Case Study

Silicon Valley's Therma has been innovating for over 50 years

Therma Ditches Disjointed Solutions for Procore's Collaborative Platform

The Challenge

Therma’s steady growth and sterling reputation over the decades had been driven in part by its policy of onboarding highly motivated and skilled self-starters, each with their own approach to process. As Therma continues to scale, so too does its need for standardized workflows and a coherent document management system.

The Solution

Procore’s scalable construction management platform pushes the standardization of all Therma’s project processes and centralizes their document management—creating seamless collaboration, complete flexibility across project types, and a single source of truth and project data accessible to all.

The Results

“At one point we had all but committed to eSUB. Then we looked at the combined PlanGrid/eSUB subscription cost—and together the option was not so competitive anymore, in our opinion. Looking back, we have not second-guessed our decision. Procore is more automated, it’s more collaborative, and it’s a better tool for bridging the office and the field.”
Greg Conn
Director of Operations
Therma

Silicon Valley’s Mechanical Contractor

Founded in 1967 by Joe and Nicki Parisi in San Jose, California, Therma hit the ground innovating. By 1970 some of Therma’s major clients included the future itself—semiconductor companies that had begun to appear in the area before anyone knew what a semiconductor was. In 1971 the region would be dubbed “Silicon Valley.” Therma’s tactical determination to service the burgeoning new computing industry put them at the forefront of mechanical contractors. By 1973 they had installed original mechanical work in the manufacturing plants of several nascent computing giants. Therma made it a practice to put only the best and brightest self-starters in the field, the better to stay atop Silicon Valley’s continually cresting wave.

Large recently completed project, ground view

A Thousand Standards

Greg Conn is Director of Operations at Therma and has been with Therma for 14 years. That’s long enough to have been a part of Therma’s growing reputation as the go-to specialty contractor for Biopharmaceutical, Life Sciences, Data Centers, and other technologically complex builds. There was just one problem. “The company grew organically, and its success came from the motivated people who worked here. As the company grew, there were a lot of individual worker methodologies with little standardization. A project’s actual documentation could live on someone’s personal computer or somewhere else. Locating project files and records proved challenging if you were not the author. There were a lot of people doing it their own way,” Sandra Sherry, Therma’s VDC Software Manager, concurs.  “There was no single standard. Many people used spreadsheets and a variety of different apps that they might personally download to help with documentation. There was no unifying tool or process.”

BIM model of internal piping and ventilation

One Platform, One Standard.

For 50 years, Therma’s success has been fueled by their unique ability to do it all––from a one-day fabrication to a $30M datacenter job. Procore’s construction management platform likewise flexes to accommodate Therma’s diversity of projects in a collaborative, transparent ecosystem––a single source of truth to which all project players have access. Procore automatically standardizes project workflows, streamlines cross-project coordination and communication, and seamlessly connects field and office teams. “I was hearing that the field wanted the ability to view the models on their mobile devices,” Sherry says. “We utilized Procore’s Models tool to train all detailers on how to publish a model, and within an hour of publishing, the field could see the model and walk through it. The feedback was amazing.”
 
Was Procore Therma’s only stop on construction’s digital superhighway? “There were a couple of other platforms that came to our attention,” Conn says. Therma had been courted by PlanGrid but had yet to commit. “eSUB said ‘hey we can do this for you cheaper,’” Conn recalls.  “So we started talking to them and went through a bunch of demos.” Therma looked at eSUB and PlanGrid as possibly complementary tools.
 
“At one point we had all but committed to eSUB. Then we looked at the combined PlanGrid/eSUB subscription cost—and together the option was not so competitive anymore, in our opinion.” Therma’s CEO, Jeff Sprau, wanted another look at Procore, whose platform seemed more than ever aligned with Therma’s needs, and plans for growth. After a thorough leveling process, in Therma’s opinion Procore beat the competition by including the most value in one platform—as well as the best price. “Looking back, we have not second-guessed our decision,” says Conn. “Procore is more automated, it’s more collaborative, and it’s a better tool for bridging the office and the field.”

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