Haass Haustechnik: Digitisation for craftsmen
Even today, being able to see the new bathroom in 3D using a virtual reality headset is still not standard practice. The possibility of seeing the proposed works before the workmen come through the door has been available with Mönchengladbach tradesmen Haass Plumbing and Heating for a year now. It brings peace of mind, allowing people to look forward to their renovations. However, the virtual reality headset is only one of the reasons why this Family business is such a model enterprise throughout the country. In June 2018, Haass Haustechnik was selected by an expert jury as one of ten outstanding companies in the “NRW - A Changing Economy” competition.
Being a pioneer in the digitisation of the craft trades is a major factor. The consistent use of IT is already paying off too. All of a project’s work processes are fully digitised throughout. It begins with the customer’s first call to arrange an appointment. It continues through materials handling and the ordering of spare parts with greatest cost-saving potential, right up to the final invoice to the customer. There are printers in the tradesmen’s vehicles for this purpose. The boss’ daughter, Kathrin de Blois, has calculated that this constant process of digitisation saves around 2,500 working hours a year.
Company founder Georg Haass supports both of his children: Bernd Haass is responsible for technology, and Kathrin de Blois, née Haass, is responsible for digitisation. Georg Haass has also relied upon electronic data processing from the very beginning. When he set up independently in Mönchengladbach Rheydt in October 1987, he started with nothing. Since he was a sole trader, he relied on the help of IT from day one. A friend wrote him a Computer programme for the most common articles. He obtained his first professional software in February 1988. Georg Haass was young and open to new technological possibilities, even if most tradesmen still considered these to be somewhat exotic. A former banker gave him an additional boost, when, as an office employee, he set up new structures and drove the IT further forward. Success proved him right. The business grew year on year. The company moved six times for reasons of space. In the spring of 2018, Haass moved into a futuristic-looking building that an American developer of geological measuring instruments had built.
For two-and-a-half years, operating procedures were optimised for IT. Manufacturers’ data sets for all parts enable immediate invoice control. These materials and the employees’ recorded hours are assigned precisely to each construction site - each has its own number. This makes continuous cost control possible. Furthermore, networking does not just take place between the offices at HQ, but also on site with the customer. All installers go to clients, or go onto construction sites, with tablets and smartphones. This exchange of data reduces the workload of employees on site. They can concentrate completely on their work. In addition, Haass does not just profit from the interface between trade and manufacturing, but they also have a direct line to the offices of engineers and architects. Since dealers are included and their data sets recorded, incorrect pricing is a thing of the past. This means that price differences averaging 20,000 euros a year can be avoided. Today, Haass have 46 employees, of whom nine are in the office. Haass is an attractive employer for the future. Twelve apprentices have already experienced this.
Haaß Haustechnik e.K.
Version: October 2018