In the construction industry, there are many prerequisites for successful work. One of them is to maintain an overview. Both in planning and execution as well as in administration and operation. A special solution for participation and contract management supports the BAUWENS Group in this challenge: with otris software, the long-established Cologne-based company manages around 200 participations and over 7,000 corporate documents.
The BAUWENS Group develops, plans, builds and operates real estate. As is usual in the industry, new contracts – e.g. the development of a residential quarter or an office complex – are accompanied by the establishment of new companies. After construction, BAUWENS sells the project development or manages the property itself. In total, the administration manages around 200 companies. A challenge that cannot be mastered without a good system and transparency.
Until a year ago, BAUWENS used a self-developed solution for investment management. Central components of the system were drives on which the digitised company documents were archived and an Excel-based database for structuring. Data and documents were uniformly structured with this system and thus easy to find. At the same time, the solution had some shortcomings: it lacked comprehensive search functions (e.g. full text search), interfaces to existing systems, processing workflows, automations and uncomplicated archiving. A new solution should also improve user-friendliness and minimise the processing effort as well as the potential for errors. With these requirements in mind, BAUWENS started looking for a special software.
Get to the point.
“We needed a digital, up-to-the-minute reference work for all our companies / shareholdings / corporate contracts that could be used at all levels in the company over the next ten years,” says Dr Alexander Seeberg (Managing Director, CFO), summarising the requirements. “With the software from otris, we have found the special solution that fits our business model.” After the first workshop with BAUWENS, the otris consulting team was aware: the large amount of investment data and its seamless, precise transfer into the new system is not uncomplicated, but it is feasible. The fact that all company documents and associated metadata were available in a uniform structure in the self-developed system was a great advantage. After a close exchange on how the structure of the legacy system could be mapped and meaningfully expanded in the otris solution, the consulting team started the import project. “The data migration worked exactly as agreed. The fact that the specialist departments were subsequently able to work productively with a filled system was certainly one of the keys to the project’s success,” recalls Philipp Dautzenberg, process development consultant at BAUWENS and project manager responsible for the project. “With otris, we map the entire participation and contract life cycle by presenting all data for all employees (depending on their respective roles) in a way that can be found quickly and that the information status of the current contract is always up-to-date and consistent,” adds Philipp Dautzenberg.
After the investment management was set up, BAUWENS expanded the software to include contract management. The combination enables the company to manage all investment-relevant information, corporate documents and the associated contracts in a central otris solution. “The integration of the two systems, the integration into our IT landscape, the adaptation of the software to construction-specific features – it all worked excellently. otris is a project partner who understood what we need and can also implement it,” says Philipp Dautzenberg.
The next expansion steps are already being planned. These include a connection to DataWareHouses and the digital signature service DocuSign. In addition, the implementation of further workflows is planned. In the future, the software will map the process of creating new companies. Applications to be submitted, internal and external offices to be informed, deadlines to be observed – the entire process will be managed by the software in the future. This will speed up the process and at the same time make it less error-prone.
About 50 employees use the solution for very different tasks. Tax, legal, finance – many company departments need information from the investment and contract management. It also facilitates cooperation with external stakeholders, such as auditors. A rights and role system controls access throughout the group. The BAUWENS Group is divided into four main companies, which are responsible for the different areas of the operative business. “The specialist departments benefit from efficiency, security and transparency in day-to-day business.” And there is another benefit, says Dr Alexander Seeberg: “The fact that all four companies access a central system also contributes to integration within the BAUWENS Group.”
BAUWENS is one of the leading companies in Germany whose business model covers the entire real estate value chain with development, planning, construction and operation from a single source. In the Construction segment, BAUWENS acts as a general contractor with a construction output of around 270 million euros per year. The Development division concentrates on project developments in German A-cities. The company benefits from a track record of around 40 successfully completed project developments in the last ten years and a managed project volume of around 8.2 billion euros. The Cologne-based company looks back on almost 150 years of family-owned history and employs around 440 people.
The photos used (banner, quote) were kindly provided by BAUWENS.