Founded in 2003, TRIO Electric is one of the top electrical design, construction, and service specialty contractors in Texas. Focusing on large commercial and light industrial projects, its team has experience in all aspects of construction, including ground-up, renovation, and tenant build-out projects.
Each foreman saved 10 hours a week with up-to-date drawings and streamlined quality and safety inspections.
The team eliminated 90% of their field printing costs with Procore’s drawing management.
By eliminating manual processes, TRIO increased labor productivity by 3% over the first 9 months.
In order to mitigate rework, TRIO wanted to find a solution that ensured all collaborators had the most recent set of documents and provided updates in real time. It needed to be mobilefriendly, intuitive, and easy to use—whether in the field or the office. Mostly, however, it needed to reduce administrative work and give employees time to focus on enhancing existing quality and safety programs.
With powerful quality and safety tools, TRIO gained greater visibility into onsite issues, helping them spot risks and areas of improvement. This helped ensure quality and safety standards were met
With Procore’s unlimited user license model, TRIO boosted communication, increased productivity, and improved safety standards by enabling collaboration across office and field teams.
MOBILE FUNCTIONALITY AND OFFLINE ACCESSIBILITY
With Procore, documents were available regardless of location—basements, crawl spaces, and WiFi-free zones. Plus, any changes made offline were immediately updated once back online.
Prior to using Procore, TRIO wanted to find an easy way to share and update documents such as drawings, submittals, RFIs, and specs in real time in order to eliminate outdated documents and mitigate rework. They wanted a solution that boosted field-to-office communication with mobilefriendly tools and an intuitive interface to ensure field team adoption. Mostly, however, it needed to reduce administrative work and streamline tasks— giving them more time to dedicate to existing quality and safety programs.
Prior to partnering with Procore, TRIO considered a free file sharing solution. However, it didn’t meet their needs, as Business Intelligence Leader Hassan Tabatabayee explains: “You have to download the document every single time you want to open it. It’s not the cleanest way to store files. It doesn’t have a user friendly UI and it’s not mobile friendly. So that was crossed off quickly.” When TRIO began to look for a solution, many TRIO employees already had previous experience using Procore on jobs where general contractors were using it. They soon realized that they too could gain significant benefits from Procore tools offering up-to-date drawings and full visibility into RFIs.
Another big plus was Procore’s unlimited user license model. Hassan says, “As a subcontractor, your staff is significantly larger than a general contractor. That’s a big selling point for a subcontractor— just the scalability of the platform.”
TRIO decided to set up a trial with Procore and soon onboarded all of their projects to the platform. Hassan says the decision came down to a few important factors. “The mobile interface was one of the biggest factors in our decision, and the other was, ‘Is the app available to save documents offline?’ That’s important, especially when we go to areas that don’t have cell reception. If you had to pull something from our VPN or our network drive every single time, it was a big pain point. Having documents download at once and update automatically when you have a Wi-Fi reception is a big plus.”
TRIO’s team began using the Drawings, Forms, Inspections, and Observations Tools most frequently, and immediately saw results. “It’s a lot faster to do office work and documentation. The team likes that it’s mobile, easy to use, and that they have everything with them.”
Moreover, all information was consolidated in one centralized location. Hassan explains, “Our approach to it is: If it doesn’t exist on Procore, it doesn’t exist at all.”
Perhaps most notable, however, TRIO noticed how Procore helped reduce administrative work, giving them valuable time back so they could focus on more important areas like quality and safety. He recalls, “Prior to Procore, there were really no checklist processes. It was ‘Share the paper and fill it out every week.’ We firmly believe that you can’t just throw technology at a problem. If you do, it’s not going to work—it’s going to create a whole different set of issues. You have to have a process behind it. So we had to first internally develop what data we wanted to see.”
The team built their safety inspection forms in Procore according to OSHA regulations to ensure they were meeting and exceeding regulations. The team began using Procore for their weekly jobsite safety inspection, which everyone from the PMs to the foremen were required to complete. “We want to use this data to shape our culture which is: safety is the responsibility of everyone on the jobsite— not just the top foreman. That’s why we make everyone who has access to Procore do a safety inspection every week,” says Hassan.
