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Case Study

St. Louis Metro Transit Forges Ahead with Procore

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Midwestern public transportation system discovers Procore’s action plans for success.

The Challenge

St. Louis Metro Transit wanted a change. Their current construction management solution, e-Builder, wasn’t being utilized at the level it was intended and wasn’t easily configurable post-implementation. The team wanted a better way to break down silos, increase transparency and own their data. Searching for a flexible and intuitive platform, they discovered Procore.

The Solution

Luckily, it was easier to evaluate and implement the right solution to meet their needs this time. Despite the fact that they only had three months to migrate projects from e-Builder to Procore, they quickly found that implementing Procore, even with the time crunch, was easier than continuing to do things the old way.

The Results

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Increased Visibility and Data Ownership

Procore has broken down silos and improved transparency, communication and oversight, making it easier to stay compliant and prepare for audits. Having their own instance also means that data is still accessible, even after someone leaves.

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Flexibility and Ease of Implementation

Supported by Professional Services, Metro Transit was able to identify the Procore tools and configure them to meet their needs, something they hadn’t been able to do with their previous solution. This meant their complex internal processes, often lost in emails, could be turned into straightforward workflows.

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Built by Construction, for Construction

Because Procore was created specifically for the industry, it’s intuitive for contractors, consultants, and other stakeholders. As a result, St. Louis Metro Transit has gained adoption across their teams giving them peace of mind and better insight into all stages of each complex project.

What Procore means to me is that I have a system that is configurable to our needs. It's dynamic, it's easy to implement, it's easy to learn, and it's been wonderful to increase our transparency and effectiveness in our organization by centralizing all of it on a web-based platform.

Amanda Wedekemper headshot

Amanda Wedekemper

Sr. Manager of Engineering and Project Control

The “Gateway to the West”—on Wheels

Under the iconic Gateway Arch, the hustle and bustle of St. Louis is continuous. Their public transportation system, St. Louis Metro Transit, a Bi-State Development Enterprise, connects locals and visitors alike, ensuring they can efficiently and safely get around the metropolitan area by light rail, bus, paratransit service and supplementary on-demand service through Via. Made up of 38 rail stations, nine transit centers, four bus garages and over 4,000 bus stops, the system services over 11 million riders annually. As a public agency, Metro Transit is responsible for smooth, efficient and affordable public transportation across five counties in Missouri and Illinois that make up the greater St. Louis area.

Yet, behind the scenes, there were a lot of complex internal processes holding the team back from their full potential. Metro Transit’s previous system was not configurable to adapt to the complexity of those processes. There were also challenges trying to train users. Communicating the correct use of the program and tools to internal and external parties resulted in difficulties with adoption and record quality. When they began the search for an alternative solution, ease of configuration and implementation was top of mind.

When Procore was chosen, however, the team faced another hurdle—they only had three months to migrate their projects out of e-Builder and into Procore. When trying to retrieve data from e-Builder, the team ran into significant blockers and had to manually generate five years worth of submittal records. Amanda Wedekemper, Senior Manager of Engineering and Project Control, remembers navigating this stressful situation and coming out on the other side: “I have to say, that time crunch was an excellent motivator. If you can commit the time to a phased or piecemeal approach, just a couple of tools at a time, it's worth your time to get your records and your projects on a platform that works this well.”

