Working interactively with FUTURA not only means the digital collaboration of all internal and external stakeholders involved in procurement, but also a full integration into your SAP system. The modular cloud solution thus facilitates new approaches to process design in procurement and, in particular, in the planning, purchasing and billing of construction work and services.
Digitization is not reduced to the use of just one system. The challenge is rather to map processes across system boundaries. A decisive difference for process quality in procurement is real-time consistency of data, processes and systems alike.
The result: an interactive work process that changes the way tenders, maintenance measures and also capital goods projects are planned, procured and controlled in interaction with SAP. FUTURA® combines workflows of strategic and operative purchasing on one cloud platform – and, in the context of capital goods procurement, also those of upstream planning. FUTURA® thus transfers the special processes of construction and service procurement into a best practice approach.
With FUTURA®, there are no duplicates of work, only the original. All stakeholders in the supply chain as well as your suppliers and service providers work on the same database – controlled by authorizations. Without multiple entries and without media discontinuity.
FUTURA is a cloud application, so access to the platform is possible from anywhere by using a browser with Internet access. Working from home is therefore just as easy as connecting suppliers and service providers online, they only need to register – the onboarding is automatic.
Example: The purchaser can turn a requirement created by the requisitioner into a tender. Quotations can be viewed by both parties and then the quotation is converted into a purchase order or contract in SAP. In real time, directly in FUTURA and without further intervention in SAP.
The prerequisite for real-time collaboration between different stakeholders is consistent and unambiguous data storage. This is the only way to ensure that the effects of data changes are displayed promptly in all systems to the respective users.
Example: After approval of the rendered service entered by the service provider on the FUTURA platform, service entry sheets are automatically created in the SAP system and thus the commitment associated with the purchase order is reduced in real time.
The more simple and intuitive the system is for the purchaser, the more it is used. FUTURA is built to map services and the necessary workflows in service procurement. In this area, the structure of the service specifications and additionally the GAEB format impose special demands on the graphical user interface, as well as on the usability, which the SAP system cannot meet and which are compensated by FUTURA.
Extensive help and the FUTURA hotline, which is available to all users of the platform, enhance the positive user experience.
Quotations, purchase orders or even service entries are not imported or exported as attachments via a simple XML interface. Instead, FUTURA ensures complete document chains and real-time controlling in SAP which is the leading system. All without manual intervention.
For an easier operation and uniform working, functions that are implemented in the SAP system can be executed and controlled in FUTURA. This enables flexible and fluent working without having to jump back and forth between systems.
Example: The consumer can create a purchase requisition in SAP via FUTURA and at the same time define the requirement by creating or importing a service specification.
A prerequisite for real-time controlling is the transfer of ALL items or service lines of a service specification belonging to a purchase order – and not just the header or item data as 1 service unit with an aggregated total in SAP. FUTURA transfers GAEB-compliant purchase orders at the push of a button: the entire service specifications with the individual service lines are created in the SAP system. Only this makes real-time controlling, transparent billing and automated commitment reduction possible in the SAP system.
Only with the integration of FUTURA is it possible to automatically transfer GAEB-based service specifications to SAP for further processing. This is especially important for construction services, when working with extensive GAEB-based service specifications and the billing is done by measurement, using items listed in the service specifications. Service specifications that have been uploaded or created in FUTURA by means of an Excel list or a GAEB file, can be transferred to SAP in the form of quotations, purchase orders or contracts and can then be used as the basis for invoicing.
Processes that involve several systems, departments or persons require comprehensive structures that reduce manual input for optimal processing. FUTURA not only integrates contractors into business processes, but also enables a high degree of automation through standardization.
The higher the standardization, the greater the effectiveness on efficiency and safety. By using various templates, service specifications can be easily created in FUTURA and then converted into a contract in SAP. The contracts are updated via a new tender on the platform.
Seamless documentation from tendering to awarding, simple management of all decision-related documents and compliance with auditing requirements (i.e. data that cannot be changed) are just one part of the requirements for compliance. The decisive factor here is a consistent “four-eyes principle”, which FUTURA facilitates automatically.
The planning processes that precede procurement, for instance, the creation of specifications and cost calculation for larger investment projects, can also be mapped via FUTURA. By supporting the GAEB standard established on the German market, FUTURA bridges the gap between technical and commercial business processes. Service specifications in the GAEB format can be created as well as imported and exported.
Dealing with changes is a daily issue and not only in construction work. The performance of digital process mapping must also be measured by how flexibly planners, service providers and suppliers are integrated in this process. Change management means: documents are automatically changed in a traceable and automated manner in SAP via FUTURA and, for example, additional order items can be added. Moreover, the system checks whether approval values and value limits have been exceeded due to the change.
Value limits, accessing framework contracts or the choice of verification procedures – a variety of individual workflows for different use cases in service procurement can be mapped in FUTURA. Always in focus: quality and the level of detail of the service description. Data quality creates the basis for objective measurability, which is required at many points throughout the procurement process and beyond.
For the tendering of complex services, such as construction works, service specifications are usually created in an AVA system and exchanged with suppliers and service providers via GAEB files.
In most cases, however, a quotation is not commissioned via the AVA system, but via SAP. As SAP does not have a GAEB interface, a line item with the value of the quotation is usually created for the purchase order in SAP and the specifications are attached as a PDF file. As a result, SAP does not allow transparent billing at service line level and no real-time controlling. In addition, the service specifications which are used to create a contract in SAP, must be transferred manually to the SAP system.
Quotations of a tender, received via FUTURA, are transferred in their complete GAEB structure to the SAP system for further processing. This means that all details – including the specifications – are available in SAP for a purchase order or billing. Only this way, the level of detail of the tender result can be used digitally in SAP and the transparency of the procurement and billing process is increased.
Not only the range of service types, but especially the large role of unplanned services in the context of repair measures or incidents are a challenge. This is because, in contrast to planned purchase orders, which follow the definition of requirements provided by the consumer or which are based on a quotation, in the case of unplanned services the scope of the service to be provided is still unclear. As a result, only hourly and material values are used for billing the services rendered, and the initiator cannot exactly determine what services have actually been rendered.
In order to bring more transparency and price certainty to the large number of purchase orders and invoices for unplanned services, FUTURA relies on the increased use of contracts. On the one hand, FUTURA enables the easy creation, tendering and creation of contracts in the SAP system, and on the other hand, it allows service providers to access their contracts to create a billing specification. In the case of a blanket purchase order with a contract reference, service providers can report back in detail which services they have performed and the customer keeps an overview of the large number of maintenance measures carried out. The contract can also be evaluated in SAP in relation to the ordered services.
Investment projects are often planned in AVA systems, awarded in SAP and then billed in AVA. For a comprehensive financial controlling, the billing values from the AVA must nevertheless also be transferred to SAP. The consequence: during the course of construction, the commitments shown in SAP often deviate from the actual liabilities – “planning during construction” is encountered, in which the supplement management is carried out in AVA and the actual order fulfillment cannot be read in SAP due to a missing transfer of the supplements. Only when the budget is suddenly used up and exceeded during the execution of the measure, the order value is adjusted in SAP (if necessary). From the SAP perspective, this means that every control option is removed.
Planning, tendering, awarding and billing via FUTURA with automatic document creation in SAP – i.e. all supplements posted for an award in FUTURA – automatically lead to an purchase order change in the SAP system. Measurements entered by the service provider as self-service for billing on the platform automatically lead to the creation of corresponding service entry sheets in SAP after their approval. Commitments are thereby reduced in SAP in real time, thus enabling an up-to-date budget control.