Case Study GSW

Tenders at the push of a button

Wiesbaden, April 2009

500 suppliers, 200 tenders a year: since GSW Immobilien GmbH employs myFutura and Futura AVA, the tendering process "almost works at the push of a button", says GSW project manager Peter Engel. Another bonus: Because Futura´s solutions are well integrated into SAP, the request and quotation process can be mapped automatically into the SAP system.

GSW project manager Peter Engel recalls the times when "the procurement department tore their hair." It was the analogue era, paper and CDs served as the main means of storage and communication for GSW and its suppliers. They received the tenders by mail with the specification of the required works saved to a CD. A huge effort. Between ten and twelve suppliers participated in each tender – this summed up to a lot of discs with 200 tenders per year with large and small budgets and worth between 20,000 and 5 million Euros. In the words of Peter Engel: "The CD burner quickly overheated." To make things worse, many suppliers could not work right away with the usual GAEB data format. To overcome these difficulties, it took up to half-hour phone calls. The end of the CD-shipment and the transition to e-mail communication brought new problems: the GSW purchasing department first had to bypass its own firewall and then to outwit that of the suppliers. The reason: mails with attachments of several megabytes were not allowed to pass. Peter Engel: "There were simply a lot of obstacles in the process of tendering."

"Futura´s solutions have finally solved our most urgent problem in a convincing manner - the complicated and time-consuming process of procurement." Peter Engel, procurement and engineering, GSW Immobilien GmbH, Berlin

Since the beginning of 2008, this is over. Today the eight GSW buyers do not even need their phone: If a supplier does not respond, he is reminded by e-mail to submit his offer - automatically. Peter Engel illustrates how much this reduces the workload for GSW procurement with the example of the size of the real estate company. The Berlin housing company manages more than 70,000 apartments in the German capital, including 53,000 of their own. GSW annually spends an amount of several million Euros for the modernisation of buildings, for example new windows and heating, insulated walls and roofs. Another great item is what Peter Engels describes as "reactive maintenance": Small, unplanned repairs such as clogged drains, jammed doors, broken lights – GSW has 90,000 of such repair orders a year. Additionally there are the investments for the renovation of apartments that come with a change of tenant. In this case, carpet and wallpaper need to be renewed or the walls to be painted. In total, GSW tenders construction works with an amount of more than EUR 60 million a year.

Why has GSW chosen the solutions of Futura Solutions GmbH of Wiesbaden? There were twelve competitors in the race. Project manager Peter Engel says that in the first place, it was the "supplier integration", by which the housing company now communicates online. "Since then, the communication between us and our suppliers is a breeze." GSW sends all tender documents directly with Futura AVA to the parties. Online, of course.

The second important reason for him is the interconnectedness. Since the latest update, the planning and the purchasing department work on the same Futura user interface. Before each tender a specification needs to be generated. At GSW the 14 architects and engineers do this in the planning department - already within Futura AVA. After that, the purchasing department can access the specification and start with the online tenders inside the same solution.

Of special importance for GSW is the SAP integration. In 1999 the housing company has introduced SAP. Meanwhile, SAP ERP version 6.0 is being used there with the solution for real estate. Thanks to the integration with SAP, the purchasing department can create a purchase requisition in SAP and process it in Futura AVA. Conversely, all requests launched in the AVA are available in the SAP system with relevant tender documents and the bids received. Both may be analysed and evaluated. "This is very important for our reporting and auditing", says Peter Engel.

Up until now, GSW uses Futura for the tendering of construction works. It is not supposed to stay this way. The project manager´s target is to handle all future framework agreements with Futura.

The facts

The company
GSW Immobilien GmbH develops, manages and rents out one of the largest housing stocks in Berlin. They maintain 75,000 apartments in almost all districts of the capital. GSW has about 300 employees.

The task
GSW handles about 200 tenders a year, about 100 with large budgets of up to EUR 5 million and 100 with smaller budgets up to the amount of EUR 20,000. These processes were full of obstacles in the past because the tender documents could not be sent to the suppliers online. Besides, GSW was also looking for a solution like Futura that could be seamless and well embedded into the SAP system.

The solution
GSW employs Futura AVA and myFutura since the beginning of 2008. Since that time, the suppliers can access all tender documents online. The SAP integration also speeds things up: The request and offer process is automatically mapped into SAP.

The benefit

  • Simple communication with suppliers
  • A faster tendering process
  • Specifications can be created more easily
  • The solution has all the necessary features, but is not overloaded
  • Good usability of the Futura user interface
  • Modular design allows incorporation of other solutions, if needed
  • Deep integration with SAP: Entire document lifetime is automatically created in SAP
  • Audit proof