Founded in 1912, The Beck Group is a collaborative team of designers, builders, and technology experts, offering planning, architecture, interior design, construction, sustainability, and technology consulting services.
The Beck Group was feeling the consequences of having a heavy tech stack: a lack of standardization across platforms and projects, scattered communications, and redundant data silos. With multiple solutions collecting data from different sources and a lack of mobility in the field, Beck struggled to collaborate efficiently and to report against the health of their project portfolio.
By partnering with Procore, Beck eliminated several redundant systems and brought everything under one umbrella with a mobile, intuitive, and integrated platform. The firm experienced an overwhelming return on its investment—not only in time savings with corresponding financials gains, but also in ways Beck never expected from a software vendor.
BRIAN FILKINS, BECK'S OPERATIONAL TECHNOLOGY MANAGER
The Beck Group
Prior to using Procore, Beck faced traditional enterprise pain points when it came to managing projects across their high-profile portfolio. Brian Filkins, Beck’s Operational Technology Manager, claims the two main struggles that led to the business case for Procore were a lack of standardization and too much software. He states, “Our tech stack was way too large. We were using Newforma Project Cloud primarily for RFIs and submittals, BIM 360 Field for QA/QC processes, and Bluebeam and Box for our document management.”
For the end-users in the field, multiple solutions meant handling data multiple times, causing a tremendous waste of time and loss of productivity––people were stuck at their computers instead of being out in the field managing the work. Not to mention, with core business processes spanning multiple systems, there was no single source of truth––making reporting incredibly challenging. So data was either not captured or captured in way that was not valuable.
After evaluating 15 software solutions, Filkins recalls they were left with two options. “We could reinvest back into our primary ERP solution, CMiC, or go with Procore.”
Ultimately, the decision came down to a handful of conversations at a conference.
“I think one of the big decision-makers was actually going to Groundbreak and listening to a lot of different clients using Procore, the successes they had with Procore, and really not hearing any negativity about the product or the people that work for Procore. It was a very eye-opening experience,” recalls Filkins.
“After a brief testing and piloting process, we determined that it was a go, and entered into the enterprise agreement. From there, it was our only solution: any new projects starting up had to go in Procore. It was all or nothing.” says Filkins.
After choosing Procore, the implementation and training process exceeded Beck’s expectations. By leveraging Procore’s online Training Center and support site, adopting a train-the-trainer mentality, and personally visiting each jobsite, Beck’s teams were fluent in Procore in a matter of weeks.
“I think a lot of the success is just due to the intuitiveness of Procore. It's a very easy-to-use interface,” claims Filkins.
A large portion of Beck’s evaluation process involved finding a solution their field teams would not only use, but also enjoy using because it would make their lives easier, not harder.
Filkins says he even receives requests from external stakeholders he works with to use Beck’s Procore account on their own jobs. “In addition to Integrated and third-party construction projects, we also do third-party architecture projects. I've had our architects come to me doing third-party work wanting to use our Procore because their external contractor is either not using proper software or they're using very poor software that involves double-handling data on their end,” says Filkins.
One of the goals for creating standardized processes across the organization was to decrease the time spent on administrative tasks and double entry as well as automate processes.
Filkins argues, “Document management and change management in the construction industry is a huge pain point. Anytime we can streamline that process, as well as speed up the timeframe in which we can get those changes issued to our trade partners and back to the people in the field, is not only saving us time, but also eliminating the potential mistakes we could be making in the field due to teams working off of outdated information––which can be very, very costly.”
Another big timesaving tool came from Procore Project Management Essentials and is a favorite tool of Hunter Minary, Assistant Operational Technology Manager at Beck.
“Procore’s Drawings Tool is a huge timesaver. Procore hyperlinking all of our drawings together, let alone not having to put drawings into separate software––and having it all in one application––is a huge timesaver. When I had to manage the drawings on my last project in Bluebeam, sometimes it took me an entire day from when a new issuance was created to when the drawings were updated.” recalls Minary.
Filkins shares the dollar savings from just the Drawings Tool alone. “I added up the number of drawing issuances and averaged it out across all of our different projects. Then I mapped out our previous––very fragmented––process, put a quick metric to it, and compared it to our current timeframe with Procore and anticipated that it was about a $90,000 savings. Realistically, with the new improvements to the drawing review functionality, I'd say Procore is easily saving us $100,000 a year just in man-hours. That's not even including the potential savings of eliminating incorrect documents being issued to the field,” says Filkins.