In doing so, Hassan says it has given them greater visibility into onsite issues. “We now have reports that can tell us what the biggest issues are. We’re an electrical contractor. So if we build an electrical room, we have a checklist in Procore that we complete to make sure we haven’t missed anything major. We’re using it to check completed tasks and quality.”
Using Procore’s quality and safety tools, TRIO was able to identify potential risks and areas of improvement. For example, they were able to identify many employees who had an expired OSHA 30 certification, prompting the leadership team to organize a class for employees. They also discovered that some job sites didn’t have adequate temporary lighting. This visibility empowered superintendents to better manage lighting to help prevent safety hazards. Hassan notes, “The inspections are really helping us with visibility into near misses that happen on projects so we can address them before they turn into something bigger.”
Hassan claims their quality of inspections and punch list items at the end of the project have also improved. “We have noticed our GC punch list has significantly gone down across the company as a whole. We’re working off up-to-date drawings and a lot more people have eyes on the drawings,” he says, noting that employees are also more engaged. “Questions can be answered really quickly, which invites people or contractors to ask more questions. They can create an RFI, send it to my project manager, and he’ll send it off. There is definitely a correlation to the number of inspections we do and the amount of rework items that we have at the end of a project.”
As a result, TRIO has reduced countless hours of rework. “We have had a lot of incidents where we completed certain tasks only to find out that we had to rip it all out because there was a new revision that was out a few weeks ago. If the field would have known that earlier, we would have saved on production. Procore has eliminated rework, which in turn increases labor productivity,” says Hassan
In addition to Procore quality and safety tools, TRIO found the project management tools to be invaluable. “The field team likes that they can actually write the questions themselves and send them to a site or a GC, rather than everything funneling through the PM. Things get lost in translation that way. Instead, they can make their own notes, comments, and questions. It gives them more of a voice than they had previously. We’re using Procore to make the communication gap between the field and office smaller.” He pauses, noting that the benefits extend beyond streamlined processes and saving time. He explains, “Morale is definitely higher. They are much happier in general just because they have input on the tools they use these days.”
In addition to improving project management, quality, and safety processes, TRIO has seen a noticeable labor productivity increase of 3% within a mere 9 months of using Procore. “It’s a pretty big chunk of change,” Hassan says. “I know that number’s going to get higher because that was just measuring from early implementation, just from the guys having all their documents available at their fingertips and having to do less paperwork. They’re now clicking buttons on quality checklists which is a lot easier than filling out a form or writing things and having to scan it and send it. They have more time. As a foreman, the less time you spend doing clerical work is more time to manage production.”
Hassan says that now with Procore, field team members save at least 10 hours a week. “They’re not having to comb through drawings, or go to the office to see big sets of drawings, or having to fill out paper quality checklists. Just automating and optimizing and digitizing all of these things—it’s definitely saving a lot of time out there which gives them more time to push production and oversee safety, quality of work, labor production, and focus on customer service.”
Hassan admits that he initially thought Procore was only a tool for GCs, but has since realized how powerful the tools are for specialty contractors. “The more you use the platform, the more universal it is. Procore is doing a lot for subcontractors. One big issue that I have heard from a lot of subcontractors is, ‘If the GC already has Procore or another construction management software, why do we have to have it?’ We have taken the stance that we want to house our own data. We don’t want to be relying on another platform. So we make sure that all RFIs are going through our platform, all drawings stay in our platform. As far as quality inspections, safety inspections, incidents, and all the project management tools go, they can be directly applied to a subcontractor’s workflow. I see no feature missing here for a subcontractor,’ says Hassan.
When asked about similar companies who are looking for a top tier construction management platform, Hassan says, “I would tell them, ‘Procore doesn’t require as much time as you think it does to set up and maintain. And the savings you will get on labor and time savings will significantly outweigh the cost of the platform.’”