Lennar Multifamily Communities, LLC specializes in the creation of luxury urban, suburban, and student housing throughout the United States.
Lennar's project teams were having difficulty accessing the most recent project information and wanted to transition from an internal accounting-centric software to a hosted collaborative project-centric software.
By moving project costs and data from an internal system into a cloud via Procore, Lennar is able to provide all team members with real-time access to the most current project information, without having to wait for data to be batched and posted. What is more, Lennar utilized Procore Connect to plug into Sage accounting software for immediate viewing of vendors, jobs, cost codes, and categories.
Issues with the company's internal software were turning into huge time-eaters on their large-scale construction projects. Additionally, time was wasted on trying to run custom project cost reports that didn't always reflect the most recent project information.
To eliminate those time-consuming problems, Lennar needed to move to a cloud-based project management software. As Lennar's IT Project Manager, Raymond Dobbins, explains thanks to such solutions "we could pull information from the field without having to connect to our in-house system. We also wanted architects and other external team members to have access so we could encourage a higher level of collaboration."
Procore was the obvious choice with its cloud-based platform and mobile apps. It was a one-stop-shop for storing and sharing project data, drawings, and documentation—without being tied to an in-house server.
"Most of the programs we looked at had a web-based application or module, but still needed to be installed internally. With Procore, we can access information via PC, laptop, iPad, or other mobile device," says Raymond.
Another deciding factor was Procore's ability to integrate with Timberline's Sage 300 Construction & Real Estate accounting software. "We are very much tied to Sage," says Raymond. "All of the financial information we want to track is in that software."
Lennar previously used Sage 300 for both financial tracking and project management. "We used Sage 300 for RFIs, submittals, and financials," explains Raymond. "But we couldn't pull or store information from certain network locations. We had to use separate mobile solutions to access field tools and send multiple emails with attachments as workarounds to retrieve and share information."
Raymond and his colleagues also had difficulties gaining access to timely project cost reports. If they entered the basic information of a financial document, such as a subcontract or invoice into the system, it wouldn't show up in a report until the information was batched and posted.
Another drawback to working directly within an accounting-centric program was the complicated process of making any corrections. After a transaction had been posted, corrections typically required a change order or someone from the accounting department to make the requested change.
With Procore, team members can enter that same information, and it shows immediately in the budget detail reports. "We can see jobs, vendors, cost codes, categories, and JTD cost from Sage inside of Procore. Everything that's related to a project is right there."
Raymond found that making corrections became fast and easy with the right project software solution. However, the transformation in workflow did not happen overnight. "We had some big requests [for Procore]. Challenging requests," says Raymond. Those requests included customized formats and reports within the actual software, and Procore met the challenges head on and delivered the right solution for Lennar. "Now that we're up and running, our directors and project managers can see financial data as soon as it is entered," says Raymond. "They're getting earlier access to the numbers they need."
Another huge time-saver, says Chris, is having all project information—including financial data—organized in one location that's accessible by everyone. "It's a big jump, especially for the field guys, to have that real-time connection to the office and even to accounting. A subcontractor can put something in for billing, and the office team or field team can immediately look at it and approve it. It has solved a lot of issues and brought more clarity and transparency to projects."