Case Study Thüga
Inviting for a tender - faster and at higher quality
Wiesbaden, December 2008
The holding company of the largest network of municipal energy suppliers in
Germany, Thüga AG in Munich, will carry out its whole future
procurement process with the eSourcing solution myFutura from the software
company Futura Solutions GmbH, Wiesbaden, Germany. "We made the decision
in favour of myFutura because of the already current and standardised
integration into the existing SAP system from Thüga", said Ralf Winter, head
and official representative of the Thüga procurement department.
This will finally end the times of what Ralf Winter describes as "manual
implementation in procurement". In the future, Thüga will also show the
benefits of the procurement solution myFutura to its affiliates, true to the
company motto: persuading rather than overruling. Major partner companies such
as Mainova in Frankfurt, badenova AG & Co. KG in Freiburg, ESWE Versorgungs AG in Wiesbaden,
Stadtwerke Hannover AG and N-ERGIE AG in Nuremberg
have already chosen myFutura. Ralf Winter estimates that 30 to 40 Thüga partner companies have such large
purchase volumes of materials and services, that they may consider using the
eSourcing platform myFutura.
In the Thüga Group, the roles between the partner companies and Thüga as the
core of the group are distributed synergetically. The affiliates work actively for
their local and regional markets, while Thüga assumes the networking features
such as the attraction of new partners, giving expert advice as well as the
coordination and presentation of procurement projects for the group. Thüga has the task to fulfill the so-called
mandate shopping for its affiliates by bundling, tendering and awarding
A-materials such as cables, pipes, transformers, electricity meters and gas meters.
In addition, civil engineering and installation services for energy networks are
advertised for many affiliates on a single standard service specification.
The aim of joint
purchasing: scale and synergy effects, to achieve better conditions and to avoid
redundant procurement processes. According to Ralf Winter “the cost of
construction and maintenance of mains power supplies is determined significantly”
by the procurement of A-materials as well as construction and installation
services. Beyond mandate shopping, partner companies have significant
additional procurement volume, e.g. for their own power plants in operation. What
is more, many affiliates provide a purchasing service for other municipal companies,
such as waste disposal or transport companies. The implementation of the procurement
solution myFutura can be useful for inviting tenders for this kind of procurement
In total, Thüga alone invites about 400 tenders
per year, "Europe-wide", emphasises Ralf Winter. Between 20 and 50
suppliers would participate in service calls respectively, in materials an
average of ten companies. In the past they received the tender documents as an
Excel spreadsheet via email, fax or by mail delivery. The disadvantage of this
"manual practise": "We never knew whether the recipient had received
the documents, whether he had taken a look at them and whether he would participate
in the tender", says Ralf Winter. Since the Thüga uses myFutura, the nine
Thüga buyers automatically
receive status reports on the state of things.
Even more problematic, according to Ralf Winter, was the evaluation of the
tenders. To merge around 30 offers with 500 items into one price comparison
list meant considerable manual effort. "Instead of obtaining and preparing
information laboriously by hand, we now invest our time without the potential
for error in a sound evaluation", says Markus Anthofer, as the project
manager responsible for the introduction of the myFutura solution.
One year after introducing myFutura, Thüga already carry out a third of all
calls on the platform. In three years at the latest it should be 100 percent.
The reason: many valid frame contracts with contract periods of two to three
years will only then be due for renewal. On the strength of past experience
Thüga buyers confirm the decision in favour of myFutura. "The entire
bidding process has become much faster, with better quality", says Ralf Winter.
Today the first price comparison list is already available shortly after the
end of the bidding period. And finally, the buyers have "transparency
in the entire tendering process of sending and receiving". Merging the
offers is now more comfortable.
The existing and
standardised integration with SAP was decisive for choosing myFutura: "The
solution of Futura Solutions was the most developed", says Ralf Winter. He
and Markus Anthofer also speak highly of the easy interchange of file formats.
It allows their suppliers to deliver their offers in GAEB (a German
construction file format) or Excel format. What is especially important for
purchasing professionals is that a procurement solution creates a bridge,
rather than a barrier. "We want to offer the bidders, including small
companies, a comfortable bidding process", says Ralf Winter.
For good reasons there is no lack of recommendations for the eSourcing platform
About Thüga AG
In Germany, Thüga AG is affiliated with some 110 companies mainly as a minority
shareholder. More than 100 of them are energy providers, forming the Thüga
Group. It is the largest network of municipal suppliers, amongst others Mainova
in Frankfurt, ESWE Versorgungs AG in Wiesbaden,
the N-ENERGIE AG in Nuremberg
and Stadtwerke Essen AG. Thüga Group supplies 3.9 million customers with gas
and 3.5 million customers with electricity. Its approximately 20,000 employees lastly
generated sales of EUR 15.5 billion.
About Futura Solutions GmbH
Futura Solutions provides companies, who have complex planning, procurement and
maintenance tasks across departmental boundaries, with integrated software
solutions to increase efficiency and control of supplier relationships. Futura´s solutions can
be embedded into existing IT systems such as SAP and are being used by
companies such as Bahn AG, BASF, Bayer, GSW, RWE and Salzgitter Flachstahl AG.