Thursday, March 4, 2021


Edge over the competition



Since 1982, Construction Computer Software (CCS) has focused on dedicated software solutions specifically designed for the Construction and Mining industries. In 2008, CCS and BuildSmart merged to join the strengths of the Candy Project Control system with the BuildSmart Cost Management system providing an integrated solution from first estimate to final accounts. CCS has more than 14000 users in over 50 countries including many of the world’s largest construction companies which range from large civil engineering enterprises to mining and building. CCS’ software has been used on typically large jobs such as highways, dams, airports, sports stadiums, waterways such as the Panama Canal extensions, high-rise buildings (Burj Khalifa) by large contractors such as Bilfinger Berger, Balfour Beatty, Billiton, Bechtel and Hochtief.


LALU VARGHESE, COUNTRY HEAD , CONSTRUCTION COMPUTER SOFTWARE, responded to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES queries on the application of his organisation’s software in India’ s construction and infrastructure space. 



Give us an idea of the various technological solutions Construction Computer Software (CCS) is offering in the building and infrastructure space in India?


Construction Computer Software (CCS) provides end-to-end solutions for the construction industry. We are offering Integrated Cost Management System (ICMS) for the industry. Candy produces two closely linked products.

The first is CCS Candy, an estimating, planning and project control tool. Candy is a modern software suite focused on project control in the construction industry, a field in which we have gained enormous experience. Candy is a ruggedised product, built for construction site conditions and unsympathetic treatment by construction personnel. Interestingly it is included in the curriculum of a few educational institutions and universities across India.

We have specifically targeted the contractor’s/developer’s software requirements, from taking-off, pricing and planning a project, controlling at site level, through to the final certificate. We have a wide international client base which exposes us to a variety of local requirements and new techniques. These are continually included into the software.

The second is CCS BuildSmart which is a cost management and enterprise accounts system (ERP). Build Smart Software is designed to manage the complete Procure to Pay cycle and report all project costs in the same cost and activity matrix used in Candy to allow a one-to-one match between budget and actual for all resources.  BuildSmart reports all accrued costs, as well as costs for which payment has actually been made, so as to permit the one to one match in the same time periods used in the Candy model.




Tell us about the specific areas of construction and infrastructure where CCS’s solutions have been utilised?


BuildSmart Cost Management and Candy Estimating and Project Control tie the financial processes to the physical processes of any enterprise construction projects. This means that an accurate and real time appraisal is presented of each construction project of the enterprise. These also manage estimation, Scheduling, Forecasting, Cash flow, Valuations, Procurement, Sub Contract Management, Asset Management, Salary & Payroll, HR, Accounts etc from one single solution CCS “ICMS” process. CCS is continuously improving and we recently incorporated 2D and 3D Quantity take and we are working towards integration with BIM Modeling.




Tell us about your presence here and work overseas? 


CCS has a presence in 56 countries and we are continuously improving our skills and products to deliver a much better solution to our clients. Our operational office in India was set up in 2009. Since then, we have managed to win many top notch construction companies as our clients.




Could you tell us of the clients serviced by CCS – and also offer us some case studies of key projects where your software solutions have been employed successfully?


Our product is developed by construction professionals and delivered exclusively for construction companies. We have more than 30 plus years experience in this industry and have more than 14,000  users across the globe.

Our product has successfully been used by many companies. Analysis has found that most of the companies are affected because of lack of project control. Our products seamlessly address all the risks involved in terms of money resource and quantity. We take pride in the fact that a lot of institutions like NICMAR, RICS, IITs including several universities have taken up CCS’ solutions.




Give us an understanding of the competitive advantage your clients have gained by using CCS’s solutions – particularly with reference to structural engineering and on project management side bringing down cost and time overruns? 


With the industry’s most effective link between budgeted cost and time (using interactive estimating and planning) Candy can produce a detailed cost, activity and time project model. Because the Candy model is built up from the most basic resources, individual resources budgets can be sent directly to BuildSmart to allow resource procurement with complete accuracy and effective control of both quantities and buying rates. BuildSmart will then manage the complete Procure to Pay cycle and report all project costs in the same cost and activity matrix used in Candy to allow a one-to-one match between budget and actual for all resources. BuildSmart reports all accrued costs, as well as costs for which payment has actually been made, so as to permit the one-to-one match in the same time periods used in the Candy model.  As far as cost and time overruns are concerned we need information to take the right decisions. The information has to be at the right time in right format. CCS will help you to get information. Candy’s strict control of resource rates, activity duration and projected cash flow requirements can also feed the BuildSmart Cost Management system its vital financial data to cost manage all the projects in the enterprise.



As a software solutions provider what are the challenges you face in an ever changing and dynamic work environment particularly when it comes persuading clients to adopt technological solutions?  


We at CCS love challenges. It is a big challenge to convince the prospective clients on the enormous advantage the company will have by using CCS systems. Most of companies run on conventional systems with information scattered in different areas. This crucial system is fragmented and spread in parts across e-mail, spread sheet and ERP. Our effort to bring all information onto a single platform has been appreciated by countless satisfied customers. Initially there may be adaptability issues since the CCS Software is completely different from the traditional software. However once the benefits to the company are known the initial hiccups to adopt will be history.




What are the strategies your company has employed to market its products and services?


We  at  CCS  do  not believe  in  compromising our work ethics since the concept of short cuts is fictional. We  strongly believe that we are competent enough to deliver what we promote and to the satisfaction of industry’s requirements.   




Give us an understanding of the current trends in terms of technological applications and usage?  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? 


We have been observing a positive acceptance of the CCS software  technology.  With the rapid increase in the number of projects, it has become imperative to make the most of available resources, with an ultimate objective of maximising efficiency. The boom in the construction sector has witnessed a perceptible spiral movement over the past decade and this serves as an indicator of the tremendous potential which lies within reach. Though there have been initial resistance within the Indian market to accept technological advances, companies have gradually embraced technology from CCS which has a value addition edge over competition.




Cost is often a deterrent for adoption of technology by Indian construction and infrastructure firms? Do you see that changing and how can the cost of technological solutions be brought down?


As said before the right resource availability  is  a  major  threat.  All  are  aware that a better project control is required to “protect the margin”. Obviously cost is a factor and scenarios are changing as all are aware. One way or the other way they need a better control on the project – and for that a better technology is required. We at CSS have not come across any clients who state that they do not need a system for project control.




Could you talk of your company’s business performance through 2013 and plans for expan sion in 2014?


We had a steady growth in 2013 and that has given us very good confidence. We look forward to double the target for 2014 and we are optimistic that we will cross that too. So far we have been concentrating on metros alone. We will now be looking to expand to untapped areas like Tier II cities.  






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