Well On Their Way
The BVG Gets Berlin Moving
Berlin Transport Services (BVG) hits the road with
EASY contract management for SAP.
Tourists exploring Germany’s capital by bus, tram, and subway, professionals who prefer to read the newspaper on their way to work instead of listening to traffic jam reports, night owls who need to get home late: they all rely on the Berlin Transport Services (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe = BVG). Since 1929, the municipal service provider has been ensuring all its guests reach their destinations at the right time. Doing so requires perspective and flexibility – not just in handling traffic, but in corporate organization as well. An integrated solution based on nextPCM opened the path to more efficient contract management at BVG.
Elaborate Route Network – If you’d like to take a 2,200 kilometre journey, you don’t have to travel from Berlin to Sevilla. Perhaps you’d prefer to not even leave the capital – if not, you can also cover this distance on the BVG: the municipal service provider, with 183 bus, streetcar, and subway lines, offers around 2,200 kilometres of routes. The roughly 3,000 trains and buses in Berlin travel an equivalent of almost 16 trips around the planet every day. With 13,600 employees, 400,000 subscribers, and more than a billion guests a year, the BVG is the largest municipal traffic operation in Europe.
It’s a good thing, too: Berlin is growing by leaps and bounds. Accordingly, the capital city depends on having highly capable local transportation options. Due to this need, the public agency is continuously modernizing its vehicle fleets and train stations, building new lines and tunnels, and consistently searching for potential areas of optimization.
Without the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the national capital would quickly come to a standstill as far as public transportation is concerned. Annually, almost a billion people hop on one of the roughly 3,000 Berlin buses, streetcars, and subway trains. They reach their destinations around the clock on 151 bus routes, 22 streetcar, and ten subway lines. They even get there on time – when it comes to punctuality, the BVG has recently been performing even better than required. The institution is also doing well financially: since 2014, Europe’s largest municipal transportation organization has been in the black.
As part of its work on optimization, the BVG put company-wide contract management under the microscope. Their goal was to manage contracts above a certain volume or with strategic importance more efficiently. This area may be concealing major efficiency reserves. At the BVG, more than 3,800 agreements meet these defined criteria, and 500 new ones are added annually. The vast majority of contracts are controlled in a decentralized manner through professional divisions. “Earlier, if someone wanted to view contract details from another division, they always needed to request a physical copy of the file in question. This was enormously time consuming and complex,” Jacqueline Rada from the BVG Legal and Compliance staffing division remembers. Legally conforming contract design, and reliably adhering to deadlines and terms, was also anything but simple. Resubmissions and written correspondence was not centrally managed, and therefore often wasn’t accessible right away. Because of this, there was great interest in digital contract management. “We wanted to create more transparency, take advantage of efficiency reserves, and accelerate processes,” project manager Daniel Kühnle from the BVG Business Development staffing division explains.
Using the integrated contract management solution nextPCM Contract Management from EASY SOFTWARE AG, the BVG has come much closer to meeting these goals. It links existing contract data from the transportation organization’s ERP system to additional documents and correspondence, and seamlessly integrates into the existing SAP landscape. “The deep integration into our SAP ERP system and the SAP certification of the solution were important factors in our decision when we awarded the contract,” emphasizes BVG attorney Jacqueline Rada, who worked on the introduction from the beginning. The functionality, user-friendly nature, and, last but not least, the good price / performance ratio of the solution also impressed the BVG.
After the starting shot for digital contract management was fired in 2013, a six-person BVG project team got to work right away. There was quite a bit to do, after all: they needed to map a total of 20 different contract types, implement checklists and testing routines, and establish text building blocks and workflows. Advisors from EASY SOFTWARE AG helped actively. “Above all in programming the interface to SAP real estate management and in formulating and demarcating the large number of text building blocks, the EASY experts really created a masterpiece,” Rada said, praising the high level of commitment from the implementation partners.
Today, a large number of different contracts are available to the different BVG professional divisions at the touch of a button. Contract history and associated documents are also transparent, as is contact data for responsible contact persons.
“We can clarify questions on conditions or empirical values in a flash,” praises project manager Daniel Kühnle. Administrators can insert e-mails and documents directly into digital files via drag & drop, or effortlessly link additional information on orders or specially financed contracts with the appropriate SAP data.
“The integrated contract management provides all relevant information in a clear and easy to understand way. No one has to wade through the depths of the SAP system anymore,” Jacqueline Rada is pleased to report. A polished reporting concept also ensures that employees are only allowed to view or edit the content relevant for their work.
*BVG in numbers (2017)
“We can clarify questions on conditions or empirical values in a flash.”