Even when forward-looking construction companies get serious about their investment in construction technology, it will be of limited benefit if field teams aren’t on board. Rolling out technology requires strong buy-in from workers in order to be truly successful. It is no surprise, then, that many companies have historically struggled with tech adoption.
Platforms noted for their ease-of-use and field friendly tools, like Procore, still require an action plan to achieve the type of ROI businesses strive for. To get the most out of construction technology investments and set field workers up for success, there are some best practices companies should consider before starting the rollout.
To discuss some of these, we recently sat down with Nichole Carter, owner of Improving Construction With Strategically Applied Technology (ICWSAT). She’s also a Procore Certified Consultant, serving as an independent expert authorized to help teams get the most value from their Procore investment.
Enlist a Procore Champion
Most companies using Procore don’t have a dedicated, full-time staff member in charge of rollout and implementation, so we often see employees taking on part-time responsibility of managing the adoption. This is an imperfect method, and can feel like you’re putting them in the position of prioritizing the future of the business over their other job duties.
That’s where a Procore champion comes in. Whether it’s a member of the organization who knows the ins and outs of the platform and takes it upon themselves to extol its virtues to their fellow workers, or an external Procore Certified Consultant prepared to quickly bring a team up to speed. A champion that has success metrics tied to the deployment and adoption of your company’s investment is key.
Sometimes it can feel like there is never a good time to reallocate resources. Coming out of the pandemic, the construction industry is facing a multitude of new challenges, from project delays to material shortages. Those obstacles make it more difficult, and even more important, for companies to carefully navigate and monitor their Procore implementations.
“You’ve got a lot of balls in the air. Once you’ve made this investment you can’t lose sight of why you did it, and you have to have people behind it,” said Carter.
“There has to be something or someone behind really pushing it out to people. You should be walking into this investment knowing that’s something that has to be in place, if you’re going to see success. There are going to be additional costs with training workers in the field, but it’s going to be worth it. If you really want to have that corporate-wide buy-in, you’re going to have to make that investment internally as well,” Carter explained.
Involve the Entire Team in the Process
One major theme when it comes to improving field adoption of Procore is trust. This includes not only the Procore implementation team, but your own staff and executives, who should all be included in the implementation phase of deploying technology.
“You should have all of the different roles at the table. This process shouldn’t be happening in a vacuum with upper management, because that doesn’t foster trust. It doesn’t foster means and methods that are going to have an impact on everybody working in the company,” Carter said.
That trust also comes into play when it comes to enlisting external support for the implementation. Carter remembers a recent conversation with a client who was using a typical siloed assortment of paid file sharing services. They needed help in a hurry but had no idea where to start.
“We did a tech stack analysis and I said ‘you need Procore immediately,” Carter said.
Initially hesitant to take on the added cost because they had to maintain their current system before transitioning to Procore, the client placed their trust in her expertise. The results speak for themselves.
“The day we signed the contract we launched the platform, and over a long weekend we had 15 active projects up and running, we had all of their staff onboard, and we were collecting daily logs the following Monday,” Carter said.
“I would not have had that kind of success story if they didn’t fully trust me and lean into the process, as a collective.”
Set Realistic Expectations
Procore is a powerful platform, but it’s not a magic wand that will immediately fix your companies’ problems. It requires concerted effort within an organization, and sometimes bringing in external help, to get the most out of your Procore investment. Establishing that point early on sets realistic expectations.
“There’s almost this anxiety where the people who are champions for different solutions are sticking their necks out. Their company is about to make a pretty large investment into technology, and if it doesn’t go well, sometimes it can reflect poorly on them,” Carter said.
People need to have realistic expectations for what success looks like, and it’s important that they celebrate small wins.
“It’s really important to do that, because it’s a process, it isn’t something that happens overnight,” said Carter.
Leverage the Historical Knowledge of Your Peers
To help ensure that field team onboarding is a smoother experience, Procore partnered with customers to create a Specialty Contractor Field Onboarding Guide–built on success and failures of their experiences. This guide is a strategic and templated approach to ensuring field adoption of Procore is achieved. The full experience walks new and existing champions through:
- Ideal adoption paths endorsed and influenced by their peers.
- How to set clear expectations by weaving in celebratory milestones.
- Insight into key conversations their peers have leveraged to drive field participation.
- An onboarding template to leverage as they introduce Procore to their field team.
- Quick hitter mobile training to get them up and running fast.
“I wish I had had this guide two years ago. It gets rid of 80% of the fear and unknown that goes along with transitioning to technology.” said Matthew Slaughter, Project Manager, Victory Woodworks.
When an organization is looking for a technology partner to assist in overhauling key processes, success is contingent upon approaching it strategically. And to find a company equipped with the knowledge and resources required to ensure a smooth rollout.
Implementing new technology takes time and effort, and often costs money. You’ll see a larger return on the resources expended, and get more out of a platform like Procore, if you invest in your investment on an ongoing basis, rather than rolling it out in a hurry and hoping for the best.
For additional information on how to think strategically about the technology you invest in, check out Procore’s specialty contractor’s guide for a comprehensive overview of the right questions to ask vendors and the most important features platform solutions should offer your team.