The Beginning: Building a CRM Solution for the AEC

20 Mar

The story of Cosential is less the story of a man with an objective and more the story of a product whose time had come. The man brought to life the CRM system that was begging to be created.

While working for international construction companies in the 1990s, Dan Cornish, a marketing executive, was required to create client-focused proposals for multi-million dollar projects. Getting information for these proposals out of the databases of the day was nearly impossible. Customizing a high-end proposal? Forget it.

In speaking with other construction firms, architects, and engineers in the industry, he realized they were all having this same problem. The CRM systems on the market were inflexible, complicated, and annoying.  Instead, firms in the industry were creating high-end proposals in Quark, CD-Rom, and even videos. All were labor, time, cost and knowledge intensive. None were simple. The industry was demanding something better. It was time for a database that worked for these intensive users.

Dan saw this need and created a CRM tool around it. He established some basic parameters for the new database. It had to be super easy, almost stupid simple.  Marketing, Sales and Business Development professionals didn’t have the time or desire to learn a new system.  A complicated product took time away from selling, meeting clients and networking. The database had to have an easy reporting function. No IT effort required. It had to create beautiful presentations. And finally, it had to be accessible from anywhere.

With these guidelines in hand, Dan gathered a team of top-notch designers, all  (architecture, engineering, and construction) A/E/C veterans, to create Cosential. The result was a product that was dramatically more efficient than anything else on the market. Because A/E/C professionals created it, they understood the needs and frustrations of their colleagues. They developed a customized system tailored to one industry, an A/E/C solution.

In 1999, a bare-bones version of Cosential started gaining buzz.  Word of mouth about a web-based contact database system, which easily generated complex reports and tracked project history, began circulating within the AEC community.   Hundreds of clients and tens of thousands of users later, Cosential has remained true to its original mission: providing CRM solutions to the A/E/C industry.

Tip: When doing your due diligence on CRMs – find out why they were created.  What makes them different? Cosential was designed to solve the pain points of A/E/C professionals on the go.

Stay tuned for future chapters of the Cosential story. Learn how the product has grown, adapted to current needs, and continues to solve the frustrations of the A/E/C industry.

   

Subscribe to Email Updates