If you have ever tried to build a house, you can probably write a book about all the formalities you have to go through before you can even break ground; from financing to guarantees and securities to the necessary documents for a building permit request, which can range from drawings and area maps to drainage applications. Without the support of a professional this is nearly impossible. HELMA is such a professional. They specialize in the development, planning, sale and construction management of turnkey or partially turnkey one or two-family houses in solid construction style. The company has the goal to make building a home as simple as possible for clients.
For HELMA, however, making the whole process simple - is not quite that simple. The company completes 400 construction projects a year and each one requires an average of 200 documents and processes. As a result, the company produces about 80,000 new documents each year. These are documents that not only have to be archived, but also need to trigger certain processes in the course of construction planning and organization.
- Home Construction
- Ongoing processes
- Digital construction files and processes: construction planning, master data management, complaint management, contract check, distribution of mail, incoming invoice processing, management of contract guarantees
- Planned processes
- //// special features : integration with DocuWare
Digital construction file speeds building completion
In order to achieve greater transparency in the processes and to shorten the time between signing the purchase contract and handing over the house to the client, the manager decided to introduce a digital construction file. The aim was not only the digitalization and archiving of relevant documents but also the control over all back-office processes as well as simple online access to the centrally stored data.
The JobRouter digital process automation platform was chosen because it offered the whole package. JobRouter’s ability to integrate itself into every system environment and unlimited scalability was a plus. But the core reason was JobRouter’s combination of document management and workflow management for electronically controlling processes, and managing and securely archiving documents and files.
Clearing away the mountains of paper
A HELMA construction file is very extensive. During the building process, in addition to the documents relevant for approvals, all documents regarding financing, contract revision, planning and building process, invoices, reminders and the complete correspondence become part of the construction file.
HELMA imposes the same requirements for the digital construction file as it does with the paper-based counterpart. The difference and advantage compared to the paper-based file is that files are no longer stored in a physical location but are centrally stored and the current version can be accessed online by everyone who has authorized access. This avoids data redundancy and documents are protected from loss or unauthorized disclosure, which enhances the information security.
From contract revision to the dream house
The construction project usually begins when the signed contract is received and ends when the house is handed over. In between that there are several fixed, scheduled process steps, which trigger reoccurring decision-making options. Based on HELMA business processes, an automated process was developed which handles and controls all stages of the construction process - from the contract review to planning and implementation. Once the digital construction file was created, all incoming documents – such as the contract – are scanned, captured and assigned to customer numbers in the central mail room.
After the entry, the responsible employee receives the document for verification. The user can now evaluate the process with the click of a mouse selecting from a set of standardized options defined in the JobRouter process. When a step is approved, project data is collected and stored. In addition, the senior site engineer responsible for the area is automatically given access to the data at this point.
Efficient planning is vital when it comes to construction. It is the biggest part of the building project and involves many departments. At HELMA, in addition to the head of the planning department, the construction draughtsman, site supervisor, accounting department, secretarial office and HR are significantly involved.
With so many people involved it is extremely important that the following processes are only started when the previous step meets certain work status criteria. The JobRouter digital process automation platform guarantees that process control runs automatically and just-in-time according to defined rules. Additionally, JobRouter offers a crucial advantage compared to the conventional file process: The "stage" of the file and its current status can be tracked by the site manager at any time. In addition, the JobRouter automatically informs the accounting department, for example about a new invoice at the end of a construction stage.
The completely digital availability of the construction file from each workstation significantly increases the ability to provide information on project status and results. The documentation of all process milestones and the people involved in the process ensures accountability the decision-making processes.
Faster decision processes
In order to react to unpredictable situations or to judge completed building projects objectively a detailed analysis is needed - at any time. The basis for this analysis is a project master data database. This includes all information and figures concerning each building project. JobRouter® automatically generates the data from the contract review and planning process and stores all information regarding the project details, involved people and milestones into the database. Based on this data, management or the site supervisor can generate relevant statistics and analysis. This includes reports on planned projects, status lists, and balance sheets. With JobRouter, employees have the most important process master data at their fingertips at all times - to assess next steps, tackle long-term planning and avoid escalations
Shorten throughput times – enhance productivity
Building processes become more complex. With the digital construction file based on JobRouter, HELMA Eigenheimbau AG managed to optimize their work processes - between 300 and 400 processes daily - enhanced productivity and therefore made building even more attractive for its customers.
Short profile HELMA
For over three decades, HELMA has been building customized solid-construction houses with guaranteed fixed prices and guaranteed construction times. The focus of HELMA is on the development, planning, sale and construction management of customized turn-key or partially turn-key one or two-family solid-construction style homes. With convincing and sustainable energy concepts, the company has establish itself as the leading supplier of solar low-energy houses and is one of the most experienced and successful companies in the solid construction sector with several thousand homes built.