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Case Study

Creature

Birmingham’s Creature Attacks! And Procore is There to Help

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About Creature

In 2017, Golden Construction merged with a brash little design house called Appleseed Workshop. The new company married Golden’s legendary reputation for innovative efficiency to Appleseed’s energized practice of “adaptive reuse,” The new hybrid, an integrative architecture-design-construction outfit, would throw creative sparks in Birmingham while modeling a bold new construction ethos of efficiency and waste reduction. Will Buie, Director of People and Technology, recreates the consensus that went into giving a name to the new outlier. “Hey, we’re going to be something completely different. We’re not just going to be builders. We’re not just going to be architects. We’re going to be something new. Creature.”

The name stuck.

Cloud-based Mobility

Creature’s waste-averse methodology requires decision-making in the field based on real-time financial intel. Their pivot from server-based financials to more mobile financials frees Creature to make informed decisions in the moment; and in the field.

Unlimited Users

Permissions = licenses. In practice, this means the people who need to access the job cost module, the prime contracts—the you-name-it—all require their own licenses. That adds up. When all project teams and individuals work off one license, the savings are huge.

Visibility and Mobility

Where once they had to run a report to see job costs, today Creature uses Procore’s cloud-based mobility to get one-click, real-time financials in the field, at the office, and everywhere in between.

"In our previous system, you had to pull reports in order to find your job cost, or you had to go actively do something in order to get the data, right? In Procore, you click a button. That’s it. It’s there, and it’s live. That ease of visibility into the data—as an ROI that’s hard to measure, but once you’ve experienced it, you’re like, 'How did we ever do it any other way?!'"

Will Buie
Creature

The Challenge

Creature LLC is a new kind of construction company for Birmingham; progressive, solution driven, and nimble. Their financials system required a fistful of user licenses to grant the right people access, and then they were chained to a server environment where looking for actionable accounting info meant sitting at a desk. Creature LLC wanted a mobile financials solution that could get them out of the office and give them actionable cost data right where the decision-making takes place—on the jobsite.

Bright neon interior of a restaurant

The Solution

Procore’s one license/unlimited users model saves Creature big-time user fees right out of the gate, while leaving in place the tiered permissions Creature needs to limit accounting system access to a chosen few. At the same time, Procore’s cloud-based Field Financials makes real-time job cost data a portable asset, placing it right there on the site where decisions are made.

Economy

Procore’s seat license model does away with…seats. A single Procore license will accommodate as many workers as your project requires. And this is all about the project, remember?

Mobility

Procore has left the building. And the server. Cloud-based project data populates your smart device in real time, so you can carry it with you to the beating heart of the project—also known as the Jobsite.

Unity

Real-time budget and cost data in the field creates a shared knowledge of goals, limitations, and capstones; an informed unity of purpose that boosts productivity and turns labor into conscientious work.

Modern office interior

The Results

Innovators Build Creature (LLC)

When Golden Construction merged with Appleseed Workshop in 2017, all bets were off. The Birmingham, Alabama innovators would combine forces to remake, repurpose, and re-excite cool properties in the city that had been lying fallow. Beauty, quality, agility of process—the new outfit set a high bar and went about assembling a Creature that could clear it in a single bound. Will Buie, Creature’s Director of People and Technology (and arguable head cheerleader for their vision), put it this way; “A lot of our projects are very high-end—really cool, exciting projects, because it’s better for our people to build cool stuff than to build a run-of-the-mill Wendy’s®.” Buie pauses, then ruminates aloud. “The new Wendy’s®, though, is pretty nice…”

Stylish bar interior

Dollars in the Pocket

To enact their vision of waste-averse construction efficiency, what the new Creature (LLC) needed was dollars in the pocket; both in the sense of actionable financials available on a mobile device, and the savings that can be realized when that information is available in real time. Procore’s Field Financials tool allows job costs—present and past—to be pulled up instantly for cross-project comparisons. “One person can discover that a particular cost—labor or material—is unnaturally high across the organization,” Buie says. “So you start seeing those kinds of quick-hit returns from Field Financials.”

Out of the Office

“Some people think of mobile as an iOS or an Android phone,” Buie continues, “but I think of mobility as moving from a desktop to a coffee shop to the jobsite. Mobility to me means unlocking you from the office.” He imagines a superintendent trying to explain project charges to an assistant on the jobsite, literally standing in front of the work being discussed. “Instead of saying, ‘Hey, can you spare an hour to come by the office so we can look at this stuff on my desktop?’ he can pull up the budget right there on the site.” Buie pauses and grins. “The office-agnostic approach through mobility that Procore brings to financials is a huge win.”