Established in 2009, 41 North is a general contractor with in-depth experience in retail, restaurant, and commercial development. The company quickly gained a reputation in Chicago for restaurant construction after being awarded several lucrative projects.
41 North needed an easier way to manage their submittals, RFIs, and project updates. They wanted to find an alternative to manually tracking changes through Excel spreadsheets and Word documents via email.
Mike Bender, partner at 41 North, remarks that prior to Procore "everything was very elementary and brutal. There were many occasions when a document had changed by the time the recipient read their email." Because of the company's rapid growth, the entire team needed to adopt a scalable solution that would improve overall organization.
41 North was first introduced to Procore in 2009 by The Burns Company, a professional construction management firm out of the Boston area. "They approached us a while back and said there was a company they work with that does a great job with submittals and organization, and said that they wanted us to reconsider our submittal process," Mike recalls. "They recommended Procore, sent us a link, and a few weeks later we were contacting them and getting involved."
Mike explains how the shift to Procore has made the company more efficient. "Procore has been wonderful at holding people accountable, and everyone can see who's holding up the job. It makes work simpler."
41 North Contractors
When Mike first used Procore, he was surprised by how easy the software was to navigate. "That is the best part of Procore," he says. "It's very, very simple to use." Construction professionals are not IT professionals, so they could be forgiven for taking a little time to warm up to Procore. "We're probably the ones that were thinking, oh man, what did we get ourselves into? But no, it ended up being fine. The entire team at 41 North picked it up quicker than anybody," Mike said. "They really ran with it. They love it."
When the software was adopted, the team got used to it very quickly, according to Mike. "The implementation process was so simple—you don't have to download anything. People can even use Procore on their mobile devices."
Some clients were so curious about what their new restaurants would look like that they decided to access their documents in Procore. "Our architects, engineers, restaurant owners, building owners, and tenants really like it," Mike says.
41 North occasionally travels outside of the Chicago area for some of their clients. When they do leave their home city, they use Procore on every aspect of the job. "Procore works well regardless of location," says Mike. "There's no difference at all."
"It was the whole endgame," says Mike, discussing the adoption of Procore. "It was pretty much the tracking of our business. The majority of it was submittals, but then we got into RFIs and project updates. We're really utilizing it more and more as the months go by."
"I think it's even easier to use Procore on an iPad or an iPhone than it is on the computer, and I think our team really utilizes that more than anything," Mike explains. Along with providing instant collaboration, Procore's mobile applications have made accountability more immediate for 41 North's entire team.
Mike says that Procore's mobile accessibility has made the company more organized, saving them both time and money. "We're able to track things quicker and stay more involved with the project." The company's staff also regularly monitors jobs using their iPads. "Adam, one of the partners, is able to open up his iPad and scroll to a job to figure out the status of a submittal. The app allows him to immediately see what's going on with a job if an owner requests the status. It's a much better way of finding things out than what we were doing before."
In terms of articulating how much money Procore has saved the company overall, "I would say 'a lot' with like five exclamation points behind it," Mike beams.
Regarding 41 North's future, Mike says, "I feel that we've made a big jump this year for growth and I would like to slowly but surely continue to grow, and keep building these good clients and relationships. I plan to stay on track, organized, and keep on creating a safe, good company."
"We're very happy with Procore. It's a must," Mike says. "You could say that we're kind of married to it."