Cloud-based, data-driven technology offers the construction industry significant potential to operate more efficiently and boost both productivity and return on investment (ROI).
“But that potential can only be unlocked when you choose the right software platform,” says Jas Saraw, Vice President, Canada at Procore Technologies, a leader in cloud-based construction management software. “We believe a construction platform should offer three basic features: an all-in-one solution to construction management that minimizes or eliminates the need for multiple software solutions, a short learning curve that allows users to quickly adopt it, and a cost structure that allows construction companies to quickly realize the savings that result from those efficiencies.”
Saraw says that construction management platforms leveraging cloud computing should also provide three benefits to prove their worth: increased profitability, reduced costs, and improved efficiencies in a company’s current business model.
“If you’re hitting those targets as part of a technology investment, you’re ahead of the game,” Saraw says.
However, construction companies may be hesitant to adopt or replace existing project management systems, simply because they need to quickly demonstrate that the migration is paying dividends.
“People who live and breathe construction will tell you that they juggle so many elements and complexity on the job site that it can be hard to prove the value of adopting new technology,” he says. “That complexity doesn’t allow us to say that Procore will increase your profits on every job. However, I can tell you that we solve common processes, workflows and issues that plague the industry—such as follow-ups to communications and holding owners and sub-contractors accountable. There’s inherent ROI built into that.”
Procore is uniquely designed to foster rapid adoption so that benefits become readily apparent.
“If you think of a company that manages 20, 30 or 40 projects at a time, their ability to realize ROI is driven by their ability to implement and gain adoption of that software across the entire enterprise,” says Saraw. “We’ve created such an intuitive platform that you can get Procore up and running in a matter of weeks, not months. It’s not just a goal, it’s an imperative. If people don’t find the software easy to use, they’ll forego it in favour of Excel spreadsheets, phone calls and hand-written notes. If the software eliminates pain points and is easy to use, they’ll gravitate to it.”
He notes that companies using three or four different software platforms to achieve their project management needs are prime candidates to see an ROI simply by switching to a single platform and retiring the associated hard costs of legacy software. Procore incorporates dozens of functions into its all-in-one platform, from project management, to quality and safety, construction financials and field productivity.
“Procore can demonstrate ROI on its document handling and sharing features alone, by eliminating the need for a project manager or coordinator who is solely responsible for document control,” Saraw says.
ROI can also be achieved by simply reducing project risk or maximizing safety through more effective communications.
Procore’s price structure also reduces contractor risk while maximizing the ability to realize early ROI. Unlike platforms that require a costly, multi-year commitment, Procore offers customers the ability to explore benefits on an annual subscription basis. Once the customer signs up, the license allows an unlimited number of users to join the collaboration, from employees, trades and sub-contractors to suppliers and consultants. Free, unlimited data storage allows room for all of those players to participate.
“We’ve thrown away the playbook which says that you have to pay per user for data storage or commit to a multi-year agreement,” says Saraw. “Our success is based on an affordable yearly subscription and a high customer retention rate. Offering unlimited users allows us to demonstrate Procore’s value more quickly because the benefits are felt in every interaction and collaboration in the project, not just among those people employed directly by our customers.”
The construction industry is facing a significant worker shortage, a combination of recruiting challenges and a retirement bubble that will see an estimated 22 percent of workers retire over the next decade. Leveraging technology is likely to assist construction employers in attracting younger workers to the industry.
“Many of them are already using smartphones and tablets to conduct their most important tasks, and they’re already used to performing most of the tasks that are important to them using cloud-based applications,” says Saraw. “Asking them to revert to a system based on hand-written notes and paper forms are not going to encourage them to commit to a career in construction. We’ve been told by our customers that they’ve managed to recruit some workers solely because they’re using Procore.”
In the past year alone, Procore has helped to manage more than 200,000 projects and facilitated the uploading of more than 40 million photos and 8.5 million drawings, the transmission of 2.8 million emails and the submittal of 1.5 million RFIs. Project managers said they saved an average of five hours each week by using Procore. Ninety percent of users reported increased client satisfaction, while 56 percent reported increased employee retention and 83 percent reported improved dispute resolution.
“Construction companies can also do their part to ensure a profitable transition to a new construction management platform,” says Saraw. “They can work to create an environment that values the adoption of innovation, and by encouraging their leaders to develop skills that accelerate the adoption of technology.”
For an in-depth look at how data-driven technology can benefit a construction business, and what businesses can do to unlock the benefits of that technology, download Procore’s free e-book, ‘How construction technology saves time, money, and jobs’, at https://go.procore.com/ebook-how-construction-technology-is-saving-time-money-and-jobs-fs1.html.
This content is sponsored by Procore in collaboration with ConstructConnect® Media. To learn more about Procore, visit www.procore.com.