Founded in 1979, ERL Real Estate Group develops, plans, builds, sells and manages care facilities and senior housing. With over 100 projects completed in the senior living segment, the Group is the market leader in southern Germany. To ensure that this remains the case, ERL is increasingly focusing on digitization. As a result, in 2021, the company decided to use the 123onsites solutions for time tracking and workforce planning, as well as 123quality for quality and defect management.
The medium-sized, fully family-owned business from Deggendorf in Bavaria develops customized solutions for each project based on careful analyses and sees itself as a partner to business owners, cities and municipalities. The Group employs around 400 people and carries out 80% of the work itself. Thus, the in-house finishing trades include carpentry, plumbing, metal construction, painting, heating, ventilation, plumbing, structural and civil engineering, aluminum construction, quarrying, and gardening and landscaping.
Everything from a single source
ERL uses software products from the Nemetschek Group such as the ERP software NEVARIS Finance or the CAD system Allplan and is extremely satisfied with all of them. Therefore, it was only logical to have a look around within the group to see if a time and attendance software is also offered.
They quickly found what they were looking for
Since 123onsites is a fully owned subsidiary of NEVARIS, specifically programmed for the construction sector, covering ERL’s requirements for job scheduling, photo documentation and time tracking, as well as offering an interface to NEVARIS Finance, the IT department gave the go-ahead for its use after an intensive review.
With it, employees on the construction site record defect-related data, which is immediately transferred to a central online database and shared with stakeholders. For 123onsite users, 123quality is integrated into the solution and only needs to be activated, if desired. The advantage: master data is created only once and can be maintained centrally. In addition, the user accesses the entire data pool from both applications. Today, ERL uses a total of 218 123onsite licenses and eight 123quality licenses.
Intensive test phase of 123onsite
For five months, from May to September 2021, ERL intensively tested the time recording solution with a 15-member pilot group. For this purpose, all master data of the employees has been entered and they were assigned to a construction site close to home in order to be able to react quickly in case of questions. At the same time, employees continued to be scheduled in Excel. Business economist Elisabeth Buchner, who supervised the rollout with Michael Erl, the responsible member of the Group’s Executive Board, comments: “[Peu á peu] everything worked well and the payroll department was able to add personnel data, such as personnel ID and entry date, to the data in the next step.” After the positive conclusion of the pilot phase, all foremen were introduced to the use of the solution.
Special cases covered as well
While employee scheduling was only done via 123onsite as of August 2021, times were still simultaneously recorded on timesheets until May 2022. This was due to numerous special cases, such as dredging maintenance before the actual activities. Elisabeth Buchner explains the procedure: “This allowed us to gradually develop a solution tailored to our individual needs for any arising special cases that have nothing to do with the activities on the construction site and integrate them into 123onsite.”
Save time with 123onsite
Meanwhile, the payroll department saves time by eliminating the need to collect handwritten slips and manually enter data in a laborious manner. Also, the immense effort for controls as well as erroneous data entries are a thing of the past.
The figures are available at the head office as soon as the employee has logged out of the construction site. If there are any incorrect entries, they will be corrected. Then the data is transferred to the payroll system for processing. 123onsite also simplifies personnel planning. Corinna Schosser, the technical specialist responsible for employee scheduling, is immediately able to see who is registered at which construction site and what activities the colleague is performing there.
Defect processing made easy – with 123quality
The medium-sized company makes intensive use of defect documentation by photo. During house inspections, all defects are photographed and located on the floor plan uploaded in 123quality. The defects are then sorted by trade, listed in a report with a processing deadline and forwarded to the internal and external trades for processing. The person responsible for following up on the rectification of defects shall check after the deadline whether they have been rectified.
Specialist Corinna Schosser explains: “Originally, we marked the defects with painter’s tape during house inspections, then took photos, described the photos in a document with the location of the defects and assigned them to the trades.” The new approach saves the company a great deal of time. With just a few mouse clicks, everything is documented and reports can be forwarded promptly to the relevant departments or external performers.
Easier, faster and clearer
In the past, employees’ assignments were listed in Excel sheets, printed out and changed by hand if necessary. Today, this can be done with just a few clicks.
This approach is simpler, clearer and less error-prone for all parties involved. Due to the meticulous preparation and introduction as well as the intensive test phase with the pilot group, ERL was able to eliminate imponderables and the workers on the construction site were able to work with 123onsite without any problems after a short briefing.
As ERL Real Estate Group is driving digitalization in all areas, the use of the two solutions is a strategic decision. As a result, the error rate has decreased significantly, the quality of the reports has improved, and the reduction in administrative preparation and follow-up has allowed employees to focus more on their original activities.
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Photo credits: ERL Real Estate Group