05 July 2020

Interaction- Ian Hauptfleisch, Regional Head (MENA, Europe And Central, North & South Asia), Construction Computer Software (PTY)

Outlook for tall buildings in India is very good


Due to its twin products Candy and BuildSmart, CCS clients can reap a unique synergy between both products, something which no other software vendor in the construction sector has managed to achieve. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES,  
IAN HAUPTFLEISCH, REGIONAL HEAD (MENA, EUROPE AND CENTRAL, NORTH & SOUTH ASIA), CONSTRUCTION COMPUTER SOFTWARE (PTY), expounds upon the virtues of their twin offerings and discusses his outlook for the Indian tall building market.




Your assessment of trends in software technologies developed specially for the construction of tall buildings.
BIM (Building Information Modeling) practices, processes, and associated software technologies, have and still are playing a significant role across the construction spectrum, and some would argue none more so than in the construction of buildings….of all shapes and sizes.
BIM is essential for efficient control of a construction project, from design through to facilities and asset lifetime management. The virtual design and “buildability” provided by a 3D model, integral in the BIM process, allows for substantial savings before, during, and after, construction of an asset where potential design and/or specification challenges can be addressed virtually, so that clash detection and building simulations before ground has been broken will drastically reduce, extremely costly (in time and money) changes and variations.
Unfortunately, BIM is not just something that happens or you can buy off the shelf…it is a paradigm shift and like most things in life, what you put in determines what you get out of it.
Information is at the heart of control and you simply cannot control what you can’t measure – the success of BIM, like that of a building project, depends heavily on communication, collaboration, and sharing of accurate data and information across the board.



Where does CCS sit in this tall building software ecology.
Our purpose is to enrich the world we live in by enabling our clients to optimally deliver the built environment. ‘Optimally’ is the operative word here, and to deliver the built environment optimally our clients need complete control of their construction projects, from estimate through to final account, and that’s where we come in.
For a contractor, the success of a construction project is ultimately determined by whether it’s finished within budget and on-schedule, and our two leading software offerings, Candy and BuildSmart, provide the tools to do just that.



What is unique about both your products – BuildSmart and Candy.
CCS’ two leading software products include BuildSmart-- a Cost Management System, and Candy--a Construction Estimating and Project control system. These form an integrated solution from first estimate to final accounts. Candy provides integrated applications for construction project budgeting and budgetary control through modules of Estimating, Planning, Forecasting, Cash Flow, and Cost Control, while BuildSmart is a web based ERP solution facility to record actual costs and expenditure of a project through its integrated modules of construction orientated and specific Procurement, Accounting, and Payroll. Its target users are general or building contractors, civil or infrastructure contractors, and MEP contractors.




What were the major challenges faced in integrating them.
CCS products assist by providing industry specific solution for controlling project costs using tools to aid in establishing, monitoring, and managing the budget, or allowable versus actual costs of a construction project for a contracting entity, from inception to final account. A large number of CCS clients use both Candy and BuildSmart as an integrated cost management solution (ICMS) because using one of them in isolation allows them to have only half the picture. To take the project from the estimate to the final account with accurate cost control Candy and BuildSmart are the solutions to have.
It has been found that large groups in the region cover a multiple number of industries with construction being only part of their portfolio. CCS being construction specific, can only target and meet the demands of the construction leg of these groups. CCS has recognized this and has the functionality available to completely manage construction business interests of these diverse groups though its unique software and merging BuildSmart financials with legacy/ERP systems of these groups, thus increasing number of users using both Candy and BuildSmart.



How do both products help an EPC Contractor in the pre-bidding stage, and later during project execution.
Candy provides an effective link between Budgeted Cost and Time (using interactive Estimating and Planning), and will produce a detailed Cost, Activity, and Time, project model. The cost and time savings are a direct result of what can be termed “Upfront control of costs” – which in effect means controlling the costs before actual spending and not afterwards. “The Candy ‘shopping list’ changes business parameters and adds a whole new dimension, giving the client complete control of what they purchase. The system restricts and red flags differences between tender and actual requirements, and once a full measure has been carried out after the engineering phase of works has been completed, there is little room for error when procuring materials and issuing allowable amounts to the contract teams. It has been well established that by utilizing both BuildSmart and Candy, it is possible to have systems that control all processes, from estimation sheet to final deliverable. Candy and BuildSmart together provide the most powerful tool for critical real-time management information to take timely management action, to control project costs and to increase margins. Separately, these are available from a myriad of suppliers, but what sets CCS apart from them is the interconnectedness of modules…one company and solution for the entire contracting business.



