Asturian Group was losing money because subcontractors in the field commonly worked from outdated drawings. Revisions were made frequently and it was nearly impossible to ensure everyone was working off of the most current set of plans.
Procore's drawing management solution gave the general contractor the ability to align the teams so that the field, office, and accounting staff could collaborate and access project information in real time.
Geoff Bambini, Business Development
Asturian Group, Inc.
"Asturian has projects in eight states now," explained Geoff Bambini, who works at Asturian with the Business Development and Management Organization teams. "We are experiencing exponential growth. We went from basically no revenue, to three million, to seven million, to almost thirty million."
In addition to capturing work and estimating costs, Geoff manages all internal policies, procedures, website development, and the implementation of Procore. This is his third software initiative for a small business. He had his first experience with an online localized program more than twelve years ago when he facilitated the implementation of Expedition. However, Geoff found it very cumbersome. Then, two years ago, while working for a different employer, Geoff discovered another solution. This platform, too, didn't last, as Geoff said it did not work well and the tech support was nonexistent. "We invested over $120,000 dollars into a previous solution with hardly any return on investment over a two-year period."
When Geoff joined Asturian, he was looking for an intuitive, web-based, cutting-edge software and found Procore. After watching a demonstration and realizing how well Procore worked, Geoff bought the platform. Once Asturian launched Procore, they were blown away by the quick implementation and functionality of Procore's solution.
"When I was looking for a software company, I wanted to make sure that the company was standing on its own. Procore fit that description exactly." Geoff said, "I was concerned when I bought my previous solution because it was taken over by Meridian, and then it became something else. It went through an evolution that just didn't work. Procore stands totally on its own."
When asked how long it took Asturian to implement Procore, Geoff said, "Within 45 days, we had Procore up and running and the tech support that we received from Procore was wonderful and unexpected. We had never seen anything like it before." He continues, "The evolution and the change it has caused in our company is revolutionary, especially if you consider that we've only been using it for a year."
Geoff praises Procore's customer service and says it had a large part in the success of Asturian's quick implementation process.
Procore offers training seminars and the office staff have the option to go to the help tab or the drop-down menus for questions. Geoff remarks that he uses the drop-down menus for everything and he can usually find the answer quickly. When using the live chat feature, Geoff recalls one occasion where a Procore customer support technician assisted him. "She was right there and worked with me until we figured out how to fix the problem. It ended up being a simple click of a button."
It's a challenge to implement a team of construction folks who aren't computer geniuses, but Asturian's experience has been positive across the board. "The biggest challenge with any implementation is getting buy-in from older people who aren't as tech savvy. I have an older gentleman in my office who didn't know much about computers before, but now he's distributing all of his submittals through Procore," says Geoff.
After investing in Procore, it was clear to Asturian what kind of return they would see in terms of improved efficiency and time and money saved. For starters, they looked at how much time they were spending to process a subcontractor agreement.
"It used to take nearly an hour for contract administrators to prepare, print, package, and put the agreement in the FedEx envelope. With a couple hundred contracts a year, at $30-$40 per man hour, per subcontract agreement, we're looking at upwards of $10,000 saved just in this task alone."
Geoff also appreciates that Procore's platform reduces overhead. Being a small business, Asturian has to make sure its overhead costs are minimized. Procore ensures the company never has to hire additional resources, specifically in the office for administrative purposes. "That's a testament to Procore's ROI—I'm saving 2-3 salaries worth of money."
Geoff believes that Asturian is almost at the stage where errors are completely eliminated, a huge risk saver.
The feature Geoff finds himself using the most is the commitment tab. If Asturian has a contract under $10,000, they use a short two-page document versus the large form for contracts over $100,000. Procore automatically selects the time-tracking template based on the value of the commitments tab, so when Geoff and his team print it or email a contract, it automatically prints on the correct agreement. With some contracts at 34 pages, Procore is a great risk management tool. "I thought it was amazing that it could do that," Geoff said.
Everybody in the company has access to Procore. Being a federal contractor with so many different federal clients, the goal is for each client to have its own daily report form, and the same thing goes for subcontractor payments. With Procore, that sort of configurability is possible.
Asturian wanted to standardize the way the staff members input project data. Prior to Procore, each staff member came to Asturian from different companies and had different ways of doing things. Procore has streamlined the way the team goes about their work processes and has allowed all team members access to the same project data. This has improved organization and efficiency across the company and has facilitated the way Asturian does business. The superintendents have different daily reports but because the whole team uses the same data, it's only the presentation of the data that differs slightly.
Another benefit Asturian sees with Procore is the increase in accountability. "I know exactly which submittals haven't been sent out yet, so I am able to hold those parties accountable. Every subcontract has a time capsule when sent, so I'm able to track it a million times easier than I could before."
Asturian's reputation is important to the firm and it's essential to be able to protect the brand. The ultimate goal in using Procore is to hold project managers accountable for their budgetary requirements. Asturian required software that would encourage staff to collaborate—the field team, office, and accounting teams all needed to work better together and see all project information at the same time.
"When changes occur, you want the set of drawings in everyones' hand to be the most current. With Procore, it's literally instant. From a risk-management perspective, I can't afford to have my team or subcontractors building off of an old set. Everything about Procore is exactly what I was looking for."
Procore helps Asturian navigate a massive amount of red tape as it deals with federal contracts. Geoff believes Procore has an incredible opportunity beyond the federal market alone. Templates can be standardized across the federal market so that Asturian's clients can see any trends. Specifically, all contractors, for example, may want to start using Procore because they'd have access to the templates and forms that they're used to seeing from Asturian.
As Geoff sees it, the biggest challenge is getting the government to use a web-based program. "It's due to the age of the people who sit across the table from me—they don't want to answer an RFI via email. The government has been going through a huge paradigm shift over the last five years. I used to work solely with paper, no exceptions. So when we started generating information electronically and trying to email that data, they wouldn't accept it. The challenge now is getting the federal arena to say, ‘Okay, we're going to accept all data electronically,' because soon, paper will be obsolete within our industry."
"I'm the biggest advocate for Procore. It's had a huge impact on our business success," says Geoff.
Geoff knows some construction professionals who have been in the industry a long time who are hesitant about implementing a cloud-based construction project management solution. To them, Geoff says, "They need to recognize that there's a technological shift happening in construction and those that aren't willing to embrace it will be left behind. We've adopted Procore and know we'll leave our competitors in the dust."