Construction management, design-build, and general contracting firm specializing in new construction and renovation projects in the life sciences, education, healthcare, commercial, advanced technology, and institutional industries.
While JM Coull's operations team had developed specific, documented project management processes, as the company continued to grow, they knew that there was still room for improvement in this area. The team wanted to streamline their systems into one centralized platform that made it easy for employees to find documents and forms. What's more, with its long history of championing quality and safety standards, it was only natural that its new project management software would create efficiencies in this area specifically.
After researching various solutions, JM Coull decided to partner with Procore. With a strategic rollout plan, the company's leadership team noticed employees not only readily using the software, but becoming staunch advocates of it as well.
For JM Coull employees, project documentation has always been—and remains—a top priority. Prior to Procore, team members kept records in various server folders that harbored countless records. While there was no shortage of information, the sheer volume of it was staggering. Additionally, JM Coull wanted a better method for its employees to access the company's robust safety manual comprised of safety protocol and procedures, checklists, inspections sheets, and incidents reports. In order to fill out a form, an individual had to find the specific page in the manual, print it or make a copy, fill it out, and then scan it. JM Coull needed a solution that could streamline this (and similar) project management processes and create efficiencies for employees.
Helping spearhead the initiative, JM Coull's Designer/BIM Coordinator Jason Tessitore began researching eight project management solutions. At the time JM Coull was, and still is, part of a peer group consisting of US-based companies, all of whom were using Procore. After reviewing Jason's research and recommendations from peer group members, JM Coull decided to onboard with the full suite of Procore tools in December of 2016.
Jason recalls, "Not only was Procore already an industry leader, but the interface was very easy to use. It also enabled us to increase our competitive advantage by using a widely known and highly regarded product."
In addition, JM Coull wanted to increase communication between its on-site and off-site employees, and Procore offered a simple way for teams to seamlessly collaborate with each other in real time. Project Manager Heather Waice explains, "You don't have to wait until the end of the day to do the administrative work, when you're finally able to get back to your computer. Using the mobile app, we can walk the site and take a picture, for example, and upload it immediately. This makes is much easier (and faster) for our field personnel to share critical information with our project managers and assistant project managers."
Jason adds, "The benefit of being cloud-based—that was a major benefit for us and a significant reason why we ultimately decided to partner with Procore. Now we're able to view a project's latest updates from nearly anywhere. All that's required is a wireless connection."
Before Procore, siloed systems and clunky software interfaces made it more challenging to share information and collaborate with other team members in real time.
"I noticed a vast difference when we started using Procore for the submittal process; it made everything much more streamlined," says Project Manager Scott Kirouac. "Before, submittals weren't getting processed as quickly as they could have been. When we switched to Procore, documentation started happening a lot quicker and getting approved much faster. It helped everyone involved—the customer, architect, engineer, JM Coull—especially since action items and responsibilities could be assigned."
In addition, items like inspections, observations, and incident reports became powerful tools in expediting resolutions to potential quality and safety issues in the field. "Procore made it very easy to track these items and hold people accountable since the system kept records of them. This has been particularly beneficial to our field personnel. Issues seem to get resolved very quickly now that we're using these tools," says Scott.
In the end, Procore's user-friendly interface and easily accessible tools helped simplify and optimize overall quality and safety procedures. Jason remarks, "One of our overarching goals is to work safe and go home safe. It's always been a top priority and something we take a great deal of pride in. Now we're giving our team the tools to enhance quality and safety on our jobs by making these tools more accessible and easy to use."
For implementation, a large part of JM Coull's success with Procore was due to a strategic rollout process. Jason and his team selected initial pilot projects to test the program, and these projects' team members became internal champions of the software. He also held informational "lunch and learns" and utilized Procore's robust support tools to help train employees.
Jason explains, "One area I think Procore really excels at is providing user training, including the live chat feature for answering questions. Also, the training isn't just for us, the account holders. Our architects, engineers, and customers all have access to the same support."
For the less tech-savvy employees and those apprehensive of change, Jason took a different approach—a "guided discovery" as he calls it. He encouraged users to gradually try one new tool at a time, often checking in at the jobsite to ensure the onboarding process was going smoothly. With these strategies, and Procore's intuitive interface, Jason noticed that employees were not only using the software, but they were becoming advocates of it as well.
With all employees using the same system, JM Coull's project management processes have improved, especially for field staff. "The fact that we have adoption from our field people, even those who were not so tech-savvy, is a total success for JM Coull. Now that we have an easy, efficient tool with a clean interface for them to use, it's going to help optimize our overall performance because we're using the tools as they were meant to be used," comments Jason. "It was extremely important to provide our teams with an integrated, all-inclusive program that also had a short learning curve. Also the tech support, Procore's investment into research and development, and all the apps that connect to the program—it's obvious Procore stays on the cutting-edge of technology to help the industry."
In the early phases of implementation, Jason had added the company's previous pen-and-paper safety manual of checklists, inspections sheets, and incidents reports into Procore. With the software's new efficient processes, employees could eliminate tedious administrative tasks like printing forms or searching for documents in the myriad of server folders. Once team members started using the software, they realized just how much time could be saved recording this critical data.
"The drawings tool alone is a great feature. With our old process, we had to individually upload each drawing, then label and date each one. For a job that has 500 drawings, for example, the entire process would take hours. But in Procore, that has all changed. The upload process is much more simplified and requires a lot less time than our previous method. I think once the team saw that tool alone work, it became obvious how much time we were going to be saving on every job," explains Scott.
With Procore, JM Coull's project management processes can be completed faster, in fewer steps, and in one centralized location—meaning that quality and safety procedures have been enhanced on a global scale.
Jason says, "It's really about understanding how Procore is going to benefit your employees, your company, your work, your clients—everybody involved."