Jul 10 2014

Business consultancy: What sets CONJECT apart from other AEC vendors

Business ConsultancyCustomer Services Director Nick Sansome details how CONJECT’s customer engagement strategy makes them unique.

What do CONJECT’s clients want to achieve?

“Our clients are looking to deliver capital projects and programmes in a structured, managed and controlled series of processes and expect our software to facilitate and enable this aim, whilst delivering tangible returns on investment.”

What does CONJECT do that makes them different?

“Simpler systems tend to only require implementation services, due to their limited capabilities.  This is also true of clients with a clear understanding of their business challenges and how certain software applications meet and resolve these challenges.  CONJECT can provide this type of service and have a dedicated team to implement our system against a defined scope of works and clear definition by knowledgeable customers.  It’s very much a “does what it says on the tin” approach.

However, because we have a functionally rich product in conjectPC, we also have the challenge of understanding a customer’s requirements and using our experience to extract the maximum value from the application for the client. This is often done by educating the client of its capabilities and setting and managing the “vision” of what is possible over what period of time, and what are the key deliverables and the satisfaction a customer can derive. This is business consultancy, and we do this on an ever-increasing scale.  This requires people with AEC industry experience, who understand the challenges at first hand, who can use anecdotal examples to work with customers, and who can manage the process to meet the key deliverable targets set by the customer. We continually find the key drivers remain: Quality, Time &  Cost, and how our software supports and complements these challenges.

We find that the effort and time spent with the customer in the pre-delivery stage understanding their business processes, their communication workflows and how they work with their supply chain proves essential to us working with them to configure the software so that it delivers value to the whole supply chain.”

How are business consultancy services are delivered?Nick Sansome JPEG.jpg mk2

“We have a team of 8 highly trained consultants who between them work on all deployments, and are on hand to support new implementations as required by the client and the leading project team members.  The team consists of people who have decades of experience from the AEC and technology industry and depending on the complexity and demands of the customer requirement we endeavour to match up the most suitable consultant with the customer.

We follow industry standard methodologies such as PRINCE2 when delivering business consultancy services and in every customer engagement, we work to agreed KPI’s, milestones and reviews throughout the project or programme lifecycle.  From early design through to construction, defects and handover/operation we remain in contact with the customer and monitor progress.

With all of our deployments we conduct reviews to determine if the original business objectives have been met and what could have been improved or done differently.  A methodology of continuous review and improvement has enabled us to keep our major clients happy and we are proud that clients such as Sainsbury’s, Lend Lease and Mace have each been with us for over a decade.  With the latter two organisations benefiting from having control and visibility of their international projects and programmes as a result of conjectPC being configured to manage different languages, terminology and business processes & workflows.”

What challenges have you faced when implementing CONJECT’s products?

“With clients using the software from Azerbaijan, Dubai to New Zealand, the use of terminology obviously varies.  This requires an open-mind and understanding of different cultures.  You also have to occasionally risk getting embarrassed by asking what would seem to be an obvious question – namely – “what activity are you describing with that word?”.  This may seem to be a minor point, but when configuring contract workflows (NEC3 for instance) into local contracts it’s an important factor and if missed could lead to potential issues when the project is live.  This came up when working with Christchurch City Council in New Zealand, but once the terminology was explained , we configured the software to incorporate it.”

What’s next for business consultancy?

“As the maturity of clients and contractors grows in using software like Conject PC there will be a greater demand for a reduction in the number of systems they use, as well as seeking greater capability within the ones that remain.  Adaptability to use “Best of Breed” software and expect them to “talk to each other” will I think become more common as well.  As the market becomes more competitive, the small details that give companies a competitive edge will become more important, which is where our software and services can really make a big difference.  Working closer with customers to offer business consultancy to help deliver greater benefits in ILM software will surely be required too.”


Related posts:

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CONJECT users favour LinkedIn
A hat-trick of Be2awards for CONJECT
Tips on how to support the users of cloud applications 


About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

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