The next step towards a more digital workflow

As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Germany, Bayer AG has many properties and facilities that need to be maintained. Managing all these assets is no easy task, with roughly 2,500 properties and more than 26,000 technical facilities in 30 different locations. Realising that, Bayer AG founded Corporate Real Estate (CRE) to manage all the properties and facilities of the company. CRE currently has 90 real estate and facility managers who keep their properties and facilities running smoothly.

With that many assets to handle, it was clear that a digital solution was necessary to keep a good overview of the current state of every single asset in their portfolio. Since 2015 CRE used Planon’s software for real estate management with interfaces to SAP. This allows them to track the development of their assets and react early on to prevent issues that might impact their business.

CRE decided to look for new ways to gather more data on its properties and facilities to improve its efficiency further. Fusing the real estate, space and asset management software from Planon and the cloud-based visualisation and collaboration solutions from Hexagon was an appealing idea they wanted to evaluate with a pilot project.


Facility management on a large scale


Coordinating the maintenance of over 26,000 technical facilities is no small feat. With only their team, CRE couldn’t do all the maintenance alone. Therefore, part of the operational implementation has been outsourced to a German facility management (FM) service provider. The FM service provider had to be connected to their Planon software solution to put the gathered information to good use. This enabled them to share and update the information so that everyone involved could work with the latest data.

The objective of CRE was to drive digital transformation further to improve operational excellence and deliver measurable positive business value. This could only be achieved by having an open application platform that allowed them to connect with new technologies, applications and PropTech to make a valuable contribution.

Angela Kappey, Team Leader IT at Corporate Real Estate of Bayer AG, said: "We are driving digitisation projects to leverage potential in CRE & FM. Before choosing Hexagon as an add-on to Planon, we calculated a convincing business case."

Using two services to create one solution



Within a few days, the pilot project was implemented at a 6’000 m2 facility in Leverkusen, Germany. The first step was to create a digital twin of the building using the Leica RTC360 to create 3D images and point clouds. This was done within two days of a joint walk-through of the building where on average, a room was scanned in less than two minutes.

When the scanning of the facility was completed, the 360° images of the different rooms and floors were imported, processed and uploaded to Leica TruView Cloud. This process took approximately 48 hours of automated laptop processing power and three hours of active user interaction. The CRE team then set tags for the most critical technical systems such as ventilation and filter systems and fire dampers for each recorded room within one day and linked these to Planon. There were roughly 200 systems tagged in the building, with about 6,000 gross square metres.

“Joining forces with Planon, you can quickly see the possibilities this opens to create more digital and efficient processes for real estate and FM specialists. As a partner of Planon, we strive to create solutions that fit the needs of an increasingly dynamic environment,” said Fabio Ponzio, Vice President for Building Solutions at Hexagon Geosystems.

Using the Asset & Maintenance Management software from Planon, the TruView data can be accessed, from where it is possible to navigate through the building digitally. The individual rooms are displayed photo-realistically as 3D models and accurately reflect the locations of the technical installations recorded. From the individual technical installations, one can switch back to Planon and get all the necessary details about the installation.

Creating a smart building for an optimised maintenance workflow



Looking at the results and potential of these two solutions, there are many benefits:


  • Digital walkthrough of facilities
  • Easily find equipment in the room with tags
  • Display details of technical installations for maintenance
  • Digital tape measure to verify the dimensions of the room
  • Easily change FM provider by sharing your data
  • Possibility of drawing accurate 2D floorplans from the scanned data


The FM service provider commissioned by CRE, as well as new employees, tradesmen and tenants, can visit the property digitally through TruView and gain a good insight into the property without having to walk through it physically, which reduces travel and on-site time.

The maintenance teams can quickly find the technical equipment in the rooms via the tags and zoom in on objects for detailed views. During on-site visits, long search times for hidden equipment such as pump-lifting systems embedded in the floor or fire dampers hidden in the ceiling are eliminated. For upcoming repairs, the craftsmen can better calculate the expenditure for repairs and plan more precisely in terms of time and material requirements. The technicians can also use TruView on-site via tablet to quickly identify specific technical installations and display necessary details. Orders to the FM service provider can be triggered directly via the mobile app Planon Mobile Field Services.

In addition to identifying installations and navigating within a building, the rooms can also be measured in TruView with a digital tape measure. This facilitates decisions when it comes to furnishing rooms, for example. Lastly, there are further time, technical and monetary advantages when changing an FM service provider with such a system.

Rene Pollmann, Head of Technical Services, says: "The additional use of Hexagon to Planon's IWMS offers real added value. The solution was quickly ready for productive use and noticeably facilitates our day-to-day business."