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Case Study

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Unlocks Efficiencies and Structure with Procore

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Procore creates a culture of accountability and organization for premier research university.

The Challenge

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) faced a hurdle—despite exponential growth, almost doubling in size over the past decade, their project team remained lean. UAH needed the right software to manage their projects efficiently with their existing staff and provide much-needed organization to help them successfully scale.

The Solution

UAH understood that implementing new software would be an uphill climb, but when they discovered Procore, they were supported every step of the way. Procore provided the education, assistance and encouragement to get UAH onboard, exceeding expectations along the way through a phased approach to implementation.

The Results

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Financial Peace-of-Mind

UAH is confident that its project financials and budgets are up-to-date and accurate, providing readily accessible reports to pertinent stakeholders and leadership.

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Organization and Accountability

Procore has helped streamline SOPs, standardizing the generation of project data while clearly defining roles and responsibilities.

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Improved Communication

Correspondence has been a game-changer for UAH, accelerating project communication with everything easily accessible in one place.

The return on investment for Procore has been how it makes our day-to-day tasks much easier, and one of the examples I love to give is how we can actually file and save project information. We're saving time on a daily basis—weekly, monthly and yearly. The bottom line is that Procore makes the job easier, and I have learned that when you make tasks easy, they tend to get completed.

Christian Reed

Director of Planning, Design & Construction and Senior Campus Architect

“Excellent Spaces Unlock Inspiration”

Known for its engineering and science programs, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is one of the leading research universities in the nation. Fueled by the belief that "excellent spaces unlock inspiration," the facilities and operations team is always hard at work, planning, designing and building state-of-the-art laboratories, research centers and other buildings that help educate and inspire the next generation of leaders. With nearly 10,000 students, UAH has experienced significant growth over the past ten years. Despite the massive responsibility of every desk and brick on campus, the team remained lean and understaffed throughout this unprecedented growth.Christian Reed, director of planning, design and construction and senior campus architect, is part of this dedicated team and knew they needed organization and structure to help them perform to their full potential. They searched for the right system to unlock efficiencies and ultimately chose Procore. Unable to spare an internal, full-time Procore administrator due to the size of the team, UAH was happy to find that Procore provided all the support they needed—and beyond—to ensure adoption across their team.“Their implementation out of the box is actually incredible,” says Reed. “Our Procore instructor set out a schedule for us that we were able to work through and make work for us. It helped us stay on task and ensured we were doing what we needed to do to learn the program. From the leadership of our implementation coordinator to the videos we watched that helped teach us how to use the software—everything was top-notch.”Reed and his team worked with Procore to set milestones and create a phased approach to learning each tool, including the development of new internal SOPs that were non-existent prior to Procore. Reed encouraged his staff to champion different tools, schedule regular progress checks and watch training videos before meeting with the implementation team. All this fostered a culture of accountability, which helped them get comfortable with the solution quickly.

Accountability and Collaboration Across the Board

No longer lacking structure, UAH has been reaping the benefits of organized and collaborative workflows. Procore’s integrations with other systems, like Outlook, have saved the team time and headaches. Since UAH didn’t have any kind of digital filing system before, Procore has been a heartily welcomed change. Reed appreciates the system's fluidity and how accessible information is at his fingertips.“Instead of having to download the file and then copy and paste it to another file somewhere else or forward it to somebody, we can save it right in the project on Procore. Knowing where that information goes and where to go to it certainly has been key in being more efficient in what we do,” says Reed.Since construction occurs while faculty and staff are on campus, communication is key to keeping everyone on the same page. Procore has helped support a collaborative environment at UAH, making it easy to keep stakeholders and leadership informed about pertinent changes, while designating clear roles and responsibilities within the facilities and operations team so that everyone can do their best work without confusion.“One of my favorite examples of how Procore forces collaboration and communication is how we utilize Correspondence,” Reed shares. “We assign Correspondence to different team members as action items on a project. They're actually given a task, they're given a deadline, and if they don't meet it, they're getting emails constantly that they have to do the work. In a lot of ways, it's forced accountability, and it's making sure that things get done on time.”

The Value of Real-Time Financial Accuracy

As a public institution, UAH has to accurately report on its budgets, financial statuses and expenditures. Before Procore, UAH relied heavily on Excel spreadsheets, which invited risk and human error and made it challenging to provide timely information to stakeholders. Project Financials has been transformative for Reed’s team, allowing them to track, report and view real-time financial information in a secure, central location with access to the right people. “The Budget tool in Project Financials gives me peace of mind at night when I go to sleep that I have accurate information about my project financials,” says Reed. “Prior to Procore, we were using Excel spreadsheets. It was not uncommon to find errors between the information that we were putting in Excel spreadsheets and the information that we were getting from other sources.”Reed and his staff worked with Procore to develop multiple custom budget views for reporting and a custom project budget template to standardize the development of their initial project budgets. They also leveraged Procore’s flexibility to configure the platform to meet their needs, including the development of a cost code system that aligned with campus accounting standards.“Having the budget information available for all of our team members and the university users is key because everybody can see where we are, what we've budgeted, what we've committed, and what we've expensed up until that time. We can easily report on job-to-date expenses,” shares Reed.Equipped with the right tools, UAH continues to “unlock inspiration”—now, in a more organized, streamlined way.

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