What sets AMLI Residential apart from some other developers is their unique commitment to their ConTech stack. A multi-family owner developer specializing in mid- to high-rise apartment buildings, AMLI has been a Procore customer for over eight years. At a recent customer spotlight webinar, Procore sat down with AMLI team member Michael Trenski, whose unique role is to champion construction technology initiatives within the organization.
As a Construction Technologist, Trenski is responsible for providing construction technology training to drive stakeholder adoption, piloting and implementing new technologies, and standardizing construction technology workflows across the organization.
For successful implementation, have a partner, not a subscription
We opened our interview with AMLI by asking for advice for new customers implementing Procore for the first time, or for existing customers adopting a new product. For Trenski, the key to success is thinking of AMLI’s relationship with Procore as a partnership.
“We have always, and still to this day approached it as a partnership versus a subscription that we pay for. There are things you need to be thoughtful of during implementation: your permissioning, how you are configuring certain tools, but because it’s a cloud-based software, you essentially have access to what I refer to internally as Google for Procore,” said Trenski, referring to Procore’s Support database. “That site, coupled with Procore support reps, and your Account Executive and Customer Success Manager make implementation easy. With the resources that you have available to you through Procore, the initial implementation doesn’t need to be a scary phase of adopting the system.”
But where to go after a successful implementation? For AMLI, it was a matter of growing with the product.
“Where we’ve continued to evolve is measuring our adoption. How are our people using it? How are our subcontractors using it? And any other stakeholder that is interfacing with our account?” explained Trenski.
“Analytics was the game-changer for us”
In terms of enabling his organization to efficiently measure product adoption, Trenski pointed to a specific tool:
“Analytics was the game-changer for us. When it comes to Analytics, you’re making new correlations and discovering new data about your [organization] everyday. We have really great visibility into how different roles are interacting with the Procore account. We have Assistant Superintendents that, year to date, have created 16,000 new entries in Procore. Without Analytics, you don’t really realize the gravity or the amount that someone has bought into your system. We recognize that and reward people.”
For AMLI, it’s not just a matter of rewarding the power users, either.“We also use Procore to recognize where there are growth opportunities for people. It’s not a ‘Big Brother’ tool, it’s a ‘let’s all get better’ tool.” Trenski continued. “It makes it really easy to see where someone might be struggling in a particular area that is a requirement of their position. We use that as an opportunity to educate people and learn. That user adoption piece has been huge for us.”
Following up on his point regarding how Procore Analytics enables AMLI employees to learn and grow, Trenski continued the discussion by relating the types of insights his team was able to capture through the product.
“You can see a demo of Procore Analytics and it makes sense, it looks great. But once you connect your data to the actual product, you start discovering new things about yourself. Historically, why are we always late on RFIs because of electrical conditions? We’ve started to take those insights and ask questions like: Is this the right architect? Is this the right electrical contractor?”
“Prior to Analytics, we spent a lot of time mining data out of our Procore account. Now, it’s hit refresh and we can go back two years, year to date, or anywhere in between. We’re still learning a lot about ourselves because of Analytics, and we’re finding areas for improvement basically every year, every month – there’s always something we can dive into. I could spend the whole time talking about Analytics, honestly,” Trenski added.
And Bid Management?
The interview moved into a discussion surrounding Procore’s Bid Management tool, which AMLI’s preconstruction team has adopted and leveraged to improve their estimating processes. With a number of owner-oriented tools available to AMLI, including bid leveling and a directly integrated process from bid award to contract creation in Procore Financials, we were curious about AMLI’s experience.
“Depending on what you use currently, if you’re not using Procore and the bidding tool, it might be an FTP site, it could be email – the first high-level thing is the management of the bids. Having a centralized location where you can store those bids is really important to [the preconstruction team],” Trenski shared.
“Some of the features within the bidding tool take it to the next level. For instance, the download log. If you have a bid package and you send it out to five contractors, it’s going to give you insight into whether or not they’ve downloaded the bids and the set of drawings… Overall, that level of transparency has been great for our estimating group.”
Procore posed one final question: How does Trenski see Procore Analytics and Bid Management changing the multi-family residential space?
“[Procore] gives you the opportunity to streamline your processes more efficiently. Having that historical documentation is massive. The industry is making a push to recognize that we need solid and accessible digital documentation. The record that exists after the fact, five years down the road, has been really helpful for us. There’s a plethora of opportunities for the residential space, but the way we’re approaching it is full cycle: from our GC arm to the management of the property – and having that data available.”