HOW THEUSE OF PROCORE APPLICATION HASIMPACTED THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Professor Irtishad Ahmad
Felipe O. Consuegra
BCN 5784 CONSTRUCTION INFORMATION SYSTEMS
SUMMER 2016 – Term Project
July 22, 2016
Project management has overthe years evolved from conventional paper, pen and excel applicationsapproaches in estimating, managing, contracting and closing projects.Design of project management software should take into considerationthe user requirements. Procore is amongst the leading projectmanagement software in construction industry. The software enhancesproject efficiency and increases accountability by mobilizing andstreamlining the project documentation and communication. The realtime access to project data plays a major role in minimizing thecostly delays and risks, and this ultimately boosts the profits. Thispaper explains how use of Procore application has impacted theconstruction industry.
The software is preferred bymany construction professionals as it enhances access and managementof orders and subcontractors. Also, the software helps in managingany impending cost impacts during the construction process, improvingtime for the approval of contract documents and submittals,submission of applications made on payments, tracking schedules,monitoring payment status from subcontractors and owners and biddingfor new projects. All these play a major role in enhancing projectmanagement in construction industry. However, some of the featuresthat need to be improved include the improved submittal statussummary to reduce the review time, support bulk edit for workflows,ensuring that theindividual page numbers on any downloaded pdf page set have thedrawing number acting as the page number, and finally, theArchitect Supplementalinstructions (ASIs) should be installed to help in addressing otherimportant files other than documents that are currently the only onesallowed.
Due to the web-based nature ofthe software, it ispossible to storevirtually all facets of a project within a single centralizedweb-based place where all the project members can effectively andeasily access information and electronically communicate with theother team members. This ensures that all members are able tocollaborate effectively. The main end user of Procore softwareinclude filed teams, project managers, accounting professionals anddesigners. The development of the application is based on the needsof the end user.
In general, Procore has beenvery useful in construction industry especially because of itsintelligent specifications, management quality and performance,financial control and insights.
1.0. Introduction 5
1.1. Background to the Topic 5
1.2. Reason for the Choice of the Topic 5
1.3. Organization of the paper 5
2.0. Advantages of the Procore software 6
2.1. Role of Procore in Documentation 7
2.2. Enhanced Collaboration 7
2.3. What can we improved in the software to make it even better for the users 8
2.3.1. Features of Procore Software 8
2.3.2. How Procore can be Improved 10
2.4. Web based Nature 11
2.5. Procore End Users 11
3.0. How Procore has impacted the construction industry in general and how is going to keep impacting it in the future. 14
3.1. Technologies Applied 14
3.2. Impact to Construction Industry 15
Works Cited 19
Background to the Topic
The project management inconstruction industry has evolved well beyond the conventional paper,pen and excel applications approaches in estimating, managing,contracting and closing projects.
The design of the projectmanagement software takes into consideration the user needs. Forinstance, the project managers are required to deliver more projectswithin the budgets and timelines stipulated through centralized datamanagement system to necessitate field communications (Srokaand Elżbieta 71).
Procoreis amongst the leading project management software in constructionindustry. The software enhances project efficiency and increasesaccountability by mobilizing and streamlining the projectdocumentation and communication. The real time access to project dataplays a major role in minimizing the costly delays and risks, andthis ultimately boosts the profits (Kooand Martin 251).
This paper explains how use ofProcore application has impacted the construction industry.
Reason for the Choice of the Topic
The main reason for choosingthis topic is because I am a frequent user of Procore Technologies,Inc. I have been using the software for the past one year and I likethe features that the software offers. Currently, the software isamong the most used software in construction management.
Organization of the paper
This paper will majorly coverthe advantages of Procore application in construction workmanagement. This will entail covering how the software can beimproved to enhance its operations, the effectiveness of software inconstruction management, types of end users that can use the softwareand how the software can be used for business. Finally, the paperwill cover how Procore has influenced construction industry ingeneral, and how it will keep on impacting in future.
