As an owner of a construction project portfolio, you’re well aware that data is the fuel that powers and illuminates your project’s entire lifecycle. Data gives you that deep visibility that can spotlight any hidden risk before it can become an issue.
In fact, leveraging your projects’ data substantially reduces risk by providing:
- Financial accountability & transparency.
- Process standardization.
- Cross-portfolio clarity through analytics.
- Data ownership for Operations and Maintenance (O&M).
- Thorough documentation in the event of a vendor dispute.
Whether you’re working on 10, 100, or 1,000 assets in a year, your ability to collectively survey and compare these projects is central to the process’s continual improvement. The complete, holistic view of your projects also provides critical oversight and governance, from early-stage planning and development through closeout and subsequent O&M. If you already have contractors using Procore on your builds, you may feel satisfied the software is delivering its full benefit to your project. In fact, as owner your work both precedes and surpasses the GC’s construction phase and extends from planning to O&M.
As an owner, your complete ownership of the project must include ownership of the data. Full stop.
1. Financial Data Goes Beyond a Single Project’s Construction Contract
The construction contract—and everything managed within it by your contractors—is just one aspect of the project, just as the project itself is but a single line item within your larger capital plan.
Procore is an analytics tool capable of “reading” your project data, making cross-project comparisons that point the way toward continual improvement. When each of your projects is managed in its own discrete instance of Procore, the effect is a broad decoupling of your project datasets, which, in turn, lessens Procore’s ability to map process improvement in a pan-project setting. In the end, you’re back to manual processes in spreadsheets.
Your contractors need to maintain their own detailed records and processes for their day-to-day activities. However, only a portion of that information is relevant to and needed by you, the Owner. Both parties need their own system of record to manage what is relevant to their business.
Al Nover, Boston Children’s Hospital Facilities Finance & Contract Manager, put it succinctly, “The project’s data—including its financial data—are standardized and digitized. We can go into a project in Procore to see exactly where the real-time spend is.”
2. Standardization Reduces Rework and Improves Efficiency
You need every job performed to your exacting standards. The right way to achieve that is to build out each project in Procore so that they are governed, managed, and executed consistently.
When that happens, your team is more efficient and effective— to the extent that Procore’s Owner customers report an average 24% increase in the number of capital projects/assets that each individual can manage. Consistency of process across vendors and partners likewise mitigates risk.
Andrew Schaap, the CEO of Aligned, a leading data center provider, realized that, “We have better controls over the project and the construction with Procore. It allows us to deliver a really good product and be sure about it.”
3. Cross-Project Analytics Gives an Overall View
When information is siloed within each project, you can’t get the birds-eye view across your entire portfolio. You may not always notice what elements are succeeding, which are at risk of falling behind schedule or budget, and where to most optimally focus your resources to set things right. The ability to easily aggregate and report standardized data across your portfolio means your team doesn’t have to manually compile data in spreadsheets to provide your executives and business partners the information they need. This is why 88% of owners that Procore surveyed reported having more standardized processes with Procore.
Contractors often have similar concerns but focus on each project’s profitability and the impact on their overall business health, regardless of who commissions the work on the Owner’s side. Both roles need to track and continually take measures of those elements unique to their respective success.
Jessy Milner—who, as the owner of Front Line Advisory Group, manages projects for Travis County, Texas—understands the value of standardization to coherent strategic practice. “Procore allows us to define and mandate standard practice, so I can compare cost and budgets and schedules and tasks between projects. Now there’s one central location for all, from the executive level to the elected officials, all the way down to the PMs.”
4. Information is Needed Throughout Asset Lifecycles
You are responsible for the success of what you’ve built in perpetuity, well after your contractors have moved on to a new job. For the lifespan of the building, your facilities teams need to know precisely what is behind every wall and ceiling, where every drawing of record is, specifics of the equipment installed, and every other granular detail relevant to the operation and maintenance of the asset over its useful life.
There is no substitute for the unfettered 24/7 access to this data a construction management platform provides. Procore’s unlimited user model means this data is available to anyone. Meanwhile, its open API and 300+ pre-built integrations in the Procore app marketplace enable integration capabilities, such as with Buildr, that facilitate easy transfer of this data to other systems as needed.
Even if your contractors are separately managing project details, such as RFIs and Submittals, in their own Procore instances, and are contractually obligated to turn that data over to you in digital or paper folders at closeout, will that output be optimal for what your teams require for the O&M long haul? Not necessarily. You should still load the final versions of all contractor-managed data into your Procore instance for a complete system of record.
For example, Michelle Green, VP of Sares Regis Group of Northern California, said this about managing her assets after construction: “When we turn over to our property management and warranty customer care team, info is readily available to them. So they see it as a really powerful tool. The hunt is over!”
5. Data Reduces Vendor Disputes and Simplifies Collaboration
It’s an unfortunate fact in our industry that, historically, 30% of all construction projects end with a dispute, according to Arcadis. While standardization of processes and better collaboration using Procore can help reduce that number, it is unlikely to ever go to zero. When issues do arise, all parties need to produce precisely those documents and contracts that bear on the disagreement. Procore’s platform maintains a complete and easily searchable record of progressive communication and documentation that spans the lifecycle of the project. It, therefore, provides the detail needed to foreclose potential disputes.
Set the Right Guidelines for Your Relationships
Construction is, in the end, about people and relationships. Success means collaboration, and we recommend you set up kickoff meetings to discuss and document the handling of your project data. That includes clear expectations—either by contract or during project kickoff—about what data (such as Daily Logs, draft RFIs, potential change orders, or other financial information) will live in systems owned by each contractor, what data must be regularly centralized in your systems, and at what defined stages that transfer occurs.
These details are necessary to keep everyone informed in real-time. They’re crucial both in the event of such things as change management and other collaborative workflows. They also help ensure the correct closeout documentation, such as final documents and drawings, checklists, or higher-level budgetary information.
Your appreciating asset is a physical manifestation of the invaluable data that describes it. Today, you don’t fully own your project if you don’t own the project data. The ongoing health and viability of your investment depend on it.