Concora: Creating a Seamless Buying Experience for AECs

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Kip Rapp, CEO
If one has been closely observing the trends of the ecommerce sector over the last few decades, he/she can safely say that it was the boom of the Amazon marketplace that marked a clear ‘before and after’ demarcation in the history of retail merchandising. The onset of Amazon rewrote all the conventional rules of merchandising. Today, all a seller has to do is list their products on the Amazon website with the necessary information, accompanied by impressive visuals, and quote the price. When buyers search for a similar product category in the marketplace, they can assess all those relevant details to make a rational buying decision.

Such simple means of attracting and interacting with buyers has also inspired many independent sellers to set up their own online marketplaces and directly connect with their customers. Yet, these B2C merchandizing strategies often fail to pique the interest of the architect, engineer, and contractor (AECs) community when a similar tactic is mirrored for marketing building products in the construction industry. AECs require more technical and nitty-gritty details of products (i.e., building information model or CAD files, material safety data sheets, and more) to make correct design decisions. The legacy content management architectures of these marketplaces, however, are not fine-tuned for delivering these critical technical data and 3D images to AECs. Therefore, it is now imperative for building product manufacturers and sellers to optimize their online portals for rich technical content when catering to the AECs community. And to seamlessly deliver these content and other domain-specific tools for the AEC community, building product manufacturers need a purpose-built web platform. Enter Concora.

“Concora has developed a digital experience platform (DxP) that helps building product manufacturers offer a rich and captivating digital buyer experience for AECs,” states Kip Rapp, CEO of Concora. Branded to a client’s standards, Concora is ‘bolted on’ (similar to Shopify-like extension) to a company’s website, transforming it to a digital marketplace with more commercial technical content—thus offering AECs an intuitive “Amazon-like” marketplace experience to better compare different products. Additionally, through the platform’s centralized dashboard, manufacturers can also easily curate and modify their asset information with every product update.

And when a prospective buyer is on a product page, they can easily view product specs and documentation, or even download the Revit or Sketchup BIM data of a particular building product. Going the extra mile for customer gratification, the platform also allows the AECs to add those BIM files directly into their project models.


Concora has developed a digital experience platform (DxP) that helps building product manufacturers offer a rich and captivating digital buyer experience for AECs

What’s more? Concora takes the DxP a notch higher by integrating it with Salesforce CRM and helping the clients generate and manage high quality leads. Besides, clients can track the views and downloads of BIM and other digital assets on the DxP. They also have the provisions for marketing data visualizations and analytics to strengthen their sales effort further.

At this juncture, the CEO narrates a story where a renowned plumbing product manufacturer increased product sales by leveraging Concora’s DxP and enhancing their relationship with AECs. The client wanted a better system for managing and democratizing commercial, technical content, and having that content quickly syndicated to their website and other sales channels. This is when they reached out to Concora. The initial analysis revealed that the client’s existing infrastructure was fragmented or missing commercial objectives. Additionally, they had no book of records for commercial content (e.g., BIM, CAD). After implementing Concora’s white-labeled AEC web portal, the client saw substantial improvements across all web metrics (such as downloads, conversions, etc.). It helped them create elegant web experience and tools for their AEC customers, which enhanced the sales enablement process with manufacturer reps.

Building on these proven capabilities, Concora is now poised to add more tools and features to its digital experience platform and help building product manufacturers in further delivering a seamless experience to their buyers. Among others, one of the most significant efforts is the idea of incorporating the subcontractor community in the existing marketing pipeline. To do so, Concora is planning to develop a new module that can analyze the configuration of products in the virtual shopping cart and generate a quote for the subcontractors. Subcontractors could then share the quote with their clients. “Going further, we will be adding more tools that are closer to the point of sale and can further impact business outcomes of a manufacturer. All in all, we are determined to help building product manufacturers grow and nurture their businesses in a competitive environment,” concludes Rapp.

Concora News

Concora and JM Lifestyles Announce Strategic Partnership

JM Lifestyles Launches Digital Experience Platform Powered by Concora to Streamline BIM Content Distribution, Accelerate Building Product Specifications, Sales

Concora, developer of the commercial building products industry’s only Digital Experience Platform designed specifically for commercial building product manufacturers, and JM Lifestyles — a North Jersey-based sustainable manufacturer of specialty concrete products with a focus on creative concrete applications — announced today that both companies have formed a strategic partnership.

This business alliance begins with the successful launch of JM Lifestyles’s Digital Experience Platform, which provides architects, engineers, and contractors (AECs) a simpler method for searching, selecting, and specifying its commercial building products.

The Digital Experience Platform equips JM Lifestyles with an intuitive product selection experience for its design community, technical content management and publishing that is easy, and real-time access to detailed metrics and analytics — BIM content downloads, unique visits, project submittals, and user contact information — for its sales and marketing teams — enriching its lead generation pipeline, uncovering true purchasing intent, and driving sales.

In return, JM Lifestyles’s design community has access to a plethora of technical product content — BIM, CAD, specs, data sheets — project management and submittal tools that accelerate specification and increase the likelihood of product selections.

“Concora provides a simple, easy to use platform that allows intuitive access to our extensive product offerings,” said Jeff Kudrick, co-owner of JM Lifestyles. “We believe specifiers will be able to specify these unique products easier and faster using this Concora. We anticipate considerable specifications making the positive impact of this product a reality.”

One of JM Lifestyles’s core products featured inside of the Digital Experience Platform is its WoodForm Concrete®, which co-owners Jeff Kudrick and Michelle Radley say is a lightweight engineered composite that looks like wood and acts like stone. Known for its durability, Kudrick and Radley said the WoodForm Concrete® does not split, crack, splinter, stain or rot. Its installations have been featured in an array of commercial projects for global brands such as Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Hyatt, ACAG, HIlton Garden Inn, Residence Inn Levi’s, L’Occitane, SquareSpace Frye, Peloton, and Under Armour.

“WoodForm Concrete® is a revolutionary product that provides sustainable solutions for the way we build our spaces eliminating the use of endangered and limited resources. We are excited to use Concora as a platform to inform, educate and provide services to positive change in the built world,” said Michelle Radley, co-owner of JM Lifestyles.

Concora aided JM Lifestyles with streamlining the management and distribution of its building information modeling (BIM) — primarily Revit — by generating 15 models across JM Lifestyles’s Woodform Advantage, TruSlab, Restaurant, Hospitality, Hemingway, and Furniture collections. The models inside of these collections consist of countertops, kitchen island planks, and tables that cover kitchen, bathroom and furniture applications.

These dynamic features will help JM Lifestyles save money and time on internal and third-party BIM content creation, and will equip its core buyers with the accurate specs and modeling information needed for product specification.

“AECs have told us they expect a clear pathway to timely product selection and specification. Easy access to BIM, documents, brochures, and sustainability certificates are essential,” said Kip Rapp, CEO of Concora. “We’re excited to align with JM Lifestyles to create BIM content and the Digital Experience Platform, all which core buyers can leverage during the design phase of commercial construction projects.”

Architects, engineers, contractors, and specifiers interested in seeing how JM Lifestyles’s building product materials are now presented online are invited to visit https://jmlifestyles.concora.com/.

Company
Concora

Headquarters
Alpharetta, GA

Management
Kip Rapp, CEO

Description
Concora’ white-labeled DxP is designed to meet the specific needs of commercial building product manufacturers for catering to the AEC community. Using this platform, manufacturers can now set up a digital marketplace that would deliver commercial technical content to AECs and streamline their digital buyer journey. Additionally, manufacturers can use the centralized dashboard of the DxP to easily curate and modify their asset information with every product update

Concora