TELACU Construction needed to improve project team collaboration and shorten the time required to close or approve open RFIs, submittals, and change orders.
Using Procore has dramatically reduced the time it takes to manage construction communications. Project teams now run tighter project schedules due to the time-savings realized from consistent and timely collaboration.
"Procore's the best construction project management software program to keep project data organized and keep everything in one central location."
Kwok Su, Project Manager
As TELACU Construction grew, handling larger projects and hiring more employees, it reached the limits of the way the company had handled construction project management and documentation.
"We did a lot of construction project management the old way, meaning that we used Microsoft Word to create files, and then we saved those files on our own network server. We also used a lot of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets," recalls Project Manager Kwok Su. He is currently in charge of a $40 million portion of TELACU's school district project. Ultimately, Kwok says, "We weren't responding quickly enough to RFIs, Submittals—any documentation. It was just a slower process, considering how fast and how aggressive we want our construction project schedules to be."
TELACU Construction identified two primary needs in terms of software: "We needed something that would allow us to have many users involved with managing a project, without exorbitant fees," Su recalls, "and we wanted to cut down on the reaction time. By that, we mean if an RFI is submitted today, potentially it can be routed and reviewed and assigned to the correct person—and then be resolved—and sent back to the originator in a matter of hours."
Su took the lead in screening possible construction management software packages and reviewed construction software applications from about five different vendors. He ruled out some of Procore's competitors because their licenses only allowed them to be used within the company, for a specific number of users. Bringing architects or contractors into the system, he soon found out, would mean "you have to add more fees."
Unlike Procore's system, the other vendors' "seat license" pricing meant that Su would have to spend his time deciding which members of the project team were worth collaborating with on a project — before the project even began. In addition, if an architect or contractor wanted to change the personnel they had assigned to one of TELACU's projects, Su would have to manage a license switch, and possibly pay for additional training. The bigger the team got, or the more the project personnel changed, the bigger headache Su would have managing software licenses.
In addition to pricing, Su had to make sure that Procore would deliver when it came to the features and functionality project team members would expect from construction software. A number of TELACU's employees had previously used older types of construction project management software, including products such as Primavera Systems' Expedition. One employee with experience in those client-server systems was selected to handle the final procurement of a more up-to-date, cloud-based construction project management software application. Ultimately, he chose Procore. TELACU has been using the system for nearly a year now.
"Best bang for the buck, basically—unlimited users and the price" were Procore's most appealing aspects, Su says.
Initially, TELACU had a group training session for its employees, led by Gabe Miller-Smith, Director of Client Services at Procore Technologies. But Su says he's mostly a hands-on kind of learner. "I have to actually use the different tools and understand how they all work," he explains. "I had to figure out Procore while using it."
It wasn't long before Su became a trainer himself. He was assigned to head up the implementation of Procore at TELACU and act as a coordinator to handle training and users' questions. One advantage of that arrangement, he says, was that "when unique questions come up, I learn about it myself first, and then I can relay that first-hand knowledge to other users."
When he doesn't already know the answer, Su turns to Procore. "Procore's Support Team is really good—really quick to respond," he says. "Within the same day I'll most likely get an answer."
Now, Su says, "on a weekly basis, I call the different sites and ask them what concerns they have or what Procore features they don't know how to use yet, and then I train them. So it started out with a group training, then it became a site by site training, and then it became a per user training—basically training on all levels."
Procore's organizational strengths—particularly the ability to keep different projects completely isolated from one another on the system—came as a pleasant surprise to Su. "Number two is Procore's assignment feature, meaning holding people responsible for certain tasks, and then number three was RFIs—a big plus, because we're able to respond to timely questions in the field within the same day." He has also found the report-order logs very useful for meetings and documentation.
Over this first year, Su says, Procore's RFI tool has seen more use than any other feature. "You know what? I have not had any complaints about RFIs and submittals." In that regard, he says, "Procore's a perfect system."
The company is required to document any construction delays or problems, and for that task, Su personally finds Procore's daily log tool to be a time saver. "Procore established a platform where it's easy to go in there on a daily basis and put in information," he says. If nothing has changed, Su finds it easy to copy information from the previous day's (or any other) report. "That information is not retyped, so overall, Procore's very user-friendly."
Other users like the daily log tool as well. "That's a Procore feature we all use on a regular basis, so that's the main tool that I hear a lot of praise on," Su says.
On a typical day, Su logs into Procore, clicks on the particular job that he oversees, and then goes directly into his daily log, since he's one of the field project engineers. After completing the log, he types out the minutes of any meetings they may have had and uploads them into the system. Throughout the day, he also keeps an eye on any active documents related to his project.
Su says TELACU's use of Procore has become a selling point, something the company feels fit to mention in its corporate resume. "Having software that's able to manage documents and a lot of legal information—that gives a lot of security to the clients we deal with."
"I would recommend Procore for any company that's growing their business and wants to be able to manage their projects properly," Su says. "Procore's the best construction project management software program to keep project data organized and keep everything in one central location. And Procore speeds up the communications and collaboration process on the site."