Jagan Venkataramanan, formerly a senior partner at Venkataramanan Associates, has always been passionate about detangling workflows in AEC offices. His experience at his former workplace has helped him formulate Konnect . ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Systems, like Konnect , are already prevalent in countries outside of India and help increase efficiency and facilitate collaborations amongst all project stakeholders. The system essentially reduces manual workload, bringing fallacies to a minimum. Various tasks such as CRM, fee estimation, project accounting, procurement, timesheets, HR, and project management are synced on a single platform. It makes managing day-to-day office procedures seamless.
“Most small and mid-sized A/E firms still rely on spreadsheets and disjointed canned project management and collaboration software to manage their internal operations, including CRM, project management, project accounting, administration, and human resources management. Generating meaningful and on-demand dashboards, which have qualitative information and can be used to make decisions by all stakeholders, is not possible using disjointed systems and software. Konnect fills this gap and provides various business, operational, technical, and financial dashboards to all stakeholders on-demand at an economical price,” explains Venkataramanan.
The advantages of using an ERP software such as Konnect are still unknown to many in the AEC industry in India. Combining and analyzing information to present to team leaders, project managers, and other heads so they can make executive decisions is time-consuming. The pandemic has rendered these tasks even more tedious.
Konnect was born and written initially as an in-house program to run VA’s processes and operations efficiently. It has been written with inputs from architects, engineers, accountants, administration, marketing, sales, and HR professionals having over 30 years of domain expertise.
Times have changed. We need tools to manage complex – time and cost – tracking for in-house, outsourced and hybrid work from anywhere models. Konnect can track project design, manage drawings, documents, and can project manage other deliverables. It can also maintain and track associated costs for the same incurred by people working on them from any location as long as they are part of the Konnect system. It has offered great benefits, especially during the pandemic. Foreseeably, hybrid working models are here to stay even after the pandemic is long gone, and the Konnect can become indispensable in such a scenario.”
Konnect can track project design, manage drawings, documents, and other deliverables. It can also maintain and track associated costs for the same incurred by people working on them from any location as long as they are part of the Konnect system.
The pandemic is a recent crisis. However, Konnect AEC has been in the works long before that. “While I was a senior partner at the A/E firm Venkataramanan Associates (VA Group), we grew the company to around 175 people who were directly on the company’s payrolls and over 500 people who were working on the firm’s projects as outsourced partners. We must have been managing over 120 projects together, which were all at different stages of completion. About 20 years back, we used only spreadsheets and a handful of canned software products to manage the firm’s day-to-day operations. The big players in ERP, like SAP and Oracle, were available but not affordable to a growing A/E practice like VA. It was also not written specifically to solve issues faced by project-based firms. I was involved in the firm’s operations then and knew all the pain points we were facing. That is how Konnect was born and written initially as an in-house program to run VA’s processes and operations efficiently. It has been written with inputs from architects, engineers, accountants, administration, marketing, sales, and HR professionals having over 30 years of domain expertise”, states the man with a vision.
It is Venkataraman’s second venture, V+S Design Partners, through which Konnect AEC was developed, “V+S Design Partners improved Konnect’s UI/UX. Thereon it was offered to the various A/E firms at a nominal price. We believe it can improve their processes, operational efficiencies, and firm’s profits and financial stability in the long run. As we are passionate about the future of the AEC industry, Konnect will continuously improve the product for both -project information management and operations management for A/E consulting firms and other project-focused consulting firms. We will add AI, ML-based features and also have BOTS working within the platform which will reduce the reliance on human beings and their memories to track reminders and actions to be taken by the defined workflows,” he responds.
Konnect AEC, developed on a SaaS platform, is now available for immediate implementation by A/E and project-based firms and for those project-based businesses to streamline their A/E business operations to be more efficient and profitable. Konnect’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it is developed by architects and engineers for architects and engineers.
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