City of Baden-Baden Works Department
From stand-alone to integrated processes
The Works Department of the city of Baden-Baden handles a classic spectrum of services for a municipal service department. The roughly 70 employees focus on the areas of street maintenance and winter road clearance. In addition, the department – which is part of the Planning and Construction area – also provides support for the large number of events offered by the city, which is a world-renowned hub of wellness and vacation and media, art, and festival performances.
When Baden-Baden’s core administration decided to switch to double-entry Infoma newsystem financial accounting at the start of 2013, the Works Department also switched over from its previous stand-alone process to the integrated Municipal departments module. The department decided to make the switch because support for the previous time recording system was no longer available, and costs had increased significantly.
In choosing the new process, project managers were specifically interested in professional project management for a seamless changeover between the previous program and the Infoma newsystem solution. They even included this need in their requirements catalog. However, it was also important to them that their individual organization be taken into consideration and included in the software options, and that the change should create as little extra work for their employees as possible. The Axians Infoma team impressed on every point. Software implementation and user support were seamless, and didn’t overburden employees.
The Municipal departments module has also proven to be user-friendly in practical use as well.
The software maps all municipal department tasks as core functions, ensuring simplified processes, reducing time requirements, and creating better clarity. Baden-Baden primarily uses the module for order processing. This function allows the orders issued by the different city departments, and primarily the civil engineering department, to be recorded, processed, and invoiced either externally or – in most cases – through internal cost allocation.
Employee work hours are collected in the service record, and used to link to hardship bonuses under collective bargains to automatically generate the wage type. Invoices are also recorded in the Municipal departments module, and then later booked in the Finances department using integrated accountancy. Furthermore, the Works Department is also interested in connecting this module to cost and results accounting, which is already planned for introduction in the administration. After it is introduced, Daniel Wöhrle, Department Manager of the Works Department for the City of Baden-Baden, and his team will have an efficient, holistic tool for controlling and assessing economic performance.
However, the Baden-Baden Works Department also has a few activities on its wish list for this year as well. It plans to set up a web order allowing clients to issue orders directly through the system using a web-based form, without accessing the program. Daniel Wöhrle believes this will reduce workloads immensely for himself and the employees involved: “We practically have the finished orders sent to us, and we just have to check and make sure the account assignment is correct.” Wöhrle is interested in making implementation as quick as possible, since digital order placement has another major advantage as well in his mind: “I can clearly see who sent me the order. In our current process, in some cases we might receive an urgent order via telephone and aren’t able to classify it later without a follow-up call, if we don’t write down the client right away. That’s in the past with web orders.”
One other plan Daniel Wöhrle would like to implement this year is mobile data capturing – this eliminates the need to record services on paper and then transfer them to the system later, a process that can be fraught with errors. The quantities, durations, and resources entered by employees on site are automatically assigned to existing orders through back transfer. The plan is to implement this with smartphones, which Daniel Wöhrle believes is an ideal situation, since “in comparison to a simple recording device, a smartphone really upgrades this new process and will certainly help motivate employees.”
After two years of use, Daniel Wöhrle is very satisfied with the status quo: “We’re doing great with the process, and all users are impressed by its many useful functions. They make our everyday work easier.” Axians Infoma provided both comprehensive training sessions and intensive on-site and hotline service support to make sure this was the case.