Is your R&D focused on expanding the software ecology for construction and mining sectors. What new products are you developing.
CCS “never stands still,” and we continually enhance our solution and service offerings in line with --and often ahead of -- industry, technological, user and country/territory specific requirements. All developments, additions, extensions, and enhancements, to CCS solutions are carefully considered and evaluated for their value add to the Solution, our client base, and the industry as a whole, aligned with best and legislative/statutory practices. Current developments for Candy, our Estimation and Project Control System, includes enhancing its multi-user capabilities, subcontract adjudication facilities, bespoke tender finalization, and cost reporting and improvements to our on-screen QTO (Quantity Take-off) for 3D modelling compatibility and BIM functionality.
On the BuildSmart side, our web-based construction accounting and ERP System, we’re already GCC VAT and India GST ready, and developments include more and improved mobile features, on-site “virtual” store, and inventory control, linked to Candy allowable, and the integration of locational cost control in purchasing, delivery, and reporting.



Tell us about your latest upgrade for these products, especially with BIM.
With more companies turning to BIM, the question often asked is: Has CCS software been upgraded to integrate with BIM? The most important aspect of a tender is to quantify it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it, hence the quantification of work being crucial. BIM done properly can provide an excellent and easily accessible source for electronic quantification and our Candy product integrates with both 2D drawings and 3D models to provide a seamless integration between quantities and the items or work.



Game changing technology developed by CCS.
Irrespective of market conditions, cost control is an imperative for any contractor. Profits or losses on projects is essentially what determines their bottom line, and real time cost control at all stages of a project is crucial. CCS solutions are developed from the bottom up to provide contractors with tools, features and functionality, to provide cost control from estimate to final account. With relatively flat market conditions, exasperated by lower oil prices and projects being pulled out or not coming on-line, competition is rife: margins are lowered, durations shortened, and resources over-extended. So accuracy in budget, quantification, forecasting, cash flow, and cost control, on an ongoing basis is non-negotiable and exactly what CCS solutions Candy and BuildSmart are designed for.



Aftermarket and Consultancy services offered by your company.
CCS sets the Standard when it comes to after-sales support and service. All support, training and implementation personnel are construction professionals providing expert, 24X7 assistance and advice on the practical application of CCS in person, by email, telephone or remote services.
We understand the stress of meeting tight deadlines for either a tender, cost report or financial management report. The need for assistance can’t be scheduled and we at CCS recognize that as our staff have been in the Users safety shoes, wearing a hard hat and wanting help NOW. Support is something we pride ourselves on, and our Users are testament to this.



Tell us about your client base and global footprint.
CCS solutions are used in over 50 countries by over 1000 contracting and consulting companies, to minimise risk, increase accuracy and maximise profit. Users ranging from SME construction companies to large construction companies, many have implemented CCS solutions on some of the biggest and most prestigious projects.
Our client base will give a perspective on the scale of our presence in the market. Larsen & Toubro, Patel Engineering, Tata Projects, Shapoorji Pallonji, JMC projects, Capacite, Cherian Varkey Construction Co., CEC Delhi, Brookfield Multiplex, CEC, Punj Lloyd, etc. It is not possible to give a percentage for each country but South Africa is 90 per cent, UAE is probably 70 -75 percent including rest of middle East which extends to Qatar. We have offices and distributorships in the UK and Portugal, Australia and New Zealand. Our global footprint is evident in landmark projects like Burj Al Arab; Atlantis The Palm; Yas Water Park; Bahrain World Trade Centre, Riyadh’s Kingdom Tower; Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat, and King Abdulaziz International Airports; Dubai, Doha, and Riyadh, metro rail projects in the Middle East, and internationally: Heathrow Terminal 5; Wembley Stadium; Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok International Airport; M5 Expressway in Sydney; all stadia and infrastructure developments and upgrades for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the Gautrain Rapid Rail Project in South Africa.



Your outlook for the tall building market in India.
India is an emerging economy and like any other developed country, scope of tall buildings or vertical development in India is quite good. All Indian metros are densely populated and space is a huge constraint. Therefore, developers prefer to get maximum floor space. There are several construction companies in India who are specialized only on tall buildings using modern form work technologies for faster completion and RoI. The overall outlook for tall buildings in India is very good.



How tech savvy is the Indian market to use your products.
There is a learning curve involved. Our product Candy is very intuitive. First you estimate a job and schedule it, then you put it together and forecast it. BuildSmart can be structured through the role of a person using that software. Our training is different for each product. Candy requires 3-5 days of training of basic theory and application. BuildSmart is obviously a business process change and we have a unique approach there.
We go to the company and assist them to do live transactions and then they cover the large information and assist them again. We have hands on approach alongside a comprehensive approach with comprehensive software and manuals.



Major tall building projects where your software is used.
We provide software license to clients in India across the Contracting, Infrastructure, and Real Estate domains. However, in India we do not have a tab on which projects our clients use CCS software; very often clients are skeptical to share such information since it requires approval from the principal client company. Some global tall building projects where our solutions have been used include Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab (Dubai), Kingdom Tower (Saudi Arabia), World Trade Centre (Bahrain), etc.



How can prospective clients in India contact your office here?
We have offices in Mumbai and Kochi, reachable via e-mail info@ccsasia.com. More details can be accessed on

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