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.

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Project information

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.

0 Employees
0 Total sales in Euro (million)
0 Overall result in Euro (million)
*BVG in numbers (2017)
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“We can clarify questions on condi­tions or empirical values in a flash.”

Project manager Daniel Kühnle (L), here with Jacqueline Rada.

Thanks to automated reminders, deadlines and terms can also be ob­served in a reliable fashion. “It all adds up. It means the responsible proces­sor always has upcoming terminati­on deadlines, options, and discounts right there on the screen, since they get e-mails to inform them of these,” Jaqueline Rada says. Checklists lead employees through the process of con­tract creation step by step, informing them when approvals and documents are required. A selection menu allows them to effortlessly insert pre-defined text building blocks. This provides a foundation for greater legal security. “This helps avoid potential errors in transferring text or due to unclear for­mulations,” Jacqueline Rada says.

This speeds up contract conclusions and amendments enormously, for in­stance in real estate management. “Above all, managing the more than 150 store locations in our train stations and on the streets of Berlin is an extremely dynamic process,” as project manager Daniel Kühnle knows. After all, this project requires the efficient manage­ment of around 2,000 rental contracts plus invoicing for utility costs.

Thanks to EASY nextPCM, the Berliners can save themselves the headache. Digital con­tract management is interwoven with the SAP real estate solution (SAP Real Estate Management) through an inter­face. If master data or contract details change in the SAP system, the integra­ted solution completes the adjustment immediately, making it possible to in­itiate any other necessary steps. This smooths the path for more efficient processes. For example, the solution automatically reviews conditions and utilization concepts at the end of a con­tract, and initiates renovation and re­construction measures as needed.
Overall, integrated contract manage­ment is today creating clarity, trans­parency, and smooth collaboration across division boundaries at Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. “Thanks to EASY nextPCM, we’re able to share available information in the blink of an eye,” says Rada. This is a major advantage – as we all know, two heads are always better than one.

Standort easy Berlin

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