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05/10/2015
Success Story

Minimising liability risks – quality management and assessment solution launched at ProPotsdam GmbH

Since June 2015, approximately 30 iPad users have been keeping a watchful eye on the building portfolio at ProPotsdam GmbH. As part of the building inspection procedure, employees use the easysquare mobile app to help them check the real estate objects and the associated infrastructures for potential damage or hazards. These inspection tasks are extremely important. Neglecting these quality assessment obligations, as they are known, can result in serious liability risks for the owner.
IT&I Magazin Nr. 21 - "Haftungsrisiken minimieren – Die Einführung einer Qualitätsmanagement- und Verkehrssicherungslösung bei der ProPotsdam GmbH"

It is not only important to ensure that the quality assessment inspections are carried out on a regular basis; documentation and archiving are also crucial. After all, if damage or injury occurs in connection with the property, the owner must be able to prove that suitable safety precautions were in place at the real estate object. Such inspections are not a major challenge for companies with small portfolios. However, as the size of the company increases and the real estate portfolio grows, the numbers of objects to be inspected, inspection tasks to be performed and inspectors involved also multiplies. In some instances, external companies perform various quality assessment tasks, although the monitoring and management obligations always remain with the owner. The quality assessment obligation is thus an increasingly complex task. This was a challenge also faced by ProPotsdam GmbH. “With a portfolio of almost 17,000 apartments, it was time for a rethink. We needed to find new methods that would make it easier to organise and map the inspection obligations and facilitate implementation and archiving. With this in mind, we developed a future-oriented solution together with our long-term business partner PROMOS,” explains Monika Gräf, head of information and communications at ProPotsdam GmbH.


ProPotsdam GmbH is the largest housing company in Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg, and the leading service provider for urban renovation, urban development, residential construction and housing assistance. A total of 11 subsidiaries are housed under the ProPotsdam GmbH umbrella. The company contributes to sustainable and future-oriented development in the construction and housing sector with innovative concepts and socially responsible conduct. In close collaboration and agreement with PROMOS, the project managers at ProPotsdam GmbH created a new concept for holistic fulfilment of quality assessment obligations. The requirements for the new system focused not only on minimising costs and workloads in general while increasing transparency, but above all on end-to-end digital processing of the process, including involvement of all internal and external parties and complete SAP® integration. Another key focus was automatic and audit-proof archiving of inspection reports, as this is the only way to counteract any potential liability claims in the event of damage. These arguments served as the foundation for the solution throughout the entire duration of the project, and the result succeeding in meeting the high internal expectations. The three-pillar quality management and assessment solution based on easysquare is the right tool for any group of users to perform their respective tasks:


  1. The SAP® system is a central hub and archiving location for ProPotsdam
  2. The easysquare platform is a management tool for external service providers
  3. The easysquare mobile app is used to carry out pending inspection tasks on site using a mobile device
ITI21_Artikel01_Abb_1_lang_en.jpg
Figure 1: Data is exchanged using the easysquare web portal with the aid of a ready-to-use plug-in for connection to the owner’s SAP® system.

“Ultimately, the key to success was a combination of mobile terminal devices and complete integration of SAP®. This is the only way to map existing quality assessment obligations holistically across the entire process,” says Torsten Friedel, project manager and COO at PROMOS.


Process organisation with SAP® and the easysquare web portal


Today, employees at ProPotsdam literally make short work of organising their quality assessment obligations. In just a few clicks, processors can assign existing inspection obligations to individual buildings and their respective operators from within their SAP® systems. Examples include a visual inspection of a building or check of a gutter, which a certain operating company needs to perform on building XY. The idea behind the process: Why not select and assign the inspection obligations in the same place that the master data for the objects is stored? This saves time and also reduces susceptibility to errors by avoiding media discontinuities. A particular advantage is also that the inspection cycle for the individual inspection obligations is already stored, so the employee in question does not have to make any more adjustments.

