Tendering with GAEB

From a single level material list to a multilevel item list – GAEB clears the way

In contrast to service procurement in general, the procedures for tendering, awarding and billing (AVA) of construction services are much more complex. In addition, since the 1980s, there are standards for the descriptions of construction services – including guidelines that prescribe the data exchange – specified by the Joint Committee for Electronics in Construction (“Gemeinsamer Ausschuß für Elektronik im Bauwesen”: abbreviation GAEB). The shape of a single level material list as provided by SAP alone, cannot bridge the gap between handling service and construction procurement.

A service is not like another

Construction services are standardized. Since the 1980s there is a set of rules specified by the Joint Committee for Electronics in Construction (GAEB). Construction services are described in so-called item lists. This usually involves a combination of material supply and its processing, which usually results in a contract for work and services. Such item lists are multilayered. They have headings, subheadings and item lines. The purpose of these is to structure the item list. This is also appropriate because such descriptions can be extensive and often contain several hundreds or even over a thousand of items. By contrast, there are no standards for services in general. Services are often understood to mean hourly or mere wages, which are billed according to expenditure. Such services do not require a multilevel item list since they are usually manageable.

Transparency often falls short

The lacking focus of SAP on services has far reaching consequences. Due to low usability, entire item lists are condensed into a single item and then displayed in SAP – thus the whole resolute handling of construction works (almost) completely bypasses SAP.

Lacking basis for the systematic management of compliance processes:

GAEB-data exchange is not sufficient

The approach of importing a GAEB-file into an SAP document (such as a purchase requisition) is too narrowly considered and does not provide a sustainable solution. There are many different systems and modules that must be operated and implemented on the SAP-side. This is not enhancing user-friendliness and on top of that it limits flexibility considerably.

Disadvantages of the SAP-solution:

The solution: Fully integrated procurement processes

The big challenge is to always include the change case, i.e. the change order management, since supplements are the rule in construction business. Software tools that enable data exchange with SAP via GAEB do not provide a sustainable solution. Only the real-time interconnectedness of all stakeholders in the procurement of construction services can lay the foundation for automated process flows and thus achieve more reliability – and not least unleash great potential for savings, since complex billing processes are hastened while unnecessary work steps are avoided.

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