McKee Fehl is a medium sized Wellington-based commercial construction company with a reputation for successfully completing unusual and difficult construction projects on time and within budget.
McKee Fehl used manual paper processes that functioned more like a filing system than a project management system. The team wanted to find an automated solution that offered a comprehensive toolset and was user-friendly.
Procore not only provided a top tier project management solution, but it also offered tools in Quality & Safety—not to mention robust mobile capabilities. With Procore, McKee Fehl saved hours of administrative work by streamlining processes and increasing collaboration.
Established in 1973, McKee Fehl Constructors is a Wellington-based commercial construction company specialising in both commercial construction and Design/Build development projects. Project Manager Helen Moate recalls what processes were like before using Procore.
"It was a lot less automated back then—we used physical paper. There were drawings and documents coming in and instructions going out. There was a database of these items, but it functioned more like a filing system."
Moate and her team began searching for premier project management software that would eliminate these tedious manual processes. They asked other companies in the Wellington area about solutions they were using, and through this discovery they found Procore. Moate says Procore stood out for a number of reasons, but she remembers one in particular.
"Procore didn't just do one thing. There were project management aspects, but there was also quality, safety, and mobile functionality. It was a solution that worked across the board, and it was all in one place," says Moate.
Not only did Procore offer a robust toolset, but perhaps more importantly, the team at McKee Fehl found the platform easy to use, helping ensure employee adoption.
"Making sure that people can actually understand the information and access it comfortably is really important to us. Procore's tools are user-friendly, which helps people find the information easily so they're not waiting, or having delays, or making it up as they go along."
In early 2015, McKee Fehl decided to partner with Procore and onboarded with Project Management and Quality & Safety. Better yet, with an intuitive interface and helpful training tools and resources, Procore enabled a smooth implementation; instead of the expected couple of months, implementation took just a couple of weeks.
As employees began using the platform, Moate says they especially gravitated towards the Project Management tools, which enabled them to easily update and share drawings, documents, and specifications. They replaced slow, manual processes with automated workflows that simplified how they tracked information. This helped reduce administrative work and double entry. What used to be a two or three hour process now took minutes to complete.
"This process is now automated. Even though there is an approval and review section of it, it's still only a few-minute process. With this functionality, we have seen huge gains."
The most dramatic improvement stemmed from employees' ability to access all project information from the palm of their hands—anytime, anywhere.
"There's just such an advantage to being able to have information on your phone and have the reassurance that what you're looking at is the most recent version—not something printed three weeks ago and has since changed. It's also helpful to have access to previous versions—you can see how it was designed at tender stage and how it's progressed from there. We can do that from a phone, tablet, or laptop, which has been really, really successful."
With enhanced mobile functionality, Moate says that the team now has more thorough and accurate data. Additionally, having important project information on any Internet-connected device has enabled project teams to spend less time behind their desks and has given supervisors greater visibility into onsite work.
"From a health and safety perspective, they're not just supervising the work—they're looking at what's happening now and what's coming up. Even if they are not physically in the site office, they can access information, which is something we didn't have before. You used to see people carrying around drawings, but they wouldn't necessarily have the relevant design detail they needed. Being able to just pull out their phones and know what they should be doing and how the project should be—that's really valuable."
With powerful tools that connect the field to the office, communication has become both easier and more efficient. What's more, with Procore's unlimited user license model, all collaborators can access and update information.
"We work in a very collaborative environment both in our projects and within our company. We can easily supply information to consultants, subcontractors, or suppliers. It just wouldn't be practical if we had to pay per-user, and it would definitely hold us back. It just restricts the information if you have that approach."
Enhanced internal collaboration also helps ensure that all collaborators are working with the same objectives in mind, which in turn boosts quality and safety standards.
"Procore allows our staff to better understand what we're trying to build and the reasons why we're building it. They can see every step of the way and see what everyone's trying to achieve—us, the architects, the tenants. When you're in the foundations or the mud, and that's all you're seeing day-to-day, it helps to understand what the end result will be. Then you come back a year later and say, 'I built that.' We really try to drive achievement around quality and health and safety. We've identified that that comes from a source of pride in the work they're doing, and if they can get that understanding of what they're achieving it helps with engagement––which can be so crucial. It's very different than a roll of blueprints that sit in a dusty corner. The openness of the information is quite important to us."
Moate notes that not only has Procore's comprehensive functionality been valuable, but partnering with a company that has learned to adapt to the industry—a quickly evolving industry at that—has proved invaluable in ensuring success both now and in the future.
"Construction isn't going to stay the same as it is today. Design isn't going to stay this way either. Having a tool that is also changing with the industry is definitely a huge benefit of Procore."