2.0. Advantages of the Procore software
Procore software is preferredby most people since it is easy to use. Mainly, the software allowsthe user manage all the documentation and communication (Kooand Martin 252).Due to its web-based platform, the users can easily access differentservices such as:
Creating and managing purchase orders and subcontractors
Managing any impending cost impacts during the construction process
Improving time for the approval of contract documents and submittals
Submission of applications made on payments
Monitoring payment status from subcontractors and owners
Bidding for new projects
Some of the major benefits ofProcore software include its potential to address risks duringconstruction projects. Risk management entails intrinsic riskavoidance. Procore addresses certain occurrences and risks duringconstruction project (Kooand Martin 254).These include:
Litigation that requires project documentation, photos and time sheets amongst others
Loss of money due to lack of documentation
Loss of expertise and skills whenever the experience employees leave during project execution
2.1. Role of Procorein Documentation
Despite the amount of moneyand tasks involved in a project, a good project manager should becapable of ensuring that all documentation is done and maintainedappropriately. It entails making sure all information communicatedverbally or through writing is documented for easier reference. TheProcore application helps the people involved tract their schedulesefficiently, communicate easily, attracts other people to work on theproject, offers guidelines on the tasks at hand, increases efficiencyof the project, ensures good customer relations and ultimately leadto increased profitability. These help the contractor stay on courseand manage risks efficiently (Liberatore,Bruce and Colleen 101).
The software allows the userdocument the day’s happenings to ensure that the information can beaccessed easily, and this enhances trust and efficiently. Having asingle place of doing everything that is required plays a major rolein reducing misunderstanding that can ultimately lead to losses inmoney or litigation. Procore act as a silent witness that keeps allthe members updated and this reduces instances of misunderstandingdue to miscommunication. The software helps to keep every activity ontract (Liberatore,Bruce and Colleen 102).
Procore provides the userswith solutions very fast than the traditional methods ofcommunication. This is because the software has some special featuresthat that allows them reach a solution much faster than intraditional methods of communication. For instance, a sitesuperintendent may require clarification from an architect who mightnot be readily available using telephone. However, with Procore, canwrite an RFI and copy all the project team members from architectside, who, in most cases, may be having the answer. This implies thatthe members with appropriate answer may respond instantly to theemail. This improves the project’s efficiency, hence keeping thejob on track (Harris245).
2.3. What can weimproved in the software to make it even better for the users 2.3.1. Features of ProcoreSoftware
ProjectDashboard, Scheduling and Timecard
Procoreprovides the user with one-page outlook for all the tasks takingplace. This does not only help in monitoring the progress of theproject but helps in managing multiple projects. The interface isintuitive and simple, similar to that of an email, this ensures thateven first time users can easily access and project as well as settheir status (Harris246).
Usersusing oracle Primavera or Ms Project can edit, create or share theproject schedules using the Procore application. The software iscapable of generating detailed or portfolio-level reports. Thetimecard feature in Procore allows data to be entered quickly. Thetimecard also enhances categorization, payroll exportation, as wellas enhancing the timekeeping (Shaw210).
DocumentManagement and Directory Permissions
Procore’s storage isunlimited, especially because it is cloud-based. This plays a majorrole in online keeping and management of different documents. Also,Procore provides directories that supports security and emailaddresses to ensure that the attachments can be receivedautomatically. The check in/out functionality that necessitatesonline preview of DWG files. The minutes of meetings, transmittalsand RFIs are supported using comprehensive communication tools. Theusers are allowed to use their current email addresses to receiveemails, as well as facilitate any searches for project related emailsstored in the software (Shaw211).
Bidding,Contact and Change Management
Procoreenable users approve, distribute and change orders using emails viatheir mobile devices or computers. They can use the software to sendinvitation to tender, set the due dates, and track the status of thebids. The design of servers is in such a way that they are resilientand secure, both electronically and physically. The powerinfrastructure and connectivity are ideal with native apps forandroid devises, iPhone and iPad (Shaw212).
Procore Software has a toolused in managing drawing. The tool is known as CurrentSet, and isused by the users to mark-up, upload, share and view sketches anddrawings. The CurrentSet has a version tracking capability thatensures that users work with the latest drawing plans. The usersauthorized to annotate and mark up the drawings can accomplish thisby using any device and sharing them afterwards. In case the user isunable to access internet connections, then the annotations andmark-ups can be made offline, and automatically synchronized once theinternet connection is on. The tool can be used freely on its own andit ranges from 750 to 2,500 sheets (Lee,Hyung and Asregedew 45).
