When New Jersey-based electrical contractor Scalfo Electric started implementing Procore for project management and Sage for accounting in the fall of 2019, the company had no idea that the world was about to change. Moreover, that it would be laying the groundwork to help the design-build company weather the COVID-19 crisis.
“Procore really was a lifeboat, because we didn’t know how rough the water was going to be ahead of us,” said Joelle Macrino, Scalfo Electric’s Procore Administrator who joined the company specifically to oversee their Procore implementation and rollout, mere months before the crisis hit.
“The ability to work remotely, create and participate in Zoom meetings, leverage the DocuSign API, create and complete forms, track safety issues and report time was essential. Having it all in place prior to the pandemic was really huge. We didn’t know at the time that we were setting ourselves up to be able to work in that environment, our CEO really had the foresight to put the pieces in place.”
With many of their projects in the healthcare and public sector spaces, Scalfo Electric had its hands full during the pandemic. Right alongside the usual bevy of challenges smaller specialty contractors face, suddenly they were also navigating the complexities of a remote workforce.
It would be reasonable to assume it was unfortunate timing for a boutique contractor to overhaul its project management and accounting processes in the middle of a global pandemic, but that’s not how Scalfo sees it.
“Scalfo chose the perfect time to join the Procore Platform. Procore gave our team the ability to manage all aspects of our projects, draw on various Procore support teams and community members to get answers to important questions,” Macrino said.
“What Procore brought to the table as far as streamlining the payroll, material procurement, and bidding processes was to make it so much more organized. It had all the processes already in place to enable us to have that remote capability. It helped having a software program in place that would allow everyone to know what they needed to do to keep their projects on the right path, so we really benefited from that during the pandemic.”
Key to any technology implementation is getting buy-in from workers at all levels of the company, which isn’t always the easiest sell in an industry like construction where in some corners technology remains a dirty word.
“There were people who were more comfortable using computers and iPads, they were right on board, to them it just comes naturally. For our group that maybe wasn’t as familiar or comfortable using cloud-based software and having everything so integrated with it, they struggled a bit more and gave a little more kickback,” Macrino said.
However, even the holdouts changed their tune when they saw Procore in action.
“They got on board with it once they saw what it could do and how it could be utilized to make their jobs so much easier.”
At the same time Scalfo was implementing Procore, the company had started using the Sage 300 CRE integration, which helped it keep key processes humming along despite the unfolding global chaos.
“The Sage 300 CRE integration was a major piece of the puzzle to achieving a cohesive transfer of information especially in a remote environment. This integration made it possible to realize our goals of streamlining several processes such as a paperless payroll and material procurement,” said Macrino.
If there’s one thing 2020 taught us, it’s that major change can come about suddenly and without warning. That change can either cause a company to throw up their hands and give up, or push ahead and embrace the change as a catalyst for growth. Scalfo Electric chose the latter path.
“As I look back over this process, I see so much growth. Change should always create an opportunity to learn and grow. Archiving antiquated processes and gently moving in a new paperless direction takes time, patience, leadership and teamwork,” Macrino said.
“When I was hired in the fall of 2019, I had no idea what the future would hold. I am fortunate that my 20 years of construction experience and my fresh Procore training married to help assist Scalfo in achieving the task set before us. The construction industry has taught me many valuable lessons, most notably, perseverance.”
A self-described “list nerd,” Macrino shared her top 10 Procore tips she’s picked up over the years, covering everything from templates and forms to Procore’s Outlook integration and customer support.
- Templates: Templates are key to reducing the process of entering information over and over again. My community buddies suggested creating project templates for recurring projects, customers or locations. I had originally pigeon-holed our project templates to only types of projects: Work Orders vs Contracts.
- Procore Support: Support Center is your lifeline. Chat, email, call, or search the support database. I always search the support articles first. Then if I am still coming up blank, I reach out.
- Directory: Not everyone should have a hand in the cookie jar. I enter and maintain the contacts, users and companies. When someone needs to be added in the company or project directory, I receive an email with all the information. Most of our PM’s send me an Outlook Contact Card.
- Procore for Outlook: Transfer emailed information/documents directly into your Procore projects and never leave Outlook. This is easy to install and a big time saver.
- Forms: Once I upload a new form, I test it out in a Test Project to work out any kinks. Over the last year, I have created a ton of forms. I found Microsoft Excel works well to create a form template.
- T&M Tickets: Tracking extras in the field has always been a challenge, but not anymore. We are also using this tool to track small T&M work orders. It’s not intended to be used that way but, our billing department loves the inclusiveness this tool provides.
- Sage 300 CRE Integration: I’m not going to lie, we struggled a bit at first with the ERP integration. We needed to learn what questions to ask. In the case of Potential Change Orders (PCO), the key is communicating with the Billing/AR Administrator prior to creating the PCO. It is so important to find out how the Prime Contract is set up in Sage. Is it Quick Bill or Contract? This will determine whether to choose a new line item or use an existing line item when creating a PCO.
- Prime Contract: Setting up the global financial markups at the beginning of the project is a huge time saver. These markups are easy to alter on a PCO by PCO basis if needed.
- Custom Solutions: Workflows, Logos, Forms and PDF customizations are their specialty. We have customized all of our letterhead PDF’s and worked with the CS team to design workflows that fit our needs.
- Procore Community: I encourage you to join various groups. The Community folks provide invaluable insights, information and supply great best practices. The Community Support Team is awesome at helping you to navigate the Procore Community Platform. Think of them as your Community GPS.