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Case Study

Seasons Retirement Communities uses the past to plan for the future

Front view of a retirement building

The Challenge

Seasons Retirement Communities owns, operates, and develops senior living residences across Canada. The company needed a way to improve communication between stakeholders, and a historical record of construction decisions that could be referenced later–– including years down the road when the time comes to replace or update elements of a building.

The Solution

Procore’s construction management platform empowers Seasons to broker clear communication between general contractors, specialty trades and non-construction consultants. Actionable information flows across projects, with fewer misunderstandings, delays and confusion about past decisions.

The Results

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Improved Communication and Accuracy

Accountability on projects improved, with clear, date-stamped records of change orders and RFIs.

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100% Ownership of Project Data

Seasons benefits from ongoing operational value for the lifetime of the building.

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10 Years of Asset Management

The assets management team can leverage construction data to inform decisions about refreshing the property many years after construction was completed.

Things that might have just gotten away from us in the past, that were not really a part of everyday workings, are now visible, accountable, and everyone can see it. That’s where Procore has been really helpful to us.

Tim Allshopp

Timothy Allsopp

Director of Construction

Render image of a retirement home

Communication Woes

As an operator of senior living residences across Canada, Seasons Retirement Communities is a large owner, but also a small developer that relies on general contractors to build their projects. Seasons was using Excel and email to manage projects across teams, which left too much room for interpretation and error, creating disjointed and outdated communication.

"Excel, Word, email, PowerPoint...that’s how we communicated. The problem with those is that they are often open to interpretation," says Tim Allsopp, Director of Construction, Seasons Retirement Communities. "Excel sheets can be amazing, but if one formula is out, that absolutely kills everything."

Seasons needed one source of truth for their projects and implemented Procore’s Project Financials and Invoice Management. "When we brought Procore on board, it gave us––as the owner––more control," he explains.

Retirement building under construction

More Accountability, Less Opportunity for Conflict

"Things that might have just gotten away from us in the past, that were not really a part of everyday workings, are now visible, accountable, and everyone can see it," says Allsopp. "That is where Procore has been really helpful to us."

If a project is a week behind—perhaps an electrical engineer hasn’t responded to an RFI—Allsopp can quickly identify the cause. Date-stamped documentation creates less confusion, and can prevent problems from ever developing. Allsopp refers to disagreements about whether invoices have been paid as an example. Procore clearly indicates whether invoices have been submitted and paid. This transparent shared source of truth means that misunderstandings can be cleared up instantly. "It just cuts out any animosity. I don’t know how you put a price against things such as this, because you don’t know what the outcome could’ve been because you intercepted it before it even happened."

Contractors the company works with have also come to embrace the platform. He notes that early on a contractor would pass along information by writing it on a piece of paper for Allsopp to enter.

"I would say, ‘You know, you could’ve put this in Procore.’ Now they’ve turned it around. I’ll be in a meeting sharing something and they’ll say, ‘You know Tim, you could just put that in Procore.’ The value of using it as a single source of truth is clear to everyone we work with."

New Possibilities

Allsopp has also found value in Procore’s integrations with other services. Allsopp knew he wanted to implement a robust system of on-site cameras, but wasn’t sure where to begin. He found a company on the Procore Marketplace whose system feeds directly into Procore.

Procore’s value was extended by not only solving this immediate problem, but by having a solution that was integrated with the platform. Allsopp’s seeing possibilities he might not have considered, and sharing even more project information with stakeholders. "For me, seeing what’s new that I can bring into the business is exciting."

Retirement building's construction final touches

Data that Aids Future Decisions

Procore provides a valuable record of decisions that might otherwise have been lost. "We look at some of the GC comments that have been made, and they happen at the table when the owner’s not around," says Allsopp. "That’s okay, that’s just part of the movement of a project. But that might come up a year or two later, and we think, ‘Why did we make that decision?’ No one knows. No one can fathom the logic."

Now, project information is always accessible. "As an owner, we can always look back and refer to our KPIs or lessons learned. The information is there for us to see. It’s not held in Dropbox or on the computer of someone who no longer works at the company."

Allsopp says GCs are getting better and better about tracking small details. When they do a change order, they’ll sometimes include the suite number. Previously, such change orders would have been tied to the project as a whole. Seasons now has insight into issues related to specific suites.

This rich, detailed data helps Seasons manage projects, but has implications beyond the construction phase. When Allsopp hands off a new building to Seasons’ asset management team, they can see what was installed and refer to the information years later when updating residences. Allsopp sees more potential to share information across the company.

"By 2025, our plan is to greatly expand the data we work with in Procore, so even more information is at our fingertips. Procore keeps delivering more value for us. The more information we put in, the more we’re going to get out of it."

Resources for Selecting the Best Construction Software.

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