There is no question that implementing new technology is overwhelming. In fact, it’s why many organizations stick with the status quo – whether that’s no system at all or a legacy system that is no longer meeting their needs. Change is hard and the fear of investing time, resources, and effort into a solution that doesn’t deliver or no one wants to use is very real, especially if you’ve been burned before.
However, with the right implementation approach, you can get the most out of your investment as soon as possible and join the ranks of Christian Reed, Director of Planning, Design & Construction and Senior Campus Architect at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Amanda Wedekemper, Senior Manager of Engineering & Project Control at St. Louis Metro Transit.
Featured in the 2022 Groundbreak “Implementing Procore in the Public Sector” session, they each shared how addressing risk factors from the onset ensured implementation success and ultimately delivered value for their organizations.
University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) struggled with outdated paper systems
Over the past decade, UAH has undergone rapid growth, while maintaining a lean support staff. This presented Reed and his team with significant challenges. They are responsible for the planning, design and construction of everything on campus – from furniture & furnishings to designing new $150M engineering facilities. Despite their hard work, the absence of organization and a digital filing structure led to reactive project management and impeded progress. Recognizing the need for efficiency and structure, UAH sought a solution that would enable them to work more efficiently and effectively. They made a pivotal decision in 2021 by selecting Procore as their project management platform.
To ensure successful adoption, Procore’s implementation team, along with strategic product consultants (SPCs) worked with Reed to understand their current processes and evolve them into new and improved processes within the Procore platform. For his part, Reed opted to phase-in tools and foster a culture of accountability with his internal team, encouraging individuals to become champions of different tools and scheduling regular check-ins to ensure they remained on schedule. He also optimized training hours with Procore’s implementation manager to tackle the challenge of transitioning systems.
“Procore’s implementation process is incredible,” Reed said. “Out of the box, you’re going to get 90-95% of the functionality that you need from Procore. They’re going to bring in SPCs, implementation managers, and their custom solutions team so you get that extra help that you need to get things to function the way that you want them to function.”
UAH’s commitment and resourcefulness paid off as the implementation journey exceeded their expectations. “With Procore, you don’t just buy their software, they invest in teaching you how to use it,” said Reed.
And, this benefited Reed’s team in the long run. The UAH team is more efficient, they collaborate more effectively, and Reed is enjoying newfound peace of mind in the accuracy of their project financials. “I am confident that our financial data is accurate. Before Procore, I could not say that. The bottom line is Procore makes it easier so that every job can get done,” said Reed.
St. Louis Metro Transit was in dire need of a new configurable system
Unlike UAH, St. Louis Metro already had a platform. However, after five years of persistent issues, a change was in order. e-Builder was not configurable, nor was its customer support portal responsive.
“We implemented Procore about one year ago to coordinate our efforts with consultants and contractors,” explained Wedekemper. “Having a user-friendly, web-based solution to manage our projects has resulted in increased transparency, reduced siloing across our departments, and more complete project records.”
Getting to that point wasn’t easy. Ultimately, St. Louis Metro had to cough up thousands of dollars to extract its project data from e-Builder and also faced the pressure of having just three months to migrate projects over to Procore. However, after Procore’s implementation team performed discovery around current business processes, they consulted with Wedekemper on a plan to evolve those processes into best practices within the platform.
“Having real project situations in place to show our team helped the most with retention,” she said. This strategy saved time and maximized adoption. “Once folks see other people using the tools they are motivated to learn themselves,” she added.
Pressed for time and seeing no sense in learning every available feature, Wedekemper collaborated with Procore’s implementation team to train her team specifically on the tools they would be using. By focusing on the relevant tools, they were able to streamline the learning process and make the most efficient use of their time.
Wedekemper is now leveraging the flexibility of Procore and applying the tools to fit their needs. For example, using Work Breakdown Structure to help convey information like which funding source needs to be spent down first and Action Plans for managing project charters, safety certifiable Items, and contract closeouts.
“Previously, interested stakeholders had a hard time seeing progress. Now they can see where the project is at every step of the way and who is responsible for completion without several confusing email chains,” she said.
Investing in implementation: A strategy that pays off
With the right approach, you can ensure your teams are ready to go on day one and quickly realize benefits as a result. Procore’s onboarding process is tailored to your organization’s needs, and dedicated points of contact will usher you through and streamline your journey.
For organizations considering the investment, Reed had some advice to offer: “Don’t skimp on your implementation costs. Go ahead and spend the money on the front end and maximize your time with Procore as you implement. And I’m telling you, it’ll pay dividends when it’s over with. Do it right the first time.”
You can find out more about Procore’s construction management platform and how implementation can benefit your team; just take our quick video tour for more information.