The digital processing of tasks is no longer pie in the sky for building technology specialist Fritz GmbH & Co. KG, Offenburg. Today, 43 plumbing, heating and air-conditioning technicians record their task information on mobile devices so that the data can be digitally processed by the 17 administrative employees. This was made possible by a local infrastructure of HPE servers, a renewed network and various cloud technologies installed by Bechtle. Fritz is now equipped for the future.
You can often see them driving around the Offenburg area: The plumbing, heating and air conditioning specialists with the yellow duck on their car—the trademark of Fritz GmbH & Co. KG. The building services specialist stands for high-quality craftsmanship in the field of plumbing, heating and air conditioning. 43 fitters and 17 administrative staff guarantee customers a premium service with the best advice and high quality thanks to proven craftsmanship. The company uses IT for support, to make processes simpler and more efficient.
Bechtle have helped us to take a huge step into the future. Our employees can now process tasks digitally, and no longer have to struggle with excessive amounts of paperwork. The concept, technical elaboration and implementation by Bechtle were excellent. Their experts became part of our team during the project. The added value our business gained from the new infrastructure eliminated any previous concerns.
Christoph Petersen, CEO, Fritz GmbH & Co. KG
When Christoph Petersen joined the management of his parents’ craft business, he brought with him a great deal of knowledge about the benefits of digitisation, which forms the basis for the future. With digital processes, orders are processed faster and more efficiently, the competition is left behind and controlling is simplified. Fritz wanted to achieve digital construction site management with a future-proof IT infrastructure: Quantity and dimension determination, material procurement and acceptance by the client were to be done digitally. However, the vision of a holistic digital world, in which external participants such as architects and developers can later also immerse themselves with the trades in order to exchange information, could only be realised by updating the IT infrastructure. The server, network including WLAN and also the software needed to be brought up to date. Fritz was seeking a local infrastructure with cloud technologies to create the basis for digital processes, enable employees to work comfortably and meet today’s security requirements. A slow transition was important to Christoph Petersen, so that long-serving employees could also keep pace with digitisation.
In Bechtle, Fritz found the right partner to embark on the digitization journey together with the employees and management. For this purpose, Bechtle analysed Fritz’ working processes and the mapped processes before jointly finding out in a workshop exactly which components the company needed: The new WLAN had to cover the three-story company building, the production hall and the warehouse. For this purpose, Bechtle installed hardware from Ubiquiti Networks on the premises, which allows the firewall, switches and access points to work together intelligently. Employees can now access WLAN anywhere on the company premises. For the Labelwin enterprise resource planning (ERP) software used by Fritz, Bechtle provided a physical HPE server (Hyper-V) at the site, to which local storage (a Synology NAS) and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) were connected. Fritz had always worked with Microsoft and there were no plans to change this. Which is why Bechtle switched all of Fritz’ software to Microsoft Cloud Services. Fritz now uses Exchange Online and Microsoft Office 365. Bechtle also outsourced the tape library previously used to the cloud for backup: SkyKick Microsoft Office 365 Backup backs up the data from Microsoft Teams and Outlook mailboxes and Azure Cloud Backup backs up the rest. To digitise processes, the first step included setting up Microsoft cloud services such as Forms, Planner and Yammer to map approval processes, manage tasks digitally and promote corporate communication online.
This new IT infrastructure with cloud technologies is the first step towards a paperless office. In the future, orders will be processed digitally, which means that misunderstandings due to illegible handwriting will not pass through all departments and have an impact on customer satisfaction. At the same time, digital processes reduce process costs. The IT infrastructure also enables easy onboarding of new cloud services to keep pace with advancing digitisation and offer employees a modern workplace in the future. With the new IT infrastructure, Christoph Petersen has come a great deal closer to his goal of obtaining a Digital Twin—a digital image of a building on which all employees and external partners work together.