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Case Study beka

New software for transport and utility companies

Wiesbaden, October 2009

Up to now, transport and utility companies have been able to procure all kinds of low priced expandable material on the internet platform beka4business, e.g. office supplies, tools, electronic and car parts. Now the beka ebusiness GmbH, a subsidiary of beka GmbH in Cologne, also has software on offer: the solutions of  Futura Solutions GmbH, Wiesbaden.

Those who enter the courtyard of Bismarckstraße 11-13 in Cologne do not expect to immediately face the entrance of one of the largest platforms for online trading. Because that is an internet platform, which comes up with impressive numbers: 65 supplier companies, including well-known companies - such as Bombardier, Conrad Electronics and Europart - provide more than 12 million different products. They range from books, office supplies, computer accessories, screws and standard parts and vehicle parts to uniforms. "In short, everything but the procurement of trams and buses themselves", says Antonius König, managing director of beka GmbH and beka ebusiness GmbH. The goal: to reduce production costs and process costs in purchasing by bundling requirements.

In order to find the right parts in this vast catalogue of goods more quickly, the platform has improved and speeded up its search engine. It is necessary to find things more quickly because the range of products continues to grow. As soon as further manufacturers make their parts catalogues available on the internet marketplace, the number of items once again increases significantly. But even with such an extensive product range on the marketplace - one product is lacking, indeed it is software. Since the declared purpose of beka is "the purchase and sale of all assets needed for construction, maintenance and operation of transport companies and similar entities", the software of Futura Solutions fits perfectly. "The solutions from Futura Solutions complement our range of products very well", says Alexander Rausch.

"The procurement solution from Futura is well embedded into SAP. Since 90 percent of all transport companies use SAP, this was an important point for us." Holger Petersen, CEO, Beka ebusiness GmbH

Futura fits perfectly into the concept of beka
While beka members use the platform to buy B and C items, Futura AVA and SRM solutions provide for planning, procurement and management of external service commitments. Companies can use the applications to calculate construction and maintenance works easily, ask for prices, call for tenders and record activities effectively, fully integrated in SAP. Beka ebusiness GmbH now offers the software of the Wiesbaden-based specialist for the procurement of services and processing to all of the 700 members organised in the Association of German transport companies (VDV). "We know that some VDV companies are addressing the issue", says Holger Petersen, co-CEO of Beka ebusiness GmbH. It is understandable if you consider what public transport does for the mobility of Germans: "Public transport carries more than 26 million passengers in Germany every day", says Managing Director Antonius König.

In order for the 250,000 employees in 6,000 private and municipal transportation companies to make this work, the transport company maintains offices, workshops, railway and bus stations and depots, which have to be maintained themselves. "These buildings make a wide range of construction and maintenance services necessary", says Holger Petersen. Transport companies want to procure these services the most cost-efficient way and check  the services provided effectively.

They are supported very effectively by the solutions of Futura. For example, companies can communicate online with their suppliers through the supplier connection. Using the Futura AVA, they can send all tender documents on construction and maintenance works directly to all participants, survey their quantities and bill services. Using myFutura they can get quotes, pre-qualify suppliers and purchase services through auctions – online, of course. Using Futura SRM helps to order and gather planned and unplanned services in a sense of coupling craftsmanship in connection with the SAP system. The advantages for beka-members: Saving time by using online communication with their suppliers; the deep-rooted integration into SAP triggers more effective processes by avoiding the double registration of data and allows a high transparency of operations. Finally: No media conversion through the cooperation of technical and commercial areas. Antonius König concludes: "This is a clean and fully electronic process."

Continuous process
beka can fully recommend the solution package of the Wiesbaden-based specialists to its customers - even if they themselves are not using Futura. From Holger Petersen’s point of view, these comprehensive solutions not only" cover a wide range in the company", but also have the advantage of being deeply integrated into SAP. Holger Petersen: "Since 90 percent of all transport companies use SAP, this was an important consideration for us."

There also was a convincing recommendation. A major shareholder of beka, the Rheinbahn AG in Düsseldorf confirms, that the solution lives up to the promises of the Wiesbaden-based software company. The transport company has been using Futura for some time.  Before they made their decision in favor of the solution package of Futura Solutions, they had looked at competing products very carefully. It is, therefore, understandable, that such a major say counts around beka. "If Rheinbahn is in favour of the solution", says Antonius König, "Futura Solutions naturally is the right partner for us."

About Beka ebusiness GmbH
Founded as a "railway procurement association" ("
Bahneinkaufs-Gesellschaft", beka) beka has at present 86 public transport companies as shareholders. Mission: purchase and sale of assets for construction, maintenance and operation of transport companies and similar enterprises. The same goal is pursued by the electronic marketplace beka4business, which the Beka ebusiness GmbH operates since April 2003.

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.