Sunday, November 19, 2017

Techvantage

For sustainable and profitable growth, companies will have to adopt latest IT tools

 

 

SoftTech Engineers Pvt. Ltd. established in the year 1996, is a trusted IT solutions developer for the Architecture-Construction-Engineering (AEC) vertical. The Pune headquartered firm has developed some path breaking and innovative solutions which cater to the specific project management needs of construction enterprises and infrastructure industry. VIJAY GUPTA, CHAIRMAN & CEO, SOFTTECH ENGINEERS PVT. LTD. responded to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES queries on the role played by his organisation in the project management software space.

 

 

Briefly give us a understanding of the software solutions offered by your firm and their application and usefulness across various projects?

 

Our products manage entire construction life cycle of construction industry addressing their growth needs. With 750+ man years of experience and in-depth client study, SoftTech Engineers Pvt. Ltd. has developed e-governance and construction  ERP products like OPTICON™, PWIMS™ and AutoDCR® keeping in mind specific needs of our customers. SoftTech is completely focused towards the AEC vertical. Our products of repute are:  AutoDCR®- a National award winning product which has revolutionised building plan scrutiny process in governing bodies. AutoDCR® reads CAD drawings and maps them to the development control regulations for approval by municipal corporations and approving authorities. It is seamlessly integrated to an online approval workflow to monitor the approval process with associated document scrutiny and site visits where applicable. AutoDCR® integrates SMS and Personal Digital Assistants for creating alerts and notifications to concerned authorities and beneficiaries. Currently it is implemented across 40+ ULB’s in India. PWIMS ™, short for Public Works Information Management System, is a web based e-Procurement and works management solution for the government and public sector undertakings engaged in the development of infrastructure projects. PWIMS procurement lifecycle includes budgets, estimations, approval, e-tendering, contract management, monitoring and billing. OPTICON™- a comprehensive construction ERP it is a ready-to-implement solution that specifically meets the requirements of the construction industry.Construction business management is a dynamic field, facing newer opportunities and challenges, with every passing year. For any construction enterprise it is vital to be agile in managing operations as well as pre-empting changes in market and business environment. An ERP which especially satisfies the engineering aspects of estimation, tendering, project planning and control.

 

 

 

Highlight the features of your project management software? What distinguishes them from other construction and project management software available in the real estate/construction sector?

 

Project management software generally work in silos and the data is captured manually from the associated processes resulting in effort duplication and errors. Our solution – OPTICON™- is a completely integrated solution right from extracting quantities from BIM models,proceeding to project cost management, project schedule management and project monitoring. The highlights of our Project Management software are:

 

  • Activity based budgeting and project scheduling
  • Integration with the associated processes and tools like requisition.
  • Construction Project Management – Integration to standard Project Management tools
  • Reporting real time cash flow and project profit-loss statements.
  • Works as a Decision support system for Investment planning, project controlling.
  • Work flow driven mapping to the latest technology.
  • Build with the Futuristic approach addressing the increasing business needs of a growing construction organisation. 
  • OPTICON™ is also available on hand held devices, providing a convenience to professionals working remotely on site and with dashboards for managers who are always on move.

 

 

 

What is your take on the level of penetration of latest technologies in the Indian market? How does the Indian tech market vis-à-vis the overseas?

 

The adoption of IT in the Indian construction industry is quite low as compared to the other developing countries. There is little awareness among the Indian builders regarding Building Information Modeling, construction ERP. Also in India there seems to be a challenge of technical proficiency among the users in the construction industry. While as, countries in the Middle East have already adopted latest technologies like BIM models, using ERPs for managing construction projects.

 

Incidentally BIM models have been made compulsory for approvals in many advanced countries today. In India, construction industry has always being a labour intensive industry and till now is considered as an unorganised sector.  However with the cost of land and material going up it is the need of the hour, for the industry to be more organised and concentrate on internal process management for better efficiency and cost control.  The industry has started realising the need and importance of IT and latest communication technology. We foresee that in order to manage the growth the companies will have no option but to adopt latest technology tools for project management and collaboration.

