Perfectly integrated

Case Study

For mobile communication in Germany, Europoles GmbH & Co. KG implements new mast solutions all over Germany.
As the leader of the European market for standard and special solutions for masts, columns, towers and carrier systems, Europoles has been using iTWO since 2010.
The company has made particular savings in invoicing due to the end-to-end integration with SAP, offered by RIB iTWO as an SAP-Endorsed Business Solution.

RIB construction management software system accelerates overall process

Time is money in the construction industry. This is why Europoles, Europe’s market leader for mast solutions, decided to implement an integrated IT landscape for the technical and commercial sides of the construction process.

Located in Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate, Europoles GmbH & Co. KG already started implementing software to improve the efficiency of their construction project management last year. After comparing the offers of various manufacturers, the company chose the iTWO project management solution of the Stuttgart technology company RIB. This software enables construction projects to be managed either in the traditional alphanumeric way or with the support of state-of-the-art 5D functionalities. The company is gradually increasing the number of its iTWO workstations. Christian Wallner is responsible for the company-wide introduction and integration of iTWO Business Suite at the subsidiary of VTC Industrieholding GmbH. The software implemented at Europoles is to ensure a consistently optimal cost-benefit ratio for the company’s customers around the globe.

As the leader of the European market for standard and special solutions for masts, columns, towers and carrier systems, the Neumarkt company strives for international growth. Today, Europoles runs seven factories in Germany and other countries, plus five other branch offices of its own and 16 sales partnerships. With 130 years of experience in the mast business, the company, which operates in the construction, transport and energy industry, is now focusing on greater internationalisation of its infrastructure sector in particular.

End-to-end processing

For mobile communication in Germany, Europoles GmbH & Co. KG implements new mast solutions all over Germany. 100-150 new projects are currently being realised in Bavaria alone. Besides controlling cost estimation tasks of all German construction projects, Christian Wallner is also responsible for supervising the ongoing induction process of the new iTWO construction management software of RIB, which replaces various insular solutions for technical and commercial tasks of the construction process that were used in the company before. Another of his jobs is to evaluate integration potential of the software system with the already existing IT infrastructure at Europoles, such as the SAP system used in the entire company.

“In the past, the technical construction process in our company was mainly managed with spreadsheet systems,” the cost estimation expert reports. “As tendering and invoicing were extremely complicated with the rather simple software tools we were using, we specifically looked for an integrated IT system that could enable us to accelerate processes substantially.” Wallner was already familiar with RIB technical construction process management systems implemented in other areas of the company. The company also uses RIB’s bidding client for public sector tenders. “In view of our excellent previous experience with this software, we subjected RIB’s iTWO Business Suite to closer scrutiny in the evaluation phase for a new solution. The possibility of ultra-convenient transfer of earlier project data from our spreadsheet systems via GAEB* interface and the excellent compatibility with the RIB bidding client soon convinced us of the solution’s benefits," he sums up.

Faster submission of tenders

Thanks to iTWO, Christian Wallner and his team have meanwhile accelerated the tender submission process by 40%. This is partly due to the intelligent integration with the RIB bidding client, as changes in the works specifications such as added items are now easy to transfer to the cost estimate. Christian Wallner: “We used to have to re-calculate all the items in a time-consuming process, but thanks to iTWO’s comparison of specifications we now only have to re-calculate the items that have been added. All the other work steps are no longer necessary.”

Further advantages are provided by the article masters in iTWO. The company now benefits from all the information that was entered in earlier construction projects. Europoles has been using iTWO since 2010. Meanwhile, a considerable proportion of masts are included in the catalog that Christian Wallner and his colleagues can refer to at any time. “That means we only have to adapt a few details in the cost estimation process to calculate the mast solutions that exactly fit customers’ specifications,” explains Wallner.

SAP integration: 1,000 hours’ work saved

The company has made particular savings in invoicing. Public sector contracts frequently involve detailed work. Public construction authorities, for example, often demand that invoices include long text. For this purpose, Europoles’ staff were instructed to enter all the items of a works specification list into the company’s SAP system by hand. As these documents are often large, this can take hours. Now, all contracts are directly connected in iTWO and SAP, and data can be exchanged by a simple mouse click. “This way, we save roughly 1,000 hours of work a year,” enthuses Wallner.

The end-to-end integration with SAP, offered by RIB iTWO as an SAP-Endorsed Business Solution, was obviously another main reason for the decision to use the RIB solution, as Europoles plan even closer linking of the technical and commercial processes in future construction projects. Besides the benefits of integrated invoicing, the transfer of addresses from SAP to iTWO is already offering the company advantages. The company also aims to fully integrate Contract management, Purchasing and Controlling into the system.

With 5D into the future?

As a leading company in the industrial engineering sector, Europoles is also using a 3D model-based work method for planning more and more of its projects. To additionally transfer this BIM process to construction execution and management tasks with iTWO-5D could be an interesting option for the future. This would naturally also benefit the export business of the Neumarkt company, as in various countries such as Singapore, the USA or the UK, BIM work methods are already being sponsored by the Government. For Christian Wallner, at any rate, an exciting possibility with potential.

*GAEB stands for Gemeinsamer Ausschuss Elektronik im Bauwesen (Joint Committee for Electronics in Construction) 

Industries>Architecture, Engineering & Construction>Contractors>Europoles GmbH & Co. KG

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