A network of project developers – what makes working with PROMOS.GT so extraordinary for moderne stadt
moderne stadt – a very special company
moderne stadt is the urban development company from Stadtwerke Köln GmbH and the city of Cologne. The company has been implementing important urban development projects in Cologne for 50 years, including the prominent Rheinauhafen that shapes the cityscape, the Clouth district – winner of a real-estate award – the new Portz town centre and the future Cologne-Deutz Harbour. In these districts, the company also invests in the development of sustainable residential and business properties. When it comes to its corporate processes, moderne stadt is shaped through its interactions with various other players in the scope of the Stadtwerke Köln GmbH group of companies. What role do both project development tasks and operating within the framework of the network play when using PROMOS.GT and why has moderne stadt benefited greatly from the conversion? Let’s take a look behind the scenes!
SAP® introduction – bravely saying “yes” to the future
If support for the ERP system that had been is use to date is coming to an end, the conclusion is as simple as it is necessary: an alternative is required. This was the position moderne stadt found itself in at the end of 2017. As an urban and project development company, their focus quickly fell on a clever solution portfolio for construction project management. And they hit the bullseye here when they chose PROMOS.GT – after all, the open source solution library provides an entire pool of helpful construction solutions. The decision for PROMOS.GT was also linked to a simultaneous switch to SAP® – the ERP system that their partners in the Stadtwerke Köln Group already used. The harmonisation of the IT infrastructures in itself aimed to improve collaboration within the commercial processes. Looking back, project manager Björn Bellersheim concludes: “Of course we had a healthy respect towards such a major change. But at the same time we hoped to achieve huge gains in efficiency. The fact that we were the first company within the Stadtwerke Köln Group to switch to S/4HANA® was a particular challenge. However, we were convinced from the very start that, as a visionary company, we also wanted to rely on the most state-of-the-art and forward-looking system.
Thomas Scheitza, Managing Director, moderne stadt
SAP S/4HANA® – hosting with an expert
With S/4HANA®, moderne stadt chose the latest Business Suite from SAP. The underlying database technology enables a quantum leap in performance compared with the previous version, but also involves particular requirements with regard to hosting. Within the network in the Stadtwerke Köln Group, the members’ SAP® systems are run in different data centres of various Group companies. However, at the time of the introduction, S/4HANA® hosting was not possible in any of these for technical reasons. As a full-service provider, PROMOS not only offers consulting, implementation and support services, but also SAP® operation in its own data centre – with more than ten productive S/4HANA® instances, PROMOS is currently the clear leader on the market. “Thanks to PROMOS’ extensive experience in the scope of data centre operation, we felt that we were in very good hands with the decision to outsource our hosting to them and, at the same time, left the option open to switch to a data centre within the Stadtwerke Group at a later stage”.
Construction project management – a host of new possibilities
As an urban and project developer of numerous development projects and new constructions in Cologne, moderne stadt relies on extensive project controlling with good analysis options. In its previous system, moderne stadt could only partially map construction project management and had to use a third-party system for this. “With the PROMOS project cockpit, we now have a tool that makes controlling our projects considerably easier. With everything from cost estimates and budget planning to order management, we have an overview of all the important areas via one screen and can jump to each of them directly in SAP®,” says Bellersheim, describing the advantages compared with the past. This makes cooperation within the network much easier.
Inhouse Cash – central mapping for central payments
One special feature that arises for moderne stadt as a result of the cooperation with the Stadtwerke Köln Group is the centralised organisation of payment transactions. Payments for services performed within the network are processed centrally by Stadtwerke Köln GmbH. This applies in particular to business transactions, hosting services and other central services. Previously, the various parties exchanged accompanying documents with the invoices for this. Thanks to the new Inhouse Cash solution in SAP®, moderne stadt can now post the relevant invoice directly in SAP® and it is sent to Stadtwerke Köln GmbH via an automated interface for further processing. moderne stadt then receives the corresponding account statement via the same interface with all bank postings and cash receipts that were processed in the system. As a result, moderne stadt can map another key component of its administration processes centrally in SAP® and fully exploit the potential of its new system. “Work within the network is characterised by close cooperation with our partner companies. Every process that can be transferred to SAP® means we avoid interfaces and save ourselves a great deal of effort,” Bellersheim is pleased to report.
Figure 1: Setting up Inhouse Cash means account statements are automatically transferred to moderne stadt. The bank statements can be viewed in the post-processing of the electronic bank statement.
Conclusion and outlook
It is not only the project manager who is satisfied with what was achieved in the implementation project. Thomas Scheitza, Managing Director of the company, also adds: “With the introduction of PROMOS.GT we can map the dynamics of our operative projects perfectly.” Against this background, the moderne stadt and PROMOS teams are already working on realising further projects. For example, they are currently looking into implementing the electronic bank statement and connecting HR management. Cross-network work with the PROMOS project cockpit is also under discussion with the aim of mapping the activities of a central project controller in SAP®.
Senior Consultant Financials
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