St. Louis Metro Transit under construction

Configuration and Implementation for Success

After experiencing so many obstacles and difficulties with configuration previously, Metro Transit needed a solution that would solve their problems, not add to them. Enter Procore. With world-class support and dedicated staff, Procore’s team helped bring Metro Transit up to speed despite tight timelines.“Our full team included about 10 project managers and 30 internal reviewers over several departments, and they were not interested in reviewing every possibility of the platform,” recalls Wedekemper. “They only wanted to learn the tools once, the way they would be using them on projects. The first thing I did was create a list of functions we knew we needed. I also collected input from adjacent departments on our current processes. Our implementation manager and SPC [Strategic Product Consultant] would demonstrate the functions and configurations of a tool, and I would work with them to optimize the tool for us. As we identified the best solutions, I would show them to the greater PM [Project Management] team.”Wedekemper worked with the Procore team to help get the Metro Transit staff up and running on the platform while ensuring questions were answered and mistakes weren’t repeated. “One thing I have learned over time is that people don't know what they want but they know what they don’t want, once it is presented to them,” says Wedekemper. “Giving them something to react to was great. It’s a mental hurdle for project managers to realize that they weren’t “stuck” with the way something worked. Lastly, we made sure that people had a central point of reference for resources on our company intranet, including copy and paste guidance for contractors and consultants, and updated contract guidance and SOPs to reflect the use of Procore.”Wedekemper and her team also knew they couldn’t do it alone. Procore’s Professional Services was a breath of fresh air for the Metro Transit team: “We invested the right amount of time and energy into implementation and leveraged Procore’s professional services to get our teams engaged and using the system,” says Wedekemper. “As a result, we have a more intuitive operation. It was so much easier to learn to use these tools than to continue doing things the old way. As a result, we are utilizing the platform for more every day which has been invaluable to increasing our efficiency, transparency and records.”

Breaking Down Silos and Increasing Visibility

As a public agency with complex internal processes, it was important for Metro Transit to get out of emails and siloed systems and into a single source of truth. Procore became the vehicle for long-awaited change within the organization. “Procore's allowed us to take some of that complicated correspondence out of our emails and put them into Procore tools, so they're accessible,” says Wedekemper. “If somebody leaves, they're accessible, if somebody's going to be working remotely, if they're going to be gone for a little while, you can delegate and you can collect all that information in one place.”One of the primary areas of difficulty before Procore was the lack of visibility for necessary stakeholders to follow a project’s progress. Now, Metro Transit leans on Procore’s Action Plans to drive efficiency, transparency and compliance. This means project teams can easily monitor jobs without getting swamped in confusing email chains.“My favorite Procore tool is Action Plans,” Wedekemper shares. “It is wildly configurable and integrated, and allows us to create a framework based on very complex processes. It's really been helpful to tie in something like your references, such as your specifications, and then to get the sign off that you need. Instead of putting it in a workflow with a time-driven interface like Submittals, I can put it in Action Plans and then the appropriate oversight can be given without holding up our work processes.”With Action Plans, the Metro Transit team has visibility into the progress of complex projects, they can readily view who’s accountable for different tasks, and they can streamline oversight and control by having permission-based, accessible data in a single place. “Having a user-friendly web-based solution to manage our projects has already resulted in increased transparency, reduced siloing across departments and more complete project records,” says Wedekemper. “Procore has been instrumental in keeping us in compliance. We collaborate a lot, configuring our tools with safety and with our internal audit teams and IT. Previously our project records were kind of decentralized. Now we have an opportunity to structure our records in a way that's retrievable and accessible.”

St. Louis Metro Transit on the move

An Intuitive Solution for Construction

Metro Transit regularly interacts with contractors and consultants who already use Procore. Utilizing a system that is built by construction, for construction has made an impact on the team and how they interact with external stakeholders: “It really helps to have some perspective on what the contractors and consultants are going to be using,” says Wedekemper, “Since the tools are built intuitively to their world, it's made it a lot easier for our contractors and consultants to pick it up.”

Metro Transit also appreciates how the readily adopted solution has broken down barriers with their contractors and consultants as they navigate complex projects. Now, heightened visibility helps everyone involved stay on the same page. “Procore's allowed us to increase transparency between departments and improve our communications,” Wedekemper shares. “We've been able to interface more easily with consultants and contractors and our internal stakeholders and reviewers. I think that having construction-focused individuals backing the software has helped immensely with the intuition of the system. It's really helped with the myriad of professionals that we have involved in a project.

With a solution that fits the unique needs of the organization, Metro Transit is able to confidently continue their work of improving transportation across the St. Louis metropolitan area.

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