Turner Construction's Portland, Oregon office wanted to streamline their RFI and submittal processes as well as document management, so team members could spend less time organizing and more time building.
Jenessa Frey, Project Engineer
Driven by a need to reduce administrative workloads and increase communication among project team members, Turner Construction Co. -Portland staff began piloting Procore on their smaller projects in March 2015. The goal was simple: Streamline processes so team members could focus their time on what they do best—building.
"Our team was really open to the change, because we weren't happy with having to use multiple programs to complete tasks," says Jenessa Frey, a project engineer who advocated for Procore after seeing its success in the company's San Diego office.
Jenessa's team was the first to use the software for the company's 101 Building project, a three-story creative office building under construction in downtown Vancouver, Washington. So far, the team has been able to use Procore for functions that previously required four separate platforms—including Prolog Converge, PlanGrid, and an in-house document storage system. Procore also serves as the "one-stop shop" for project subcontractors to submit and access project-related documentation. "Procore streamlines everything," she says.
Because Procore allows users to immediately access, update, and share project documents, team members no longer have to hop around different platforms to submit an RFI, view a drawing, and then access a punch list item. And Turner employees no longer need to spend time manually transferring data from one program to another to keep everyone informed. It's all located in one place.
"It's also a fast platform," says Jenessa. "With Procore, it is so much faster to write up and print an RFI. Plus, all RFIs and submittals can be responded to within the software." Team members using Procore also receive email notifications when RFIs and change orders are submitted.
Jenessa also likes that RFIs can be marked up and attached to drawings. "If you open a drawing and there's an RFI attached, there is a corresponding hyperlink right there for you to click to view it," she explains. "That doesn't happen with other data-sharing sites that I have used."
Plus, because Procore is cloud-based, Jenessa's team can access other projects and work from home without having to worry about connecting to a virtual private network. "That's a big benefit for us."
Another key benefit is the level of accountability that the software provides. For example, if a subcontractor claims to have never received a document, or cannot find a document, Jenessa reminds the subcontractor that it can be accessed through Procore.
Turner-Portland's beta teams are implementing Procore at the start of each new project. As Jenessa's team members work out the kinks of rolling out the software for the first time, they pass their lessons learned onto the other teams to help lessen the learning curve.
However, according to Joe Newman, project manager with Turner-Portland's Special Projects Division, the learning curve is small. His team began using Procore a couple of months after Jenessa's team deployed the software. "We had no time to learn the system—we basically had to get in and start using it—so we were pretty happy with how intuitive and user-friendly it is," he says. "Procore also really nailed it with customer service. They've helped us customize summary pages and really tailor things to how we want them."
Because Turner does not have to pay by the user, the entire project team can use the software, including architects, engineers, and subcontractors. "We have 50 users on our project," says Joe. "Our architects say this is the best software they've used."
Although smaller subcontractors who do not use cloud services may need additional training, Jenessa says getting them onboard has been fairly simple. The biggest challenge to overcome is changing the mindsets of contractors who still want physical drawings.
"We have to ask them where they look when they have a question—at the drawings on their desks that may be outdated, or on their iPads where they can get the latest set of drawings." says Joe.
The software also includes mobile apps that provide team members with instant access to the software and each other while in the field, so they can keep projects moving forward. There's no longer a need to leave the job site to track down vital project details.
"We all have the Procore app on our phones, and if we have a question we just open a drawing and the answer is there," says Keith Ire, project engineer with Turner-Portland.
Having mobile access to project documentation has also ushered in innovative ways to access that information. For instance, a drywall contractor on Joe and Keith's job site wears an iPad strapped to a wristband so he can flip through drawings as needed.
"All of our trades are sharing information on one platform—and you can sync your updates with an app on your phone. Because of that, more collaboration between the trades is happening," says Keith.
Before Procore, the company's interns and new hires spent many hours performing redundant data entry because the systems they worked in did not integrate very well with each other. Data had to be moved from one platform to another; RFIs had to be extracted or uploaded; written comments had to be keyed into digital documents.
Jessica Hartwell is one such intern who has to transfer and update data. Since her team transitioned to Procore, she says the software's all-in-one functionality just makes more sense.
"Overall, it's nice to have everything together—to have all the info in one place—so you can add to it and control who sees it," says Jessica. "And it makes me more efficient with my time."
"Now that their time is freed up, they can get out in the field and build," adds Joe.