendliness and improves the quality of results.

How does FUTURA bring SAP and GAEB together?

SAP originated from materials management and therefore lacks the necessary interfaces and usability to represent the special requirements for the procurement and processing of construction works and services. Data exchange formats used in the service and construction industry, such as GAEB for example, are not supported.

Only the integration of FUTURA® enables the automatic transfer of specifications created in the GAEB format to SAP for further processing. This is particularly important in construction purchasing when working with extensive GAEB specifications and the billing of service line is done by measurement. Although multilevel specifications can be manually created using SAP, this option is hardly used due to its user-hostile handling.

What does SAP as a “digital core” mean?

Isolated applications, such as AVA programs (tendering, awarding and billing) or web-based data exchange platforms for the awarding and billing of services or construction services usually have only a rudimentary SAP connection or no SAP connection at all. In this form they are not suited to build on the digital core in SAP. Building on the digital SAP core is precisely the approach the solutions of the FUTURA® collaboration platform are taking. One special feature is a seamless process integration that provides a consistent document chain in the leading SAP system – fully automated. Users have to work in one system only instead of several. In addition, data changes are possible without any problems and are automatically transferred across system boundaries. This means that the SAP system, which is the digital core, is fed via FUTURA® with all the necessary data required for compliance and also for further purchasing controlling or reporting.

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Hubert Schröder
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The advantages of FUTURA

  • Full integration into the SAP ERP-system, interactive SAP ERP-system operation via FUTURA
  • Suppliers have the option to download item lists in the GAEB-format for calculation
  • Complete change order management with automated adjustment of the order in SAP (real-time control of purchase commitments)
  • Verification and clarification of services rendered (release, adjust or reject) with the supplier outside of the SAP ERP-system (transparent, reliable and accountable)
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