Historic growth in the
company requires intelligent it
Since December, the department of the company responsible for the new construction and renovation of transformer stations has been working productively with the project and cost-management iTWO by RIB. Around 30 people in this business unit use the project control system for technical tasks and processes in the field of planning and construction. The idea of introducing a thoroughgoing IT system for the technical side of our projects which also interacts with our enterprise processes on the commercial level was already thought up two years ago,” reports Krzysztof Kaczmarek, the manager responsible for project management and sub-project management in the new-build and renovation projects. The reason: Through the historic growth of the company, in all business areas of Stromnetz Berlin GmbH very special processes with their own unique needs have been established. “For these purposes, an IT solution was required that represented our processes in the best possible way and would ensure continuous transparency in cost estimation,” Kaczmarek adds. A project leader and key user in the introduction of the RIB software iTWO, he supports colleagues’ training in the use of the new IT system, which by now has been accepted in the entire area of the firm.
From 2010 to 2014, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH was responsible for the new-build 110/10 kV transformer station in the Landjägerstraße.
Stromnetz Berlin GmbH
Costs continuously documented
Before, there was no unified software for all technical tasks and processes in the company. Table calculation systems were widespread, and every project and sub-project manager kept their own. With a new, integrated solution, the company is aiming to document costs continuously and above all to profit from using the experience gained in all projects in new tasks.
Alongside RIB ITWO, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH also analyzed other technical project and cost management systems. As the RIB software is very easy to adjust to the company-specific process and also offers a cost database with a particularly high scope of performance, they decided to implement the RIB system. A further plus: Alongside the comprehensive deployment of the RIB solution in cost estimation, EU tendering and project completion, further functions of the software will be of interest for future process adjustments and extensions within the company.
Already in the pilot phase, 2014, they started making template projects in the RIB program. These include technical bills of quantities with service items which the company issues to bidding companies in this form in the course of EU tendering processes. The templates offer the advantage that a new project can be created in the system without much effort, as they form the foundation for such actions. They contain average values for various price levels. In the course of the productive use of the RIB software, the values gained from experience by all project managers are entered successively in the cost database. As time goes on, projects can be better and better compared with each other and all participants can profit from the wealth of experience of project and sub-project managers. “Much communication about cost estimations that used to be carried out by email or telephone can now be omitted, as the information is available to all in transparent format in one system,” Krzysztof Kaczmarek explains.
It was a great concern for the company to be able to interlink the technical, project-related aspects with the commercial level throughout the project using the new RIB solution and to take account of them in project completion. Stromnetz Berlin GmbH works with SAP. In contrast to the technical RIB program, the project data here are shown on a different, “commercial level”. The technical information about individual operating resource groups is highly limited in the SAP system. While the RIB software lists all service items individually that are issued to the bidding companies, in the commercial program SAP there is only aggregated information about the individual operating resource groups. iTWO also contains information about the scope of services and cost changes because of supplementary additions. A specific conversion key helps to transfer all costs booked in SAP on the commercial level, including supplementary additions and alterations, into the technical software iTWO, in such a way that the costs are still – with slight shifts – converted to the technical items and can then be entered as such in the cost database of RIB iTWO. Kaczmarek: “The shifts are so small that we can still create very good forecasts for new projects on this basis.”
In all project phases, the interlinking of RIB iTWO and SAP ERP thus offers very good possibilities for evaluation. Which costs have been estimated, what has been calculated after the award to external firms? And: What will the actual costs be at the end? All information can be consulted now by all project and sub-project managers for new projects.
Cost database grows and learns
With every new project, the cost database can be supplemented based on software integration with new, more exact cost information from real project, something that further optimizes new estimates.
“Naturally, the iTWO solution offers many more possibilities for all areas of responsibility in tendering and award phases, ones which we are not yet making use of,” Kaczmarek states. “For example, we imagine that future bidder prices can be included fully in the calculation and the development of amendments documented within the RIB software. At the present time, with the aid of RIB-SAP integration, we can achieve high transparency within the projects, something that offers us many advantages. As the program offers an extensive scope of services, we are introducing further features step by step. The fact that, right now, with the interlocking of our projects on a technical and commercial level, we can secure actual experienced values from all project leaders, is an advantage for everyone involved in the projects of our Business Unit,” he concludes.
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