 

 

 

Tell us about your clients? Which are the projects which are currently being supported by SOFTTECH solutions?

 

Our e-Governance products are currently implemented in 40+ Urban Local Bodies throughout India. Each project comes with their unique challenges. As part of our effort to provide top services to our clients, we conduct thorough requirements study and then take steps to implement our products. Some of our prestigious clients are Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Pune Municipal Corporation, Chennai Municipal Corporation, Bangalore Municipal Corporation,Indore Municipal Corporation.

 

Our Product PWIMS is implemented at many state level organisations like Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, PWDs viz. PWD West Bengal, PWD Uttrakhand, PWD Mizoram, Rajasthan Housing board. We have country wide installation of PWIMS at Engineering Division of LIC of India.

 

OPTICON™ the construction ERP is being used by at least 22 customers, mostly across India, Middle East and Africa. We have also invested in efforts to integrate OPTICON™ with Revit software, to provide a completeness, right from design to final execution. We are quite confident this integration with Revit BIM model put us in unique position and we stand to gain a greater market share.

 

 

 

Briefly describe the challenges of managing projects and related data?

 

For a construction project major challenge is to avoid cost overrun and project delay. Cost overruns and delays go hand in hand. The critical factors that result into cost overruns could be summarised as:

 

  • Incomplete design at the time of tender.
  • Frequent Changes in owner brief.
  • Improper cost planning/monitoring.
  • Site/poor soil conditions.
  • Prime cost and provisional sums adjustment.
  • Re measurement of provisional works.
  • Logistical issues.
  • Lack of cost reports during construction stage.

 

These challenges can be well addressed by use of an effective ERP system, wherein all the stake holders work together on the processes, challenges and the solution by capturing all the transactional data to generate intelligent reports. An intelligent report helps in making effective decisions.

 

 

 

Tell us about your strategy to market your software technology?

 

In India, using IT solutions for construction projects is still at a budding stage. Top tier construction houses have invested into IT solutions on a great scale, but majority of the tier 2 and tier 3 have to yet adapt to the approach of using IT. Our marketing approach is not only towards making the market aware about our offerings, but also involves some amount of information exchange regarding IT usage which would help our potential customers arrive at a decision.

 

The National e-governance plan has given a major fillip to our e-Governance products of AutoDCR® and PWIMS™. Making ourselves available at the right forums is our primary focus. PR plays a major part as part of marketing for e-Governance products. Motivating municipal corporations to participate in various award functions, has helped us gain a strong foothold.

 

We participate in seminars to explain the advantages and needs of these solutions for growth and sustainability of business houses related to construction industry.  Participating in National Awards, Social Media marketing, Digital marketing have been used majorly for our marketing campaigns.

 

We have also being using the print media for focused communication and marketing activities judiciously. 

 

 

 

Highlight your company’s performance through 2013 and expansion plans in 2014. Could you tell us about your plans to upgrade solutions or to introduce new software in the coming year?

 

Year 2013 has seen some good achievements for SoftTech. Our product Opticon has received international orders from Middle East and African countries. We have also signed a partnership seller agreement with Innotech, Kenya.

 

Innotech will act as a reseller for our construction ERP – OPTICON™ in the Africa markets.  Our e-Governance products of AutoDCR® and PWIMS™ have also done well. Recently AutoDCR® received contracts from Pimpri Chinchwad New Town Development Authority (PCNDTA) and Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA). AutoDCR® also received the prestigious contract of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HDMA).  In the year 2014, we (SoftTech Engineers Pvt. Ltd.) have decided to expand its markets internationally. Currently the focus is on the markets in Middle East, Africa, SAARC and South East Asian countries.  Integration, Penetration and Innovation being our keywords, we are slowly but confidently making inroads into the international market. Not to be complacent with the existing product offerings, year 2014 will also see the launch of a new offering. A product which will assist in office and design management services offering aimed at the architect professionals. We are in the process of fine tuning the offering and will soon launch the product.

 




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