Filkins goes on to describe further time savings from one of Procore’s latest product releases, Submittal Builder. “All of our construction is done on the jobsite, so giving our end-users in the field access to the data they need has been a very big deal for us, especially the ability to generate submittals from specs. Previously, whoever's available on the project reads through the spec book for about a week, puts together an Excel spreadsheet, edits that spreadsheet, reviews it with the project manager, and then uploads it into the construction management system.”
Minary adds, “Typically, the process takes at least a day, but it could take anywhere from a week to a week and a half. With Procore, we’re anticipating about a 40-hour savings.”
Prior to implementing Procore Quality & Safety, Beck struggled to retrieve data from the field to keep tabs on quality performance. Filkins notes, “A lot of the pain points around quality with BIM 360 Field was a lack of standardization as well as just ease of use––both setting it up in the office as well as mobile viewing. At the time, it was clunky at best, cumbersome to configure on the front-end, and not the best mobile interface for end-users in the field.”
Furthermore, even when data was entered from the field, it wasn’t done so in a standardized manner that could then be reported on and tied to project performance as a whole.
“Being able to standardize a lot of the options and data fields at the Company level with Procore is incredibly valuable. Now, our end-users are all entering consistent data, which allows us to datamine it both at the project level as well as the company level and report the health of projects to leadership on a regional basis. It's definitely allowed us to be more proactive versus constantly reacting and having to make adjustments as things come up,” says Filkins.
Additionally, with Procore’s integrated product lines, data collected within each tool is available across the Procore platform. In other words, the data collected from Procore’s Quality & Safety tools is also available within Procore’s Project Management tools and so forth. Filkins discusses the time savings gained from this data synergy in comparison to his previous solution.
“The BIM 360 suite was very siloed at the time––there were no cross-platform integrations between the project management side of things and quality. Getting them all under the same umbrella and having all the drawings, specs, RFIs, and submittals cross-linked with our quality tools offered us great time savings. Conservatively, you could say it’s at least a 25% time savings versus our previous system,” says Filkins.
Looking back in hindsight at their decision to partner with Procore, Filkins discloses that they gained so much more than the standardization they were seeking from a software solution.
“We were looking at a feature comparison matrix and all these so-called ‘hard costs,’ or measurable things. But one thing that we didn't really expect going into this was some of the soft benefits the relationship with Procore has provided. I always say to Jon, our Customer Success Manager, that Procore is not just a software vendor to us. They’re a trusted business partner because we have such a strong relationship with Procore at all levels––from Tooey, the CEO, all the way to the coder working on a product. Just the relationship and the interaction that we've had with Procore is incredibly important to us and incredibly unique to Procore,” says Filkins.
When asked what this partnership looks like, Minary replies, “Once a week I have a phone call with Procore. I've never had that before from a software vendor. Getting a voice on the other side of the line or having a video conferencing call and being able to connect with people that are actually building the tools has been phenomenal.”
When diving deeper into the details of this partnership, Filkins can’t help but rave about Beck’s involvement in Procore’s product development. “I think one thing that's made a big difference with our end-users is when they come to us with a product gap so-to-speak, and we're able to relay that to Jon and know that Procore is listening because our end-users’ feedback gets directly incorporated into the product improvements. When Procore’s Product team comes out and visits our end-users, that really goes a long way in showing that they care about them and what they have to live with and deal with on a daily basis. That’s a game changer and pretty rare for a software company,” says Filkins.
He notes that while some product changes may seem like insignificant updates, they can have surprisingly large impacts on his end-users in the field. “We'll say something like, ‘Hey, can you add or make this field or keep this field so we don't have to re-enter it every time?’ or, ‘Can you make this modification because it's going to eliminate a click?’ The standard response might be, ‘Well, it's just a click,’ but if you're out there in the field and you're doing 600 or 700 or 1,000 punch items, that's 600 or 700 extra clicks that that person has to go through. So even the little things help create efficiencies by eliminating a click or having the trade field or location field remembered in Procore. That adds up after a while,” says Filkins.
Minary adds, “Procore isn’t fine with just, ‘Hey, this is where it is.’ They want to continuously improve, and the stuff they create helps us as we build. So I think that partnership part of it––the true partnership––is what we're both benefiting from the relationship.”
Filkins concludes, “We initially went in with Project Management Essentials and Quality & Safety to start standardizing things and taking an incremental approach, but now we're looking to expand our usage and looking into Procore’s Field Financials. I guess my long term vision would be to have as much as possible at the project level in Procore because we believe in the platform that much.”
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