2.3.2. How Procore can beImproved
Submittal Status Summary
Currently, the status summaryreport includes exceptions and r&r amongst others. The softwarewill be much better if it allows the users option of generatingmonthly or weekly reports of the sub submittal progress. Also, forthe coversheet that is linked to the submittal files, the pdf optionon the screen allows the user to create a submittal coversheet byfirst downloading and combining with the submittal of thesubcontractor then re-uploading. This limits the option of creatingdisclaimer stamp. Therefore, it would be better if Procore providesthe user with all the submittal files in order to reduce the reviewtime (Lee,Hyung and Asregedew 46).
Bulk edit for Workflows
Currently, Procore allows theuser to only edit a single workflow-one-section at a time. It wouldbe better if the user is allowed to bulk-edit a workflow bysubcontractor or package, irrespective of whether the package islocked or not. This option should be applicable for thesubcontractors and any other stakeholders involved (Lee,Hyung and Asregedew 47).
Currently, whenever anythingis uploaded on Procore, it is assigned a drawing number but the useris prompted to put the work into the ‘Drawing Number’ of theProcore. When the set is downloaded, it has to be re-done for athird time. Ideally, the individual page numbers on any downloadedpdf page set should have the drawing number acting as the pagenumber. This should be checked (Getu110).
The RFIs have ArchitectSupplemental instructions (ASIs). The Procore system should havesimilar ASI tab. This will help in addressing other important filesother than documents that are currently the only ones allowed (Getu111).
2.4. Web based Nature
Generally, a web applicationruns through web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, chrome and safariamongst other. It is hosted on a webserver instead on PC or othertraditional applications. Web applications are of different sizes andshapes, with each delivering business more benefits than theconventional office based solutions (Fayek4).
Procore software iscloud-based. This makes it possible to store virtually all facets ofa project within a single centralized web-based place where all theproject members can effectively and easily access information andelectronically communicate with the other team members. All parts ofthe project can be handled using Procore. This include submission ofRFIs, viewing drawings and plans, marking up the documents anduploading photos amongst others. This plays a major role in enhancingthe availability and visibility of critical information about thetasks for each team member, ranging from the most senior to thesubcontractors in the site. As such, the users are allowed to enjoy apaperless exchange of information. This ensures that all members areable to collaborate effectively (Conlinand Arkady107).
Due to the fact that Procoreis cloud based, unlimited number of users can easily access thestorage space without any limitation on the number of modificationsthat can be made on a certain project.
2.5. Procore EndUsers
The main focus of Procoredevelopers was to develop a product based on the preferences andneeds of the end-users. This meant that the company had to interactand discuss with the client on the issues they face daily as they trycreating and delivering realistic solutions. As such, the companyconstructed innovation labs where their clients used to visit andshare their concerns directly with the software developers. Forinstance, in February 2016, a team of over 400 professionals attendedwhere the speakers shared their expertise with the attendees. Suchinteractions created technological and professional network ofleaders that are ready to share the best practices as well asbuilding relationships (Chong,John and Xiangyu152).
The entire Procore developerswere interested in creating products that the users would use, henceinvolved the users during all the stages from ideation, design,testing and feedback analysis. Unlike many point solutions that limitthe collaboration, the unlimited access to Procore development planallowed all people within the team access and collaborate witheveryone irrespective of the locality (Chau,Anson, and Zhang512).
Amongst the main end users ofProcore software include:
TheProcore software can be run on a mobile device via an app. Thisallows the members within the project team freedom to navigate aroundthe job site and obtained updated information of all the activitiesinvolved during project development. Also, the team members can getthe notifications of all that is happening or is expected to happen.Thereafter, the members can send information, and ask or answerquestions to ensure that their teams are working without necessarilybeing there physically (Chau,Anson, and Zhang513).
Project managers can easilyleverage the advantages of Procore technology to ensure that theirteams, projects and potential thrive. The project managers can usethe apps to arrange and plan for meetings and access agendas of themeetings at any time (Chau,Anson, and Zhang513).
