Case Study Messe Frankfurt
SAP Integrated External Service Management at the Flick of a Switch
Wiesbaden, Germany, June 2013
The company Messe
Frankfurt handles the ordering and billing of its service assignments by using
the internet platform Futura SRM provided by Futura Solutions GmbH. Thanks to
its SAP integration, the solution of Wiesbaden’s software experts in planning,
purchasing and billing accelerates the external service management and grants
the Messe great relief during the billing process.
By means of a few numbers Jutta Burckhardt illustrates the importance of
service purchasing for Messe Frankfurt.
As the SAP coordinator, Mrs. Burckhardt is working at the interface
between the purchasing department and the IT.
Approximately 40,000 exhibitors from a wide variety of branches are
coming to Frankfurt every year in order to present new products and the latest
innovations in 10 fair halls (355,678 square meters of exhibition space and 96,000
square meters of open terrain). They have to be provided with services like
fair stands and their setup, installation of lighting systems, floor fitting in
the fair halls, spotlights, signposts for the halls, hostesses or security
services, just to mention a few. As a whole, the procurement of services makes
a difference of about 175 millions of Euro every year.
“The flexible handling of orders and the enormous
facilitation of work attributable to the deep integration in SAP were the main
reasons for our decision in favor of Futura SRM”, Jutta Burckhardt, in charge of
the SAP coordination at Messe Frankfurt
Now, one might think that the handling of external service management
could be planned just as easily as the 30 exhibitions organized by the
Frankfurt-based Fair Company in their hometown (100 exhibitions worldwide).
Far from close: “Those are mostly ‘unplanned’ services” states Mrs.
According to her, the reasons for this could be: some exhibitors
suddenly withdraw from their agreement others want a larger fair stand, or more
spotlights than originally planned. If the worst comes to the worst, a fork
lifter will destroy a newly set up side of a fair stand. And all of a sudden, a
new ‘unplanned’ service commission has become due, says Mrs. Burkhardt.
processing of orders
While the Fair Trade procurement department was still using a self-made
software solution, the handling of orders was “complicated and time consuming”
recollects Mrs. Burkhardt.
“Moreover the capacity of the former system was limited”. And an
extension would have been expensive. Therefore, Messe Frankfurt chose a new
solution, namely Futura SRM, the internet platform integrated in SAP provided
by Futura Solutions.
The advantages are overwhelming. To use the platform, purchasing agents
and suppliers need only an internet access and a browser. Users and suppliers,
both appreciate the solution’s easy and clearly arranged user interface.
Over the platform, suppliers communicate and transact their services for
Messe Frankfurt. Thus, you can access orders launched in SAP almost everywhere
– in the office, outdoors, at the trade fair, in short, wherever there’s an
internet access. Online, over the platform, suppliers can enter their activity recordings
or the measurement of already accomplished work for each order. Therefore, they
refer to the items of their framework contract, which specifies the price for
each and every single service item.
Likewise, the contracting authorities in the specialist department
verify and revise the already implemented services and can also have them
Until approval, there can be as many revision loops as necessary.
No invoice verification
The billing too has been highly simplified and accelerated. “Because the
services settled in the framework contract are taken over with fixed prices,
only quantity checks have to be made.” Mrs. Burkhardt points this out as a
This means that the respective specialist department (requisitioner of
the service) now only has to check whether the quantity schedules/measurements
submitted online are correct, for instance the square meters of fitted floor or
the amount of delivered spotlights.
As soon as the activity recordings are enabled, corresponding activity
entry sheets are being automatically created by the SAP system of the Messe.
Thus, the service provider can receive a credit note in a minimum of
Usually, the supplier receives the credit note within 14 days, previously,
they had to wait several weeks for their money from time to time because paper
invoices passed through many stations and departments. “This means enormous
time saving for the purchasing and billing process” highlights Mrs. Burkhardt.
Messe Frankfurt, with a total revenue of 538 Million Euro (preliminary
numbers 2012) and 1,891 employees worldwide, is the biggest German trade fair
company. The company group holds a global network of 28 affiliated companies
and about 50 international distribution partners. Thereby, Messe Frankfurt is
present in about 150 countries through its customers. Events “made by Messe
Frankfurt” are being held at over 30 venues all over the world. In 2012, Messe
Frankfurt organized over 109 trade fairs, half of which were being held abroad.
At present, on its 578,000 square meters ground area, there are 10
exhibition halls and an affiliated conference center. The company belongs to
the public sector, shareholders are the City of Frankfurt holding 60 % and the
federal state Hessen holding 40%.
The expenses of Messe Frankfurt are considerable. Each year, it is awarding
service orders amounting to 175 million Euros for stand building, lighting systems,
carpet floors, spotlights, signposting, security services and the maintenance
of the 10 exhibition halls. Up to now, they used a self-made software solution
for the awarding and clearing processes which was much too complicated and
limited in respect of service.
In 2009, out of three providers, among them SAP, Messe Frankfurt chose
the SRM solution offered by the Wiesbaden-based company Futura Solutions.
Main reasons: the enormous facilitation of work, the quick handling of
services, the intuitive mode of operation, high flexibility and the deep
integration in SAP, especially because Messe Frankfurt is employing various SAP
modules (Release 4.6).
- Mobile handling of
orders, service contractors need only access to the internet
- Online verification
of activity recordings, the verifier needs no SAP license
Automatic creation of
activity entry sheet in SAP
- Correct depletion of commitment
for a better release of resources
Invoice verification can be
credit note procedures
payment earlier (credit note)
revision and billing