Stilwell Construction, a commercial industrial contractor based in Southern California, works with a majority of the clients they've had since they started 28 years ago.
Stilwell Construction needed to move away from a paper-based document management system. Manually filed paperwork led to lost receipts and difficulty finding subcontractors' contact information.
Procore's Contract and Change Management Tool has improved receipt and change order tracking, and all the contact information is now maintained using Procore's Directory Tool, incorporating customized notifications for project progress.
Stilwell Construction began using Procore in February 2014. "It was a godsend," said Terri Ross, Office Manager at Stilwell Construction. "Before, we only had an accounting system. We didn't really have a project management program."
The company learned about Procore from a civil engineer. Tom Stilwell, Owner of Stilwell Construction, visited the engineer's office and inquired about the project management software they had adopted. After a quick crash course on Procore, Stilwell decided that it was the optimal solution for their company.
Stilwell now tracks all change orders directly with Procore, and the staff no longer has to search for receipts.
"It makes life easier for me because I don't have 80,000 pieces of paper sitting on my desk. We can simply download and print them. Things grow legs on jobs around offices. You think, 'I have this receipt. It's sitting on my desk. But, where did it go?' Now, we can scan it instantly, put it in the system, and it's there. It's tucked away nice and neat so you don't have to go looking for it later on. That's really simplified the workload."
Before adopting Procore, the company sorted through documents manually using filing cabinets. "I would give a document to the boss, asking: 'Is this a change order or is it part of their contract?' We'd then put it in the possible pending change order folder. As we got ready to do change orders, we'd go through the folder and document what we were going to bill the owner. It was all just paper. Now, everything's in Procore. That's my new favorite saying: It's in Procore.
"One of my superintendents calls me today and says, 'I don't have the civil engineer's phone number.' I say, 'Do you have your iPad?' He asks, 'Is it in Procore?' I say, 'What do you think?'
"I used to have to hand out typed contact sheets with the jobsite, owner, and permit number. As we added subs, I'd have to update it and print it out again. Every time it came to updating it, I would have to use more paper—I was killing trees left and right! Now it's all just tracked in Procore. I don't have to waste any more paper."
According to Terri, Procore saves time by reducing the potential for error. "As soon as I get a bill, I make a copy of it and stick it in Procore. Superintendents can easily attach pictures to change orders using Procore's mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. We make this running list, and I know it's safe and sound in Procore," she said.
"I can take a picture and send it to an owner or an architect in the app and ask, 'What do you want me to do with this?' or 'Look what we have found in the ceiling.' We do that all the time, and they get the messages immediately. You don't have to go back to the office, sit at your computer and do something with it. It saves time, it saves money.
"We sent something to the architect, and the architect said, 'That's not what the original drawing says it was supposed to look like.' We had everybody looking at it in ten minutes. Everybody had a picture of it. We got it handled within 24 hours and created an RFI with pictures. If we had had to do that before Procore, it would have taken triple the time."
Terri explained that Procore works in combination with Stilwell's accounting software. "We use my accounting program to set aside a group of numbers for PCOs. It works well with Procore and has made life so much easier. I code the payroll off to different phase codes, and then, it matches our PCO list. It's been phenomenal.
"It really helps keep the projects in line if you don't have a full-time accounting person. Procore makes it so that you don't have to be strapped to your office. You could be a one-man show, since you have everything right at your fingertips. That alone makes Procore invaluable."
Financially, Terri said that Stilwell has made up for its investment two to three times over. Employees save money by staying on schedule using Procore's notifications. "You don't have to search through the system. It says, immediately upon logging in, 'Pay attention! You were supposed to do this today.'"
Terri believes that having instant access to the project data saves Stilwell ten hours per week. All you need is an iPad. "We're demoing a shopping center and have two structural engineers because there are two different entities involved. The city is involved, and we have go back almost 30 years to look at old drawings. But they're uploading drawings to us with Procore so everyone's on the same page. That right there has been priceless."
She continued, "Procore has probably moved this job along a good month in advance of where it would have been if we didn't have it. Nobody has to wait for anything. It's been amazing."
"Don't ever take Procore away from me. I will cry," said Terri. "Procore is 100 per cent worth the investment. It's good whether you're big or small. I love that you can walk out of the office, look at your smartphone or tablet, and have all the data you need immediately in the palm of your hand. Instead of having Dropbox or another system that requires a lot of back and forth, all the information is in one spot."
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