PKP S.A. is one of the largest real estate owners in Poland. The company owns around 100 thousand hectares of land and 57 thousand buildings and constructions. The company’s management activities are not only real estate-orientated, dedicated to passengers and to the broader transport industry, but also commercial ones.
The public would find it difficult to grasp how complicated and time-consuming a task it is to manage such numbers of facilities and properties. In 2014, PKP S.A. in its preparation to sell and rent facilities decided to implement a proven solution to manage these activities – namely SAP Fiori. Hicron, based in Wrocław, Poland, was chosen as the implementation partner.
SAP Fiori in PKP S.A.
Fiori as a tool, with its modern and user-friendly interface available for various devices, allows for the management of advanced business data. It may be used on web browsers or by means of dedicated software. Operation is intuitive and easy since it is based on the latest trends of user-product interaction, and the responsive interface adjusts to the device it is being displayed on. It is one of the key features that drove PKP S.A. to choose SAP Fiori. The main thrust was that the user could go on-site and with just a few clicks gain access to the required system data. This has encouraged companies that have been using German SAP solutions to “leave their desks” and execute their business process entirely in a mobile way.
We received a private, open invitation to tender for a SAP Fiori solution, including access to SAP Real Estate functionality, i.e. to PKP S.A. real estate management. The company prepared itself to consolidate data – in its entirety – in one source. The customer’s tender requirements were quite high, we had to offer and develop our own solutions that within operational service would meet the specific business needs. SAP Fiori is a solution that satisfies the company’s real estate and land management requirements perfectly – says Adam Warszawski, Hicron’s Sales Director.
The target group of system users included PKP S.A. property managers and administrators who up until now did not have remote and direct access to SAP RE data. We wanted a multi-platform solution that could be used on various operating systems, both by means of the web browser, as well as dedicated software integrated with GPS. The system architecture was supposed to encompass all our real estate amounting to nearly 57 thousand buildings and constructions, and more than 100 thousand hectares of land, including public utility facilities. It was essential to implement a complex tool. At the same time, mobility of the solution was deemed crucial since it would enable our employees to remotely perform due diligence analysis. Real-time data transfer capability was also of special interest to us as it would allow for the definition of instant property potential and maintenance cost estimation – says Grażyna Krusiewicz, PKP S.A. ICT Bureau Vice Director.
Even better Fiori
In the case of SAP Fiori solution implementation at PKP S.A., it was necessary to prepare a special infrastructure in the form of additional applications based on Fiori. Access to SAP RE data was secured by the creation of seven dedicated modules:
1) Real estate units
4) Lease facilities
5) Business partners
The core of these modules is on-line data access – access to a mobile application was essential for our needs. We deal with property maintenance all over the country; there are various facilities with various functionalities and requirements. These properties are recorded in the SAP system by 350 managers and administrators, who thanks to SAP Fiori functionality are fully mobile. Up to the implementation, they did not have any means to access the property data other than in the office. This brought about the need to implement such a system. It is a base format of our requirements that we are planning to develop according to user needs – says Michał Malarowicz, Assistant Project Manager in PKP S.A.
How to write a dedicated solution?
The subject matter of the Hicron – PKP S.A. agreement included: design, delivery, implementation, and integration of mobile applications facilitating SAP Fiori. In principle the applications were supposed to be a handy, mobile source of information for a couple of hundred employees dealing with real estate in the Property Management Department of PKP S.A. We have prepared a solution that aimed at increasing the ease of work and reducing the time frame necessary to complete it. PKP S.A. employees do not need notes any more, which would be later introduced to the system. The entire management process is conducted by means of a mobile device – tablet or smart phone. However, before we even started to write the code, we prepared a clickable prototype with a logic and graphic design of the project – says Paweł Małecki, Project Manager at Hicron. The process of solution design and implementation required quite a lot of self-discipline. The project, split into eight phases, had a short completion time frame, and each phase concluded with a control committee meeting. At this moment, the project is in the last phase – stabilisation. While it was hard, it also wasn’t difficult. The application alone was not a problem; we were also under tremendous time pressure. We were lucky though to have a great team, which made it possible to detect a lot of possible production faults. The cooperation contract allowed PKP S.A. to use the option clause, i.e. a budget, that has been dedicated to develop current and future solutions – adds Małecki.
Remote project completion is not a problem
After the formal kick-off of the cooperation, i.e. after winning the bid, both sides got down to work. The tender made it clear that not only is price important, but also the criteria regarding experience and the proper design team are of value. Implementation began promptly. The first phase of the project was accepted a week after signing the contract – says Michał Malarowicz of PKP S.A. The peculiar trait of the project was that it was completed remotely. We had limited ability to meet face-to-face, we had therefore cooperated through e-mails and phone calls, and despite that, it was a very consistent cooperation – adds Malarowicz.
More about Fiori?
SAP Fiori is a solution that is not limited to real estate management. It can also improve work with the classic SAP ERP on HANA solution. It simplifies the data flow between business process functions in the company, allows users to accept orders, complete warehouse operations or apply seamless invoicing without the need to hook up with a specific device or dedicated computer network. As a mobile solution, it provides access to the organisation’s information resources on any device. At the same time, it enables administrators to assign appropriate access levels for particular users.
For instance, Fiori provides the means to grant team managers access rights to all the contracts, orders, shopping carts, time sheets, and cost or order acceptance forms they require. Employees may then have the ability to complete them, with access to time sheets, delegations, payments or shopping carts. It is possible to limit the data range for specific groups in the organisation, for instance, sales representatives can be assigned rights to create, modify and track orders, monitor shipments and customer invoices, or verify prices and product availability, etc. The Fiori business application has a wide range of applications and in today’s world, where immediate response to market expectations is of utmost importance, it works remarkably well.