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Groundbreaker Profile

Michelle Stack Brought her IT Expertise to Construction – and Hasn’t Looked Back

headshot of Michelle Stack from Mono Construction

Michelle Stack Swept into Mono Constructions with a Tech Mission.

Michelle Stack had been immersed in technology for years as an Information Systems manager. When an IT colleague approached her about Mono Constructions’ search for an ERP solution—Stack jumped at the ground floor opportunity to help the forward-leaning builder streamline their processes through technology. Today she is Mono Constructions’ Information Systems & Change Manager. We met up with Stack to ask about her pivoting from finance to building, advocacy of women in construction, and the value of “gentle persistence.”

Site management is a wonderful career. These amazing individuals orchestrate the build through their leadership, planning, troubleshooting, multi-tasking, and mentoring— attributes that come very naturally to women!

Michelle Stack Headshot

Michelle Stack

Information Systems & Change Manager

How did you get started in construction?

An IT friend had been consulting with Mono and thought I could use my tech and change skills to introduce their first ERP solution back in 2016. Once I joined, Mono provided my entry into construction. I have to say, my coming aboard was a bit out of left field for both of us; Mono was introduced to the deep advantages of technology, and I was introduced to building!

Tell us about your role at Mono Constructions. What are some of your responsibilities?

As Information Systems and Change Manager, I always start with observing how we work across the business, always looking for ways to be more efficient by improving the process. I work with the team to maintain our ISO certifications in Quality, Safety, and Environment, I roll out new technology for the company—like Procore, SignonSite, the 3CX Cloud-based phone system, and Office365—and I engage in our Business Continuity Planning. All the while, I’m keeping an eye on the evolving tech space.

What do you love about your job?

I love being in a position where I can make a difference by finding better ways of doing things. I love seeing the ‘ah-ha’ moments when people see how something new helps them. I’m a big believer in work-life balance, and I believe that I can help this through technology, enabling people to get their jobs done more effectively and efficiently with better information on hand.

We hear you have spearheaded unique approaches to getting users on board with new technologies. What excites you about this work?

I tailored the approach to suit each person on the team. I did a lot of flexible working around people’s schedules and made it a conscious point to only cover as much as I thought people could reasonably handle in each teaching session. In the trainings, I mostly used live data so that what they were learning had context, made sense, and contributed to their getting their work done as they were training. What has been most rewarding is the great adoption of all the tools we’ve introduced—and without any real angst!

Michelle Stack standing on a site in front of a crane

What makes construction IT unique?

Asking hands-on construction workers who never thought they would use IT … to use IT! Construction IT is also different in that no business suit is required!

Do you see construction tech as a recruitment tool for the NextGen construction worker—the generation of Digital Natives who appear hesitant to enter construction?

Traditional builders have to be convinced first that tech is an essential tool for their business. Then — yes! I believe that the younger generation will be attracted to companies that are forward-thinking and quick to respond to that generation’s needs. The effective use of technology in construction demonstrates this. What’s missing sometimes is communication about the many career options available in construction for men and women, traditional roles, and beyond. Construction is not all about digging and hammering, mud and heavy lifting, and I think schools are the places we need to get that message out.

What makes Mono Constructions different from other companies you could have worked for?

Where do I start? Mono has such a strategic and thoughtful leadership, open to learning and change. When you find this type of leadership you are off to a great start! We absolutely embrace diversity and have women in influential roles. Mono has excellent values and a genuinely empathetic culture. It’s no accident that Mono Constructions won the 2021 Groundbreaker Award for Excellence in Safety. We’re focused on creating safe places for people —physically and psychologically—in our workplace and the places we build. Our values are summed up by the acronym F.R.A.N.K, which stands for Focus, Respect, Anticipate, Never Give Up — and Kindness.

If you could go back to your very first day in construction, what advice would you give yourself?

Understand that construction has been happening the same way for a very long time, so it will take some gentle persistence to make change happen — and it did. I would also tell myself, “…don’t worry, you’ll get rid of this paperwork!” And we did that, too.

At Procore we use a term —“Groundbreaker”— to broadly describe an individual who casually inspires, leads from alongside, embraces the cutting edge, and is driven to set a new standard. How might you personally define a Groundbreaker based on your experiences?

A Groundbreaker is an ego-free mentor, influencer, and enabler. A Groundbreaker removes the fear and sense of mystery around technology by being a collaborator and not a dictator.

A Groundbreaker helps companies and individuals learn and grow by showing what is possible.

Resources for Selecting the Best Construction Software

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Construction Software Buyer's Guide

A step-by-step guide for evaluating today’s software solutions.

As construction transitions to digital, it is increasingly important to invest in the right construction management solution. Here is our expert guide.

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