“We aim to make our project management more efficient.”

Case Study

Sub-contractors are to be assessed in detail within the system in future. This will enable experience from completed projects to be used for managing new projects at any FBU location.
All the company’s projects that started in spring 2011 or later are being fully managed with the new RIB solutions
The FBU consolidated its IT landscape by switching to an integrated system of one single manufacturer - RIB.

Finsterwalder Bau-Union implements integrated IT landscape with RIB software solution

Founded as a regional construction service provider in 1990 by East and West German partners, Finsterwalder Bau-Union (FBU) has gradually widened its radius to cover the whole of Germany and now makes about 30 million euros a year. Based in Sonnewalde in the Elbe-Elster district of Brandenburg, FBU offers a comprehensive portfolio of services ranging from constructional engineering and turnkey construction through the construction of industrial, commercial and logistics facilities to underground and supply line construction. In all its projects, FBU, one of the leading mid-sized construction companies in East Germany, is committed to meeting the most stringent quality requirements, as well as keeping to the schedule and budget agreed with the customer.

Its key to success: wide-ranging expertise of the workforce combined with modern technology. Highly qualified engineers, an extensive fleet of machinery and innovative software all contribute day after day to the attainment of the corporate strategic goals of the Brandenburg company.

Standard IT infrastructure

To achieve cross-location end-to-end project planning and management all over Germany, the company consolidated its IT landscape by switching to an integrated system of one single manufacturer this year. After positive experience with the construction-specific ERP system* from RIB for its commercial activities, FBU decided to implement an RIB solution for the technical side of the business, too. The construction service provider also added a new CRM system** and a document management solution*** to its IT landscape. Everything was supplied by the Stuttgart technology company RIB.

“In the past, we encountered more and more difficulties when transferring data from one system to another,” recalls manager Jens Kilian. Transferring data from the technical software to the ERP system frequently took FBU staff an unnecessarily long time, or special software had to be written before project information could be reliably transferred from one tool to another. Consequently, the current project work had to be interrupted, which in the construction industry costs time and, even more significantly, money. “As we had had excellent experience with the software and service of RIB up to then and the commercial software is extremely popular with our staff, we evaluated RIB's new solution iTWO for the technical side of our projects and started using it for project management in the spring," the manager comments. “The comprehensive solution was rounded off by the CRM and document management system from RIB.”

Company-wide go-live

After an eleven-day induction phase provided by the RIB consulting team, which FBU staff found extremely professional, the entire company was ready to start using the new complete system. All the company’s projects that started in spring 2011 or later are being fully managed with the new RIB solutions. Only projects that were already ongoing are still coupled to the previous IT infrastructure. Once they have been completed, all new projects will be run with the corporate solution of RIB.

The changeover went without a hitch. This was due to the Windows interface of RIB software. “Our staff are used to working with Windows software, so RIB iTWO was relatively easy for them to learn,” Kilian explains. As Microsoft Gold Competence Partner in the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) sector, RIB Software AG is dedicated to providing intuitive software operation with an interface based on Microsoft standards. And this is not the only area where the first benefits have been noticed in Brandenburg. The workload of the site managers has also been reduced by the new document management system. In future, they will be able to do and manage many tasks from their desks. RIB’s CRM Suite makes a fast and direct data flow of addresses, e-mails or quote requests to RIB iTWO amazingly simple.

Transparent cost management

Most of all, however, staff appreciate the clear layout of iTWO. Compared with the previous software tool, they say they find it much easier to use, not only for work estimation but for the entire sub-contractor process, e.g. for purchasing sub-contractor services or compiling price comparisons. And what’s more: iTWO gives them much more of an opportunity to initiate new processes. For instance, sub-contractors are to be assessed in detail within the system in future. This will enable experience from completed projects to be used for managing new projects at any FBU location. “We aim to make our project management more efficient. With iTWO, we quickly find reliable partner companies for every project. And the RIB ERP system offers comprehensive liquidity assessment and planning. This guarantee of quality and cost certainty gives our customers efficient value added, too,” as manager Kilian has noticed. Value added that will be particularly profitable for future large-scale projects worth several millions of euros, as the integrated solution will allow end-to-end transparency of construction site cost management. The company also plans to implement a nationwide warranty management with the RIB CRM system.

Dynamic changeover

The goals the company has set itself for the future are ambitious, as manager Kilian agrees. After all, reorganising a company’s IT infrastructure is always a dynamic process. At present, the company is managing various small and two medium-sized construction projects with RIB’s corporate solution. One of FBU’s ongoing projects is a building for Berlin’s city cleaning services for roughly 300,000 euros. Civil engineering services for a military hospital – also in Berlin – with a contract volume of approx. 600,000 euros are currently in the pre-planning phase.

To ensure that FBU staff can quickly learn all the necessary features of the solution wherever they are located, in-house training is provided by two highly qualified key users. “We don’t notice a lot of the value added until we use the system on an everyday basis,” says Kilian. “We need to communicate all this to our colleagues. Once the benefits have been recognized and the features used all over the company, the value added will start to crystallise. We are therefore perfectly equipped for efficient, economic handling of large-scale projects,” he concludes.

Products with “*”, “**” and “***”: Only available for clients in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Industries>Architecture, Engineering & Construction>Contractors>Finsterwalder Bau-Union

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