CF Evans was dealing with a paper-shuffling nightmare. Project teams in the field could not easily access the software used by in-office accounting and other staff, which caused unintentional communication silos between departments. The company attempted to remedy the situation by distributing copious amounts of paperwork to keep team members updated.
By moving project data to the cloud via Procore cloud-based project management software, the company was able to break the silos caused by a hard-to-access network. Now remote team members, office staff, and external partners can share the most current project information in real time—no printouts necessary.
Ryan Igo, Construction Technology Manager
Before using Procore, multifamily construction firm CF Evans was generating tens of thousands of printed pages to keep remote project teams and office staff "on the same page."
Project and financial data resided on an in-house network that was nearly impossible to access remotely. To remedy this, hard copies of contracts, RFIs, submittals, drawings, and corresponding updates and markups were continuously passed around; but the rapid pace of construction made it difficult to keep outdated documents out of circulation.
"We needed a way for all team members in the field to have access to the most up-to-date information," says Ryan Igo, construction technology manager with CF Evans. But not just any project management solution would do.
"We also knew that we needed something cloud-based for easy access so we could receive timely software updates and bug fixes—without having to wait a year or more for a new version to be released," explains Ryan. "And we needed something customer-driven that would help us tailor its functions to our needs."
In 2015, CF Evans began using Procore cloud-based project management software and mobile apps. The software met the company's needs by moving project information off of an internal network and into the cloud, thereby allowing staff and team members to share project information in real time—no matter their location and without the need to distribute printouts.
For the first time, field staff found it quick and easy to complete tasks while on the project site. It only takes an Internet connection and a laptop or mobile device to complete daily logs, RFIs, submittals, and meeting minutes in the software. Uploading and sharing photos is effortless, with the simple requirement of a Procore mobile app and a camera-equipped smartphone or tablet. And because the software allows unlimited users, all team members—including subcontractors, architects, engineers, and, yes, accounting staff—with the right permissions can retrieve and respond to vital project information.
"When I first started with the company, we were printing off probably five to eight copies of drawings per site," says Ryan, "Plus every RFI, every submittal, and safety manuals." Each subcontractor also received two hard copies of contracts that were often 200 pages long. In addition, a final copy of the contract was printed and kept in the job site trailer for superintendents.
"Now they're all digital and can be viewed through an iPad or computer," says Ryan. "All subcontractors have access."
With between eight to ten projects managed within Procore at any given time, CF Evans has set a goal of making all projects paperless. One of the company's current projects has already hit this milestone, with the exception of keeping one set of drawings in the trailer for the inspector.
Having all documents readily available in a digital format is saving the company an exorbitant amount of time and money in printing and distribution. At the individual level, it also shaves time off of the daily schedules of superintendents, subcontractors, and other team members who often find themselves making trips to the job site trailer to view plans and drawings.
"We couldn't do this without Procore," Ryan says.
With an early access pass to new technology, Ryan is especially happy with the beta-testing opportunities Procore provides for emerging tools. By participating in a Procore "Innovation Lab," Ryan has been able to provide feedback to help make up-and-coming features a better fit for his company.
So far, CF Evans has been involved in beta-testing budgeting and financial tools, quality control/quality assurance inspection functions, and a specification tool. After getting involved with the development of these tools, Ryan is especially excited about the Specifications Tool. "I absolutely love that I can import the spec, which breaks down very easily into the spec section. Now, when one of our staff members needs to find a spec, they don't have to head back to the job site trailer and search through a 1,000 page PDF document or a three inch book. Instead, they can just bring it up on their computer. Our superintendents love that."
Procore also has helped CF Evans position itself as a thought-leader in the industry. Each time the company adopts more advanced tools and features offered by Procore, it enhances its status of being at the forefront of technology, which has resonated with potential clients.
"One of the biggest questions we get from developers and prospective clients is, 'What are you doing to stay on top of technology?'" says Janet Bates, Director of Marketing with CF Evans. "Construction is not traditionally technology-driven. But now I can talk to them about how we are using cloud technology through Procore, and how we are going paperless and our superintendents are saving time by using tablets to pull up plans in the field."
Not only are project owners duly impressed by CF Evans' use of cloud technology, but they also appreciate that they are given access to the software to monitor project activities. Ryan expects that more project owners will actively use the software to communicate with project teams as CF Evans continues to implement tools and features.
"Now that everybody in the company is sold on the basic functions, we are moving on to change orders, commitments, and integrating with Sage accounting software," Ryan says. "Everybody's looking forward to eliminating some headaches and cutting down a bit on the workload."