A city turns to digital processes – mobile report creation at KOE Rostock
A constantly changing city
Anyone who has visited the Hanseatic City of Rostock in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern really appreciates the charm of the port city on the Baltic Sea. Visitors enjoy the well-maintained city centre, the infrastructure and the renovated buildings. The housing authority KOE is responsible for managing all municipal real estate in Rostock and invests some €50–70 million per year in new buildings and complex modernisation projects. Currently the housing authority manages more than 360 properties, many of which give the cityscape its character. Research and science are promoted by leasing laboratories, offices and storage space. The construction and maintenance of schools, sports facilities, fire stations, museums, nurseries, medical practices and offices improve the infrastructure and increase quality of life for residents.
A successful cooperation
KOE Rostock, which is short for “Eigenbetrieb Kommunale Objektbewirtschaftung und -entwicklung der Hanse- und Universitätsstadt Rostock”, is a modern company that has an influence on almost every area of life in the city of Rostock. The management, leasing, and construction/modernisation of such an extensive and varied real estate portfolio works so well in part because KOE moved to standardise and digitalise processes at an early stage. For example, the company was the first customer to introduce the new easysquare professional app. The extensive test phase, integrating all those involved, started in 2020.
One app for everything
The easysquare professional app is the ideal mobile assistant for caretakers, craftspeople, property managers, service providers and real estate users. All the information that previously had to be manually transferred from numerous paper forms to the complex, and sometimes intransparent, ERP systems can now be controlled fully digitally on site using a mobile device or via a web browser on a PC. Typical work processes in the real estate industry, such as defect reporting, can be entered and processed in the app. All SAP® master data is seamlessly transferred to the ERP system. PROMOS’ IT experts are constantly revising and fine-tuning the app. Thanks to regular consultation with customers like KOE Rostock, the app can be ideally adjusted to the demands of today’s property companies and their employees. New functions that have been continuously added since the app was introduced can make the users’ everyday work considerably easier.
Figure 1: All the important information is recorded digitally in the defect report.
The defect report via the professional app
Since its launch in 2021, the majority of reports at KOE have been recorded via mobile using the easysquare professional app and processed further in the SAP® system. This allows the real estate company to maintain and even increase its employee and customer satisfaction with less effort and greater efficiency. In close coordination with project manager Beatrice Nebelung, functions and workflows were adjusted so that the employees can optimally map their working process via the app. “Our employees are extremely satisfied with the digitalisation of reports. They benefit greatly from the fact that all processes can be tracked and steered via the app or workflows,” says Nebelung, discussing the introduction of the app at KOE. Employees or users report defects using digital forms, a maintenance order is created in SAP® and a workflow with intelligently derived processor finding is initiated. This relates in particular to the following report types, which need to be processed in entirely different ways:
- Repairs reports
- Insurance notifications
- Requests for services
- Deficiencies in performance (e.g. of services, repairs)
The maintenance notification in the SAP® system itself has been defined as a BUS object that forms the basis for maintaining the digital report file to document the process.
Figure 2: Feedback from the craftsperson via the app with photographic documentation. The change history can be seen in the notes for each step of the workflow.
First, the report regarding a functional location is created using a mobile device. This is where the authors of the reports benefit from the seamless integration: technical master data for an object and the catalogues used within the system (code groups/codes) for the report types are already stored in the mobile form. Existing rental agreement partners for the rental objects are displayed. By means of the linked catalogue within the assignment of a report, an activity type is derived and prefilled, the defect briefly described and, finally, the contact person on site and photos are added. In the SAP® system, the report is displayed via the digital work basket and the person responsible for the property performs an initial classification. Decision-making catalogues are stored for processing. If an in-house craftsperson deals with the report, acceptance of the order including documentation regarding completion is performed via the app in a paperless process.
To ensure maximum transparency for all employees, all recorded data is entered in the change history. Furthermore, using the workflow, a message regarding the completion of various steps including the respective processing result can be sent to the author of the report.
“Now we’ve been using the professional app for two years, it is clear that digital processes significantly simplify our work and result in increased efficiency. For this reason, in the future we will continue to consistently implement our digitalisation strategy. PROMOS supports us in this objective with many years of experience and innovation. The cooperation is characterised by mutual respect and forward-looking discussions, which is why we are looking forward to further projects,” says Beatrice Nebelung, KOE Rostock project manager, looking to the future. The cooperation was also viewed very positively within PROMOS and the project managers are looking forward to continuing with the app’s development and working together in the future. “The exciting thing about these projects is that they never really end. Our developer team is always introducing new functions and add-ons. So we are looking forward to working with KOE Rostock again in the future and benefiting from the mutual exchange and feedback.”