Friday, December 15, 2017

Techvantage

ProductDossier is on its path to become the leading industry focus enterprises software

 

The Pune-based ProductDossier, The Enterprise Software Solutions Company, provides industry specific enterprise software solutions to project based enterprises through its software product TouchBase to drive growth and profitability. SANDEEP KUMAR, DIRECTOR, PRODUCTDOSSIER SOLUTIONS (INDIA) PVT. LTD offered SHRIKANT RAO an understanding of the solutions offered by his firm, the market challenges, and the way forward.

 

 

What are the various solutions offered by your firm and could you tell us about the specific areas of construction and infrastructure where they have been utilised?

ProductDossier flagship product TouchBase is an industry specific business software providing solutions for project management and other processes having comprehensive functionality, modular approach, high configurability, state of the art technology stack and price affordability. The industry verticals where it finds application are Professional Services, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Engineering, Procurement and Construction, Engineering and Manufacturing. Its functionality lies in the areas of Project and Portfolio Management, Project Financials, Drawings and Document Management, Transmittals, Supplier Management, Procurement, Bill of Quantities, Quality and Audit Management, Resource Management, Risk Management, Business Process Management, Integration adaptors among others. The solution has been utilised by different customers in different configuration based on their specific requirements and the functionality mentioned above.

 

Give us an understanding of the competitive advantage your clients have gained from project conceptualisation to delivery by using a solution like TouchBase? What are the areas in which they have found application and with what result?

Project Management software around the world provide more of project planning part in terms of schedule with either very little or no interface with the financial and quality aspects of the projects. TouchBase solution provides a combined view of financials and schedules. This also works as collaborative platform for customer, project management consultants and contractors. So one can say that the software provides the following to say the least:

 

  • Real time control, visibility and predictability
  • Actionable data points for informed decision making
  • Collaborative platform for multiple stakeholders
  • Integrated project financials, schedules and quality
  • Project health monitoring for financials, schedule etc.
  • Reduced project execution time and issue resolution times
  • Centralised data, documents and drawings repository
  • Improved communication
  • Adherence to statutory and quality compliances
  • 20-30 per cent increase in productivity and reduced rework
  • Integrated project procurement
  • Integrations with other systems like ERP, CAD and other software

 

Could you name some of your clients and can you offer us some case studies of key construction/infrastructure/real estate projects where your software solutions have been successfully employed?

We have several customers using our software.

 

« For example, Proplant is an EPC company based out of Houston, TX, USA.  They work on projects related to fertilizer and petrochemical plants, refiners etc for their global customers. TouchBase has been implemented as a project management system for monitoring and controlling large EPC projects from planning stage to commissioning and handover. The software allows the flexibility to quickly set up a new project including configurable workflows, project financials, schedules etc. The system monitors projects costs, deliverables, project progressive completion, contractor performance etc. The system seamlessly integrates with MS-Project and Primavera, if required to share schedule with customers or stakeholders outside the system. The system has flexibility to generate reports and transmittals and these can further be auto distributed from the system. Overall the software has provided huge competitive advantage and has enhanced the capability to deliver large EPC projects within budget, on time and with desired quality metrics.

 

«Similarly Valdel Engineers & Constructors (VEC) is an Indo-American joint venture with S&B Engineers and Constructors Ltd., a multi-billion dollar conglomerate headquartered at Houston, Texas, USA. S&B provides a full scope of services from feasibility studies to engineering, procurement, construction and project management consultation to the refining, petrochemical, chemical and polymer processing industries, in addition to government and public works projects. Valdel Engineers & Constructors offers a comprehensive range of services in Engineering, Project management, Procurement Assistance and Construction Management. Established in 1991 as John Brown Engineering and later known as Kvaerner Process in 1996, VEC has grown from providing specialised design and engineering services for the Oil & Gas industry to being a fully diversified engineering company. They have been using TouchBase for nearly three years in managing their project lifecycles. TouchBase has helped them being in complete control of their costs, schedule and quality.

 

« Kavya Projects is a multi-discipline detail engineering company providing lump-sum engineering solutions in Canada, the UAE, Indian subcontinent and other parts of Asia for Oil and Gas, Power, Petrochemical, Fertiliser, Chemical and Water industries. They have been using TouchBase to manage their end to end project lifecycle including project financials, project schedule, drawings and deliverables, Quality review management, Resource management and so on.

 

 

How have your technologies and solutions served as differentiators in the market? Do you have an overseas presence?

If you look at the Project Management software space in the context of EPC industry, you will notice the following:

 

  • Most people work on MS Project or Primavera in a standalone mode
  • Project Financials are done a ERP or some financial system and are at a very broad level
  • Contractor Management and collaboration are mostly done in excels
  • projects are running behind and over budget
  • Even if people have invested in technology, the implementation has not been successful for one reason or the other.

 

 

Now ProductDossier has tried to solve the above problems and this has led to several differentiating factors:

»   Comprehensive Functionality: First and foremost the acknowledgement that project management software is not just about schedule and task management but it includes several other aspects like Project Financials, Procurement, Contractor Management and so on.

