One of Procore’s key value propositions is that it’s constantly evolving and changing to meet new needs and serve new purposes as they arise. Procore’s continued development and enhancements to its core platform, combined with the acquisition of new technologies such as Construction BI for analytics and INDUS.AI for machine learning and artificial intelligence signal a continued focus on being the best platform for everyone in the construction industry.
To shed some light on how Procore teams are thinking about the future, particularly when it comes to the unique challenges faced by enterprise GCs, Procore recently hosted an in-depth webinar, Looking Ahead: Procore’s Strategy for Enterprise Customers, where it detailed its product strategy and blueprint for the future.
“Procore is on a mission to connect everyone in construction. Our early work was to create a platform that supports this mission. We’ve done that, and the next steps are where we’re focused. We have to get collaboration right, and make communication between companies and teams as efficient as possible,” said Procore’s Julian Clayton, VP, Product Management, GCs, and webinar co-presenter.
Because no two projects are ever alike, project management software needs to be flexible and adaptable. It also has to bring together disparate project stakeholders to allow everyone to connect and collaborate in ways that maximize value and effectively advance project goals.
“Before now, collaborators connected to each individual project separately from any other. The next step is to provide collaborators visibility into what they’re responsible for across all of their projects, so they can handle those items quickly, and get back to what they do best, which is not punching information into systems, it’s building.”
The heart of Procore’s strategy is a connected vision, ensuring everyone on the project team has access to the latest information they need, exactly when they need it.
“Connecting all stakeholders is the key to connecting everyone in construction and ensuring users of all types are getting the most value. Your trades do not need the same experience as you do in Procore, and the more we can improve that experience for everyone, the more data you’re going to be able to collect and utilize for your own projects,” Clayton added.
Connected Data Reduces Risk
Recent acquisitions including INDUS.AI and Avata allow Procore to leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence in exciting new ways to help contractors capture and contextualize project data. For example, with AI and ML, companies will be able to automatically understand topics ranging from potential safety issues, to the amount of material delivered to the jobsite every day to a record of potential punch list items, all without manual intervention. Since much of the functionality is automated and happens behind the scenes, there’s no learning curve or additional effort required, it simply works.
“We’re making the transition to BIM much easier by extracting items from 2D documents and linking them to objects in the model so teams are able to seamlessly move between the 2D and 3D world. BIM ends up feeling less like a complex physics equation and more like just another tool in your pocket,” explained Clayton.
Another way Procore is capitalizing on its AI and ML investments is with Smart Punch, which allows users to capture and create punch items at lightning speed by pulling images and content from video and speech.
“All this work, increasing efficiency of reviewing and entering data, making them more accessible, it all leads up to AI and ML that provide predictive insights that spot potential cost overruns, schedule delays, or trends towards safety incidents before they occur and all without human intervention,” Clayton said.
“By automating these types of tasks and eliminating the reliance on people to study the data, your teams are going to have both the information and the time that they need for risk mitigation and plan modifications.”
Every Stakeholder Works From The Same Information
Procore’s connected data vision is about keeping all project stakeholders on the same page, working from the same up-to-date sets of information, reducing repetition, and ensuring everyone has access to the specific data relevant to what they’re working on.
“By understanding the context of each individual and their relationship to the project at that moment in time in that location, we’re able to eliminate repetitive entries by making auto suggestions displaying shared data that is already entered by another team, or based on what we’ve seen from repeated entries by that individual over the length of the project,” said Clayton.
“This should eliminate layers of inefficiency caused by filling out lengthy forms or completing arduous and repetitive tasks.”
Procore also provides benchmarking data, collected from anonymized information entered into Procore by other users. This allows companies to compare their financial performance against similar projects happening industry-wide to help identify strong areas for the company as well as potential areas for improvement.
“By enabling you to benchmark your projects against whole portfolios or peers at large, it becomes easier to tell which jobs will be profitable, and which ones may need more attention and additional team members to support them,” Clayton said.
Simple Construction Financial Data to Manage your Business
The third pillar to Procore’s strategic vision is improving financials. While many contractors today still rely heavily on a mix of manual process and various accounting softwares, Procore aims to be the one place to track potential changes, manage risk, do all forecasting, and push all of the information seamlessly into the accounting system, right from the field.
A common request from customers has been additional flexibility within Procore’s financial systems to better manage their business. One initiative in the works is something Procore calls Work Breakdown Structure.
“It’s an incredibly flexible system for you to manage budget codes. Think of it almost as like custom fields for your budget code. This enables not just tracking things with cost code and cost type, but allows you to customize your budget code at a company level, but also on a per-project basis,” explained co-present and Procore’s VP, Project Management, Financials Geoff Lewis.
Procore makes it easy for users to input data, but extracting that data is just as important, particularly when it comes to financials. Procore will soon release cross-tool financial reporting that collects and pairs contracts, change orders, and invoices, even from within different financial tools.
“Today you’re not able to easily get these reports. This new interface will basically make all Procore data accessible to you in one single view, which should dramatically speed your field team’s time to getting the data they need out of the system,” Lewis said.
Based on customer feedback, Procore’s also making it easier for contractors to set up and control approval workflows from within the platform, including more complex approval workflow rules.
“For example, if an invoice is over a certain dollar amount, it can route to the SVP instead of just to the VP for that project. It’s really about trying to take that cumbersome paper or DocuSign process you’d run today and bring it all into one central place in Procore where you can manage all of the important parts of your financials,” Lewis said.
These are just some of the investments and changes Procore is making to simplify processes and take some of the pain out of financials.
“We hope to have a really slick, easy-to-use financials product that becomes that pane of glass the project management team can work out of without having to go into their accounting system (or ERP system), and hopefully the experience of Procore continues to move in this direction and become that delightful experience for all your teams,” said Lewis.