Informationstechnologie und Immobilien (IT&I) Ausgabe Nr. 28 / Oktober 2019

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ProPotsdam GmbH’s work is now done for the time being. The company can rely entirely on the relevant processors to complete their inspection tasks. There is no need to send specific work instructions by email or to phone the processors. The easysquare quality management and assessment solution takes care of this. The planned inspection tasks are automatically transferred together with the precise inspection instructions to the easysquare web portal, and the processors concerned can then access them using their individual access data. Now all the processors need to do before the individual inspection tasks can be performed is to assign their employees to them. To do this, they select the inspection task or assign it to the employee stored in the portal as a one-off task. If the employee in question is on holiday or ill during the inspection period, the task does not have to be postponed. Instead, it is automatically assigned to an alternative employee based on the configured rules. To ensure that the process is seamless, the inspection task is sent as a digital form to the easysquare mobile app and thus to the inspector’s iPad. In addition to the general organisation of the processes, various reports (e.g. deviation and capacity utilisation analyses) can be viewed by owners in their SAP® system as well as by operators via the easysquare web portal. This allows inspection obligations and tasks to be monitored to ensure that they are on schedule and complete.
Das easysquare Webportal für die Verkehrssicherungspflichten
Figure 2: The easysquare web portal provides holistic management for operators thanks to transparency as well as planning, controlling and monitoring functions for quality assessment obligations.
Easysquare mobile in action via a mobile device on site


So how does the on-site quality assessment actually work? Digitally, of course! Imagine that the quality assessment inspectors receive the inspections perform on their iPad from the MRP planner or the portfolio assignment. Just like in an e-mail program, the inspectors can now see in the mailbox all the inspection tasks that are to be completed. The easysquare mobile app also provides information as to where, how and within which timeframe these tasks have to be performed. Using the integrated map function, our inspectors can plan the day’s journey with ease and find their way to the first property. They stand in front of the building, perform an initial visual inspection of the property in accordance with the task, check that everything is okay and then make a note of this by simply tapping checkboxes in the easysquare mobile app form. The next task might be to check the gutter. They then inspect this carefully based on the work order shown on the mobile device. If there is a defect or the gutter is blocked, they can take a photo of the fault using the app and add a description text, for example. At this point, they set the inspection result to “Not okay”. The fault registration subsequently results in automatic generation of a report in ProPotsdam GmbH’s SAP® system. The inspector is now finished with the assigned inspection tasks. The digital form with the inspection results is once again sent directly to the easysquare web portal, where it is saved as a PDF inspection report.

Digitales Formular zur Erfassung weiterer Prüfergebnisse der Verkehrssicherungspflichten in der easysquare mobile App
Figure 3: Further inspection results (e.g. report or resubmission) are entered in the detailed view for the inspection tasks.

Last stop: Checking and archiving  


Immediately after a digital form is sent, employees of ProPotsdam GmbH can access the inspection report in the SAP® system. All inspection results, photos and the inspector’s signature are contained in the document automatically and can be viewed. The employees thus have the opportunity to check the quality assessments that have been performed. “Results do not have to be manually transferred to the SAP® system, which saves our employees a lot of time and effort. At the same time, the inspection reports are automatically archived in an audit-proof manner, allowing us to develop the documentation of our quality assessment performance in line with the law,” emphasises Robert Bolduan, head of the Technical Facility Management department at ProPotsdam subsidiary GEWOBA. However, if the worst comes to the worst in the event of damage, the inspection reports are not the only thing available to ProPotsdam GmbH as evidence that the company has met its obligations. An additional instruction and evidence document can also be generated in the SAP® system. This documents that the inspection task was assigned and fulfilled based on the inspection results.

Anweisende und Nachweisende Dokumente im PDF-Format aus der easysquare mobile App für die Verkehrssicherung
Figure 4: In addition to the inspection report, the instruction and evidence document is available to the operator in relation to audit acceptability.

Conclusion: A sound solution  


The easysquare quality management and assessment solution at ProPotsdam GmbH is designed to map the entire quality assessment process seamlessly, from instructions to audit-proof documentation. The avoidance of gaps in the process and the high degree of interaction not only save effort and time, but above all ensure precise documentation of the quality assessment inspection performed. In their search for a new, straightforward solution, ProPotsdam GmbH found a holistic and reliable solution in the quality management and assessment solution. In the future, alongside the building inspection, further processes (such as caretaker services) are to go live in stages. The solution is also scalable in the event of further growth – whether it be enhancement to include additional quality assessment processes, new operators or further real estate objects. With the quality management and assessment solution based on easysquare, ProPotsdam GmbH is equipped for the future.

redaktion@openpromos.de

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