Continuous Controlling of Construction Projects Enhances Budget Stability
Wiesbaden, January 2014
The Wiesbaden-based software company Futura Solutions is
getting down to business with a continuous controlling program for construction
projects / Futura AVA bridges the gap between purchasing and planning with a
deep integration into SAP systems.
Stuttgart21, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Berlin-Brandenburg
Airport – everywhere the costs of construction projects are running off course.
It doesn’t have to be that way: Offering an integrated controlling of
construction projects, Futura AVA helps consumers and designers to keep a tight
hold of their costs. The highlight of the process: An intense
interconnectedness of controlling and SAP.
Clients are attaching great importance to controlling now
more than ever. And they did so well before too much went wrong with
spectacular construction projects in which the actual costs differed significantly
from the scheduled costs. The Wiesbaden-based software developers address this
issue with their market-leading, SAP-integrated AVA-solution: Their solution
bridges the gap between the designing and the purchasing agent; thanks to its
deep integration into SAP. It also ensures a continuous process, verifiable by every
participant department at any time.
Thus, for construction departments, controlling has
become an established fact instead of an unfulfilled requirement.
Even to this very day, in many cases the process of construction
planning and execution works as follows:
- rudimentary cost estimation, thus incomplete
- undocumented changes in planning without a preview
of the monetary consequences
- lacking continuous cost estimation and no constant calculation
of profitability or the overall return of the investment
- incomplete supplementary claim management
- lacking controlling of all costs in construction
Often a continuous, transparent controlling can be
challenging when different systems are involved (MS Excel, AVA-programs, SAP,
etc.) and many media breaks occur. Furthermore, in many cases controlling
provides only a retrospective view on what already happened (coping with the
past). An effective control of the costs is seldom possible.
The consumer defines a project. The budget for the
project must be determined and approved. The calculation is usually done with
MS Excel. In the specialist departments the designers in charge, possibly with
the involvement of external technical planners, create the complex lists of
prices and services by using conventional AVA programs. Each list-item must describe the design at length. The negotiations
with the tenderers are based on the proposals made for the published specifications.
The first changes in planning occur already during the tendering
procedure. The purchasing department intends to negotiate the changes during
meetings. From this moment on the proposals made by each tenderer are no longer
comparable. Due to the first changes in planning the contractual basis becomes
“particular”. Even though minutes of the negotiations are written, the list of
prices and services is seldom adjusted. Thus originates the first difference
between planning and the current status which leads to the first gap in
For the sake of simplicity the package of services is generalized, and a
payment schedule for the execution and billing is created. So far so good, but
not well done: Once transparency is abandoned, the further execution and
controlling can take a disastrous turn.
The disadvantages of this procedure are self-evident: A
continuous documentation is lacking, transparency gets lost and – above all – the
procedure runs past the SAP system. Orders are fixed in AVA and simultaneously
they are registered in SAP. For this end the purchasing department gathers only
the cumulated order data in order to spare the effort to record every single
item of the order.
Things get critical when changes have to be made which
happens regularly in construction projects for many reasons. In the procedure
mentioned above there is no supplementary claim management, therefore
controlling is lacking transparency. For the sake of simplicity illustrated
above, they employ unlimited over fulfillment which thwarts controlling and
project management especially. Apart from that, neither AVA nor SAP can depict all
costs transparently and continuously. Thus a halfway precise cashflow management planning
is nearly impossible.
There is a better way.
Thanks to its AVA process
integrated in SAP, Futura renders complete controlling possible. That way
budget and estimated values can be exchanged between different systems and
actual costs can be adjusted. The open items set up in SAP are constantly
updated in the process making an integrated cashflow management possible in the
first place. Supplementary claim management too ceases to cause problems.
Supplementary claims are transmitted to SAP at the push of a button and induce
an automatic change of order. A manual correction is dispensed with.
In other words: Futura AVA not only spares all construction project
participants an enormous amount of time – its SAP-integration makes the whole
construction planning and handling process more transparent and facilitates
thereby a continuous and secure construction project controlling.
Advantages of Futura AVA
- Cost calculation, economic efficiency calculation and calculation of overall
return of an investment.
- Exchange of project structures, estimated values and budget values
respectively with SAP.
- Solicitation of offers at the push of a button online over Futuras supplier
- Depicting the process of change, supplementary claim
- Users, purchasing agents, examiners and site
managers respectively can supervise every single step of the SAP-integrated
process in Futura AVA exclusively. This facilitates the handling. There are
status feedbacks for monitoring purposes.
- By embracing the workspaces of the businessman (SAP
system) and the construction managers (AVA system) the process integration
dispenses with double entries of data and prevents input errors.
- Activity recordings are to be made by the
contractor. Manual input of data or manual imports in SAP and AVA are not
necessary. That makes the work much easier and contributes to more safety.
- The examination process of a work performed takes
place online in communication with the contractor. The expenditure of time for
examination is considerably reduced.
- The billing of services is thereby very much
simplified, auditing can be dispensed with.
- Its integrated depiction of all costs makes continuous
cashflow management and secured controlling of construction projects possible
in the first place.
About Futura Solutions
The Wiesbaden-based company has been developing continuous,
cross-departmental software solutions and is running applications for the
planning, procurement and billing of construction works and other services
since 1997. Futura Solutions software-development focuses on innovative
means of improvement regarding the cooperation of procurement and engineering, the
junction of suppliers and service providers, and the integration of procurement
and billing processes into the SAP system of the clients.
20 percent of the companies listed in DAX30, the most
important German stock index, are ranking among the clients of Futura
Solutions, in addition many medium-sized enterprises. Over 50.000 people
world-wide are using Futura solutions. By now it is available in 7 languages,
among them is also Chinese.