Processes around tendering, awarding and billing (AVA) of construction services are more complex than the procurement of general services. Data exchange via GAEB format, the standard for descriptions of construction services that has been in use since the 1980s, is not possible in SAP. End-to-end mapping in SAP therefore requires a very high level of manual effort – or is left out accordingly. The switch to S/4HANA and the new user experience provided by Fiori Apps do not change this: Complex Services are (still) not supported.
The possibility of reading a GAEB specifications into an SAP document (e.g., into a purchase order) is too short-sighted and does not offer a sustainable solution. The prerequisite for real-time controlling is the transfer of ALL items or item lines of an item list of a purchase order and not only, for example, the header data as an aggregated total to SAP, i.e. create 1 piece (LE) production plant, 1 million Euro.
FUTURA® transfers GAEB-compliant purchase orders at the push of a button: Individual service lines are created in the SAP system for each item of an item list. This is the only way to enable transparent invoicing, an automated commitment reduction in the SAP system and to lay the foundation for conclusive purchasing controlling. And all this happens in real time.
By supporting the GAEB standard established on the market, FUTURA bridges the gap between technical and commercial business processes – and automatically ensures a seamless document chain in SAP.
What changes in service procurement when moving to S/4HANA
How workarounds in the sourcing of complex services are finally a thing of the past
What advantages will arise from a consistent orientation towards SAP as the digital core
A practical challenge: “Planning alongside construction”
Investment projects are often planned in AVA systems, awarded in SAP and, in turn, invoiced in AVA. For a comprehensive financial controlling, the settlement values from the AVA must nevertheless also be transferred to SAP. As a result, during construction, the purchase commitments mapped in SAP often deviate from the actual liabilities – therefore, a “planning alongside construction” is common, whereby the change order management is carried out in the AVA and the actual fulfillment of the contract cannot be read in SAP due to the lack of transfer of the change orders. It is only when the budget is suddenly used up and exceeded during the execution of the project that the ordered value is adjusted in SAP (if necessary). From the SAP point of view, this makes any kind of control impossible.
SAP integration for real-time controlling
The planning processes preceding procurement can also be mapped via FUTURA, e.g., preparation of tender documents and cost calculation for larger investment projects. Planning, tendering, awarding and billing via FUTURA with automatic document creation in SAP – i.e., all change orders that are issued for an awarding in FUTURA – automatically trigger a change of the purchase order in the SAP system. Measurements entered by the service provider in self-service for billing on the platform automatically generate the corresponding service entry sheets in SAP once they have been approved. Commitments are thus automatically reduced in SAP in real time, which makes up-to-date budget control possible in the first place.
The challenge of “unplanned services” in maintenance work
Not only the wide 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, for example, follow the consumer’s definition of requirements or are based on a quotation, the scope of the service to be provided is still unclear in the case of unplanned services. As a result, only hourly and material values are used as a basis for invoicing the work performed, and the initiator is unable to determine exactly what work has been performed. The necessary transparency is lacking.
Invoicing and detailed service feedback based on GAEB
FUTURA enables the simple creation, tendering and layout of contracts in the SAP system – in compliance with the GAEB standard as well. The special feature: Suppliers connected via the FUTURA Supplier Portal also have access to their contracts which enables them to create an invoicing list in self-service. In the case of a limit order with contract reference, the service provider can thus report in detail and transparently for the consumer which services have been provided and the initiator retains an overview of the large number of maintenance measures that have been carried out. The contract can also be evaluated in SAP in relation to the ordered services.
Hartmut Schwadtke, Managing Director
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