Vanderlande, a subsidiary of Toyota, is the global market leader in baggage handling systems for airports, and sorting systems for parcel and postal services. As an owner, Vanderlande manages and installs warehouse, airport, and parcel conveyor systems.
Procore’s Holly Wilde, Sr. Manager, Product Marketing recently interviewed Chris Howe, Senior Manager of Airports and Parcel at Vanderlande. Following his years of industry experience in the trades and project management, Howe was asked by Vanderlande to help their business grow and to “become more of a construction business and manage it as such” – specifically with projects at airports such as JFK, LAX.
Our team sat down with Chris to learn more about how Vanderlande is leveraging Procore’s solution for owners, and how it has created efficiencies for their business.
Restructuring Data Management Practices to Generate Savings
For Vanderlande, the decision to onboard Procore started with inefficiencies in their daily reporting. According to Howe, it was an outdated data management process that sparked the change. “Everything was in Excel, on someone’s desktop, or for lack of a better phrase, on a napkin. If I were to ask someone for some information, they might say ‘I can fax it over to you.’”
Perhaps a facetious recollection of their previous state of business, but such manual processes are not unfamiliar to many owners in the industry. Given Howe’s prior experience using Procore for his project management work at various general contractors, he knew that implementing the system would not only improve their daily reporting process, but provide his teams with the opportunity to leverage their invaluable data with our Construction Intelligence solution.
Not only do these tools help manage our installs, but they also allow us to analyze our data. That data is so key to what we do here, the difference between how we operated two years ago and how we operate now is one hundredfold in terms of improvements. We’ve seen streamlined efficiencies achieved from creating a single source of truth with Procore to capturing data to support our team’s installations or the financial give-and-take with our general contractors. That data is always key for any project at any company, and we have that now with Procore.
I can give you a very specific example where our team documented our delays at a project at LAX through Procore – highlighting which schedule activity IDs were impacted, with pictures and backup. Our team came to LAX with a $475,000 change order and it was indisputable.
The ability to do that easily through Procore and to analyze afterward has been key for us. It has saved us time, money, and created real efficiencies for our teams.”– Chris Howe, Senior Manager of Airports and Parcel at Vanderlande
The Key to Standardizing Operating Procedures: Crawl, Walk, Run
For Howe, not only has Procore created a demonstrable difference in Vanderlande’s data management practices, but the software has become the source of truth for standard operating procedures across all of the organization’s projects. Howe specifically highlighted the value of the Procore Support site and customizable Training Center as he noted the struggle of attempting to write Standard Operating Procedures prior to leveraging the custom Training Center.
Something that’s arduous for anyone is writing an SOP. Procore’s Professional Services team makes it easy. The interaction with the professional services team is: here is how we operate, so how do I document these processes in a clean way and make it specific to my organization? By partnering with the Training Center team, I was able to document our processes not only per Procore module, but by individual role. We have our SOPs broken out by Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Scheduler, Site Manager, Superintendent. If you were to click into your role, you would have your own specific SOPs documented. When you break it down by role or by deliverable within a task – you give more clarity as to who is doing what, and how the tools are supposed to be used by your team.
I can urge you, if you’re in the throes of [implementation], or starting out: crawl, walk, run is the best approach. Take one module at a time, or a few at a time, get your stakeholders involved, train the trainers, and then roll it out. We have achieved full buy-in with that approach, and when you have that, you’ll get results much faster.
The difference in the data that we get after having customized our SOPs and customized the fieldsets in the Procore modules that we have, the standards across each construction site are identical. There isn’t one site team doing their own thing. We have clear standards set for how we use Procore to run a project, and by doing so, we get the data that we need in order to chase down change orders, to track the quality of our contractors, and to create our project health scorecards.”– Chris Howe, Senior Manager of Airports and Parcel at Vanderlande
How Procore Enables Portfolio Trend Analysis
When it came to initially onboarding the Procore Analytics package, Howe felt that the tool was instrumental not only in ensuring Vanderlande was able to perform trend analysis, but that their well-defined SOPS also ensured end users were inputting the information that was most meaningful to their organization.
For his executive personas, Howe noted that the value of Analytics lies in the fact that Vanderlande is “able to quickly tell where a project stands. It enables our team to roll up their projects to an easy-to-read and an easy to follow dashboard.”
With regard to standardization, Howe noted that with Analytics, “every project has the same scorecard. My EVP doesn’t need to ask, where is this piece of data on your dashboard? The standardization and repeatability of the reporting process of Analytics has been invaluable for us… Reporting is something that is paramount for us. Not only were we able to get paid in that previous example at LAX, but we are able to issue automated reports to keep stakeholders informed.
To not have to create a report because you have already customized the automated reporting system to what you need to see, you can easily start to look at trends. Even if you didn’t have time to look into these reports, you are getting them anyway because the system enables your team to receive these reports via email weekly or daily.”
For Vanderlande, the value of Procore is clear: data transparency, process standardization, and repeatability of reporting.