There are certainly many construction companies that are capable of implementing impressive building projects. But if the building ideas meet the existing fire protection regulations is an entirely different question. That is why major construction and transport projects are accompanied by independent fire protection service providers. They help to identify potential problems at an early stage, to create the legally required documentation and to prepare the final acceptance of work. One of the largest fire protection service companies is hhpberlin based in Berlin. With its five offices in Germany and about 140 employees, hhpberlin accompanies building projects throughout the world. From the business point of view, the engineering firm is in an enviable position. "We have no traditional sales activities, nor do we perform any sales marketing. We receive our contracts exclusively due to our good performance and reputation. Nevertheless, we are able to grow our business by about 30 percent each year," underlines Stefan Truthän, managing director at hhpberlin.
Key Driver IT
|Thanks to Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, and proRM, we are able to operate our company in a solution-oriented and innovative manner and at the same time ensure that it remains controllable.|
| Stefan Truthän|
hhpberlin Ingenieure für Brandschutz GmbH
hhpberlin would actually have more employees, measured in terms of the average productivity of German companies. But for many years now, the company has consistently relied on standard Microsoft technologies to free its employees from routine tasks and complex communication processes. "To make a good job, our employees need to have a certain leeway. It makes no sense to waste their time in elaborate documentation and coordination processes,” explains Stefan Truthän. For Truthän, information technology is not a counterproposal to the workforce. It is not about saving jobs. The objective is rather to perform work more efficiently, in a more convenient way and with a higher quality. Truthän puts it in a nutshell: "Information technology is a tool. It provides people with information. But people still need to make the decisions on their own. Making investments already at an early stage makes sense because new ideas need time until they have matured and have found their way into the minds of people. Know-how - Factor of Production
The best example is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM software which has been used by hhpberlin since 2005 as one of the first German companies. "Contact Management has already been supported in version 1.2, but today we use the full range of functionalities," explains Stefan Truthän. This is not only due to the fact that the current 2011 version has more features, but also because you need a lot of patience to perform change management. At hhpberlin, knowledge is the key factor for the performance of services and at the same time the most valuable asset in the company. To ensure that the available expertise and knowledge is used in an efficient way, it is required that employees have direct access to relevant data. But this is easier said than done. Truthän admits: "People do not share their knowledge automatically. Experienced people who are the most important particularly benefit from sharing ideas and experiences." CRM – The Informationsplattform
Today Dynamics CRM represents the core information platform used by hhpberlin. Without relying on traditional sales, the engineering firm uses the software as an extended CRM system (xRM) to document its complex project relationships with building contractors, architects and authorities. By connecting to the portal system Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2010, employees have quick access to unstructured contact and project related documents – a central pool of information which can be used by the employees at any time and from any place. "Whether you connect with a smart phone, tablet PC or web browser, Dynamics CRM is always present. Even from home when I get a call," emphasizes Stefan Truthän.
hhpberlin has constantly expanded the CRM software by adding further functionalities. It has recently implemented another application, the industry solution proRM of Microsoft partner proMX which extends Dynamics CRM with additional project management, project accounting and skill management features. Since then, the fire protection company has been performing key tasks such as internal cost allocation by using Dynamics CRM. But also to get a quick overview of the employees’ qualification is of equal importance to the fire protector. "Just with one click, I can identify the best qualified expert for a particular scenario," underlines Stefan Truthän.
Today the employees have access to a broader expertise and project knowledge. Furthermore, hhpberlin is able to promote teamwork and enable the quick exchange of data. All this has enabled hhpberlin to significantly extend its competitive position. "Thanks to Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, and proRM, we are able to operate our company in a solutionoriented and innovative manner and at the same time ensure that it remains controllable," says Truthän. Employees benefit from the reduced burden of routine tasks and project documentation costs have been cut by up to 25 percent. At the same time, the project workload has increased by about 50 percent. The company’s per capita production is more than twice as high as that of five years ago – without the necessity to work any extra hours. Due to the fact that hhpberlin relies on cloud computing for the Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Office, the IT costs have decreased by more than 30 percent. By eliminating the need for any maintenance and servicing, the number of IT members has remained the same. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.