»   Partner Approach: ProductDossier adopts a partner and consultative approach rather than as a mere software seller and ensures that each of the implementation is successful. This is where most failures happen. Either the implementation partner lacks required ability or is too expensive. ProductDossier ensures that customers are able to realise the value of their investment.

»   Technology: ProductDossier’s highly configurable functionality ensures that it takes only weeks rather than months to configure the solution and then ensure that further change management is fast and economical

»   People Change Management: This is a softer aspect of making technology work and is often ignored. ProductDossier implementation strategy keeps this at the centre of everything as users make the technology implementation successful.

»  Best Performance to Cost Ratio: ProductDossier offers the highest performance to cost ratio in the industry

 

ProductDossier is one of the examples of an Indian enterprise software product company going global. We have customers using our products in more than 20 countries including US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, China, Thailand and so on. As a part of our growth plans, we will continue to increase our overseas reach along with continued focus on the domestic market.

 

 

 

What are the challenges of marketing products and solutions such as yours in an ever changing and dynamic work environment particularly when it comes to persuading clients to adopt technological solutions?  What are the strategies adopted by you to push your products and solutions in a competitive market?
Enterprise software solutions space has always been very difficult with long sales cycles, failed implantations and so on. What makes it worse for project management solution is that these are more process based as compared to transaction based ERP systems.

Some of the key challenges are:

 

  • While ERP and CRM are kind of commoditised, project management solutions still means different things to different people and hence articulation of the needs becomes a big challenge
  • Delay in decision making either due to multiple stake holders
  • vendor landscape with different offering
  • Clear visibility on benefits and ROI

 

ProductDossier is working with customers in partner approach and help customers visualise the solution, benefits etc. not just on paper but actually working with them to realise all this by sharing risks and rewards. We believe that we have to be good in all aspects to be successful.

 

 

Where does India’s construction and infrastructure sector stand in terms of tech usage and give us an idea of India as a market for technological solutions such as those offered by your firm?

If you look at any industry, there is a need for a trinity of software namely CRM, Business Execution and ERP. Enterprises have already made some progress in the CRM and ERP. However business execution software is still in its nascent stage and is still largely done in excel sheets, standalone MS project etc. Also the computer usage is relatively less both in numbers and sophistication due to certain characteristics. However there is even greater need to use technology solutions and hence there is a huge opportunity. Infrastructure development in India is still only a tip of the iceberg and this is where ProductDossier is focussed on providing vertically driven solutions. The key differentiator would be to make these solutions work for the customer.

 

 

Cost is often cited as a deterrent for adoption of technology by Indian construction and infrastructure firms, do you see that changing? How can cost of technological solutions be brought down?
Cost and value are related things. Often cost is talked about when the value delivered against the cost is not fully visualised or achieved. It is the inherent nature of the enterprise software that the substantial upfront investment is required before the value can be realised.  Also in many cases cost is more often talked about is when the corresponding value is either not visualised or achieved. ProductDossier is solving this problem by offering yearly subscription model and by making sure that the ROI is clearly visible and experienced by customer. Our focus is more on delivering value and then charging the price in relation to that. We believe that this is a sustainable model and easier to sell thought. A yearly subscription model ensures that interest of the software vendor is tied in the successful value realisation from the software.

 

 

 

India has a $1 trillion infrastructure building programme ahead of it. What is the role you expect a firm like Product Dossier to play in the development? What are the new areas in which you are looking to offer collaboration?

We believe that ProductDossier will have a significant role in the infrastructure development in the country. We see this as our responsibility in nation building. Technology is the only way where we can build sustainable processes which are transparent, efficient and result oriented. We see ourselves as technology partners where we bring in solutions to put processes in auto pilot mode so that the engineers and other professional can focus on their core expertise and not on fire fighting to make the process work.

 

 

 

Could you talk of your company’s business performance through 2013, important contracts bagged, key learning, your plans for expansion and targets for 2014?

ProductDossier is well on its path of becoming the leading industry focus enterprise software in business execution space. We have had 100 per cent growth in the year 2013-14 and we are targeting 150 per cent growth in 2014-15. We have a fairly healthy pipeline including projects sponsored by World Bank.

We believe that what we are seeing as our growth are very initial signals and we will see much rapid growth rates in the next 2-3 years. We also see ourselves creating an ecosystem of solution providers where we will work with partners closer to customers in all parts of the world by offering our solutions. The key learning for us is to make each implementation a success and help customer achieve that value realisation.  And we believe that this is the best marketing we can do for our organisation. We are looking at increasing our customer base, expanding our presence in 2-3 more cities in India and also in more mature markets like USA and others.

 

Comments



Saturday, September 13, 2014

V Balaji

Great article ... The value of a Project Management Transformation should be measured through a sustained measurement of key business metrics, # Projects Delivered On Time / On Budget, Project CSAT.. even # Issues reported. In the early days - the objective of the company should be to allow greater transparency of any failures or challenges - since that is often a very difficult cultural shift. This exposure enabled by technology then allows organizations to then analyze, root cause and improve their project execution rates over the coming years using sustained technology advantages ... V. Balaji, CIO, Tata Technologies


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