It’s been more than a decade since the construction industry began embracing digital solutions. Yet, despite the value technological transformation brings, there is an underbelly. While many solutions are helping revolutionize the industry, problems arise when tech stacks become too complicated or are just plain outdated.
These issues can put a strain on your teams, cost you more money, and increase rework. To mitigate these problems, it’s important to get the right tech stack in place at your organization.
Recently, at Groundbreak 2022, Procore’s annual tech conference, representatives from Alberici and Weigand Construction shared their experience with a Procore-based tech stack and how it accelerated innovation in their IT systems.
Alberici: Streamlining to Accelerate Innovation
In 2018, Alberici’s tech stack was ready for a change — to put it mildly. Their software was mainly hosted on the company’s own servers, and the data was siloed. The solutions were not collaborative or mobile-friendly, which created an accessibility barrier for the field teams. Some of the tools also required data to be entered two or three times over, which not only wasted time, but increased the chances for costly mistakes.
Another problem was the company’s heavy reliance on Excel. Their reliance on Excel not only required manual entry input and formula building, but made gathering analytics challenging as well. At the time, Alberici’s solution for project management was also separate from the tools that managed their file storage, scheduling, and drawing management.
“The lack of integration led to inefficiencies in data entry, lags in sharing information, and limits in our ability to analyze data,” explained Aaron Geiger, Chief Technology Officer at Alberici Group, Inc.
Once everything was migrated to Procore, Alberici quickly managed to streamline their project management tools on one platform and also cleaned house by abandoning outdated or clunky tools in favor of better choices from Procore’s integration partners. While this improved document storage and team collaboration, there was another positive advantage — and it was a big one. Utilizing the Procore platform put them on the fast track to integration and innovation.
“Prior to streamlining our tech stack, it took two to three months to integrate new applications. Now we are able to do integrations in two to three weeks,” said Geiger.
This significant time savings enabled the company to focus on innovation. The rate in which Alberici tests and pilots new solutions has increased dramatically. Whereas previously, the “shiny object syndrome” led to technology proliferation, now they clarify the benefits and return on investment, along with planning for a corresponding deprecation of the legacy solution.
Geiger estimates that the business evaluated or piloted more than 100 solutions in the last two years, and have adopted 10 to 15 at an Enterprise level. That means 10 to 15 processes have improved dramatically within the organization just in the last two years because Alberici is building on an effective tech stack with Procore at the core.
“By shifting to a cloud-first, low-code and API-centric approach…we have reduced the burden of software maintenance, increasing the time team members can devote to the creative work that drives business value,” explained Charles Williams, Alberici’s Director, Enterprise Applications
This leads to greater innovation and increased collaboration, both within the business and with clients, trade partners and other key stakeholders.
Weigand Construction: Customizing Through Extensions
One of Procore’s benefits is that it’s incredibly flexible. This point was highlighted in the case of Weigand Construction. The company was able to achieve their goals by extending the original functionalities of Procore. Two of the most intriguing changes involved were the integration of a chatbot and a custom automation that allowed them to get up-to-date information from employee time sheets.
For the time sheets, Weigand needed to accelerate the data refresh rate on select data sets to validate that the correct hours were registered on payroll day. The company connected several solutions and created its own real-time system. Their field personnel now enter their hours in Procore Field Productivity, and this information travels through an integration that includes Procore solutions, Workato, Webhooks, PostgreSQL, and PowerBI, producing up-to-date reports in real-time.
“Now, our payroll process is faster, more accurate, and more sustainable. We also avoid having one-off spreadsheets sitting on someone’s laptop. That makes it more efficient for our payroll processing team to issue paychecks since they have a lower risk of rework,” said Bishop Brown, Chief Technology Officer at Weigand Consruction.
Along the way, Brown used Procore’s Professional Services team for support. “I met with him weekly just to bounce ideas off of him on how I can get stuff done,” says Brown. “That was some of the best money spent.” While he had allocated three months for the Workato integration, he built it in four hours.
Cole Went, Weigand’s BIM/Implementation Manager, added that, for the payroll processes, “having this information at her fingertips in a visual that she can quickly look at and gain confidence that the data is accurate and the hours coming in are being allocated to the proper cost codes and projects was big for her to gain confidence.” Prior to using this workflow, she might have ten instances of time getting allocated to the wrong cost code, which she needed to go back and fix.
As for Weigand’s own chatbot, Weibot, they integrated it with Procore to automate several processes that are necessary at the start of every project. An employee can now simply ask Weibot to start a new project while only having to enter relevant details once. Weibot then automatically performs once-manual duties, such as creating the project’s folders in Procore, alerting management that a new project has begun, and more.
“The process takes the job start time from 10 minutes to 30 seconds. If you multiply that savings by four hundred jobs a year, plus the time it takes to fix errors, you’re talking about hundreds of hours saved in administrative costs over the course of the year,” added Brown.
Tara Leto, Weigand Construction Admin, said, “Creating that whole set of folders and not having to enter the same data in two separate softwares is huge. I’ve basically got one place that I enter it and it’s updating two separate places. We run quite a bit of work out of our office and we haven’t had to hire more construction admins.” The process is now streamlined and more consistent, leading to greater efficiency at project start.
Procore Provides an Easy Platform to Create Highly Efficient Stacks
In construction, IT leaders must design a tech stack that can build efficiency, increase productivity, and also help the company grow, stay competitive, and manage costs. Procore’s design is flexible and straightforward. It simplifies workflows and schedules to seamlessly integrate fieldwork with office work — while also providing contractors with enough data to guide their plans and budgets.
However, Procore’s developers understood that no single software could encompass all the industry’s challenges and needs. To manage this tricky complexity, Procore was built with an Open API architecture that enables integration with more than 400 ecosystem partners like Egnyte, Riskcast, Microsoft, and more. Our Global Professional Services team is available to help with integrations and more.
When it comes to maintaining a complex IT network, Procore’s open, flexible architecture acts as a strong framework that can help companies that are focused on efficiency and future growth. The platform can grow with a tech stack, regardless of how extensive it becomes.
For more information on how Procore can help you optimize your tech stack through integrations, please see our Professional Services.
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