Uline, a family-owned company, is the leading distributor of shipping, industrial, and packaging materials to businesses throughout North America and acts as a construction manager for the majority of its construction projects.
Uline's Construction Project Manager, Brian Schneider, started to notice a need for organization and consistency. Employees in different facilities were not always in sync and information was often difficult to locate.
In early 2014, Uline started searching for a project management platform that would cater to the company's growing needs. Brian and the team discovered Procore and found the document and drawing management to be exactly what the team needed.
Responsibility for construction at Uline is shared amongst three executive team members. The majority of their projects are warehouse spaces, some new and some remodels, and a few different office spaces. The company started using Procore in 2014 and found the system to be useful from the minute they completed implementation. Brian notes, "One of the main reasons we switched to Procore was the fact that we were receiving poor project documentation, in all different formats, from the GCs we were working with. Our organization and our as-built drawing sets were a mess."
Brian was looking for a system that would allow each party to access updated information anytime and anywhere. "We purchased Procore so, at the end of the day, we'd have a uniform system that we could go back to. We told all of our GCs, 'Hey, if you want to build with us, you have to use Procore.'"
When the team at Uline sat down to evaluate the different platforms and management systems, they knew they needed something that would take the burden off the IT staff. "Our IT department is a big advocate of Procore—it frees up a ton of space on internal servers," says Brian. IT members no longer have to spend time organizing and sharing files like they would on other platforms or internal systems.
Procore allows Uline to streamline their processes, creating a more efficient and effective team. As Brian puts it, "Procore has made our department and the construction process more professional and uniform. And it just makes us 100 percent, probably 500 percent, more efficient now that everything is in one place."
Uline has facilities throughout North America, which means the staff spends quite a bit of time traveling. On other systems, traveling for a day meant lost time and productivity, but that is not the case here. Uline has found that Procore works just as well on an airplane.
"A majority of us travel quite a bit so it's nice to always have that information without having to log back into the main system. The app has just been great," says Brian. Team members don't lose time when they are on the go, and everyone still has access to information... even at 30,000 feet. "When you've got a lot of time in the plane, it's so much easier to use a phone or iPad than it is to pull out your whole laptop setup. The mobile app has saved us a ton of time and keeps us efficient when we're away from our desks."
Using the mobile application, Uline has also been able to reduce the amount of paper drawings they print, Brian says. "We may print a set here and there, but as far as keeping up-to-date sets on our desks, we don't do that anymore. It's all digital so it saves a lot of money and time."
Uline has been able to utilize the Customer Support Team at Procore to customize tools and workflows that make team members more efficient. "Procore has great customer support—they've worked with us to develop custom workflows such as Uline-specific contracts/change orders and IT work order approval templates. And they're very open to our recommendations on how to make Procore even better. Many of the things we have discussed have already been implemented," says Brian.
Brian has found that the GC's in the area find Procore to be a reputable tool, giving Uline a leg up on the competition. "It makes us look good. We can have other departments log in to Procore and they'll see a well-organized, consistent construction process. Before, everything was a mess. More and more GCs around here—the bigger, reputable firms—are all getting on Procore so it makes us more marketable as a client when we're both using the system," says Brian.
"The entire experience has been excellent. In the beginning, we decided which projects we should utilize Procore for based on project cost. However, as we became comfortable using the software, we decided to run everything through it. It's so easy to use, it keeps everything organized, and it's our easiest way to share information both internally and externally. We are even going back and putting some key projects from our archives into Procore."