Despitethe differences in needs and roles during project development, allmembers should stay connected to ensure that the projects runsmoothly and remain within the budgets. The API extensibility inProcore necessitates integration with the ERC solutions, and thisprovides unlimited collaboration capabilities between the accountingprofessionals and project team. The platform offered by Procoreenables the user work within their accounting solution and providesthe ability to connect with other team members to share criticalinformation. This helps them make better decisions while in the field(Bahtiar90).
The Procore software is veryimportant for architects and engineers during the design stages as itis easier to navigate than a codebook. The software is used inuploading, organizing and updating drawings. It automatically splitsthe drawing sets and arranges them through Optical CharacterRecognition (OCR). The automatic version tracking permits the teamwork on latest drawing by providing them with real-time updates thatensures that the building remains within the design specifications(Bahtiar91).
3.0.How Procore has impacted the construction industry in general and howis going to keep impacting it in the future.3.1. TechnologiesApplied
Procore is designed usingintelligent specifications that makes the entire rulebook becomedigital. The general contractors use the software to create asearchable repository through text extraction algorithm that linkswith other tools and drawings to get the information very fast (AnnandGreene56).
Management of qualityand Performance
The Procore software equipsthe professionals in construction industry with the skills to trackquality, financials, schedules and safety within a single projectmanagement solution. Safety and quality are critical in constructionindustry. The Procore platform reduces the footprint of theapplication and enhances adoption while controlling risks andminimizing cost of rework. The two main tools within Procore thatenhance quality and safety performance include observations andinspections (AnnandGreene57).
Observations allow usersassign, track and report any multiple construction observationsbefore substantial completion. On the other hand, inspections allowusers standardize, improve and manage the quality control processesduring construction using either their PCs or mobile devices.
The Procore software provide acentralized communication solution that allows managers makedecisions about the project finances without necessarily logging into the accounting systems and generating tedious and extensive excelreports (AnnandGreene58). The Procoresoftware provides a collaborative financial management system that ismobile enabled to help the professionals within construction industryaccess information that is critical for:
Tracking the change orders
Monitoring the status of the payment
Set the permission levels
Submit the payment applications
Speed up approval processes
Procore allows real-timeaccess to the information about the project. This allows theconstruction professionals become proactive when monitoring theprogress across either the company or project level. The informationprovided provides a better understanding on where to devote theresources and focus the attention to ensure that the project remainon track and within the stipulated scope and budget (AnnandGreene59).
3.2. Impact toConstruction Industry
A Central Repository ofProject Data
Many companies had beenleveraging different technologies in order to achieve what can bedone by Procore before they acquire cloud-base system. These includecollaboration tools for managing documentation, accounting systems tomanage documents having logs in a separate file from the actualdocuments. However, Procore has the capacity to combine all theprevious technologies into a single centralized hub of informationabout the project. The field staff can easily constructionprofessionals can easily replace the excel documents with thecloud-based solutions that do the same tasks like generating RFIs anddaily reports. Procore allows the storage of all the data in a singleaccessible location that is available to all members within the team.Any person is allowed to access and retrieve any information whetherat home office or job site without having necessarily lugging aroundextra thumb drives of briefcases (Azhara,Andrew andAnoop5).
Most construction firms usedifferent technologies to handle different project sophistications.Procore provides an excellent solution for collaboration between theproject developers and clients to enhance easy and efficientmanagement of the project documentation. The software help ineliminating any duplication as well as reduce the wastage of money,time and storage space. Most of the construction professionals handleprojects worth millions of money, hence the need to control thedocuments efficiently for ease of access. The Procore eliminates theneed to store the documents internally or even monitor the backupstorage due to the security that comes with the software (Azhara,Andrew andAnoop6).
The collaborativefunctionality increased the efficiency of project management. Thecapabilities offered by the software ensure that clients, staff andsubcontractors work and meet out of space. This results in huge timesavings as most activities that used to take more than a day can bedone in minutes. The consolidation and collaboration of the softwarereduces the headache involved in project management since it acts asa one stop shop. Procore has remained on top of the game and makesmost construction projects manageable (Azhara,Andrew andAnoop7).
Seamless Adoption andImplementation
In many cases, when a firmextends it operations from few projects to several tens or hundreds,the Procore software provides a seamless and quick implementationwhere members and all stakeholders involved can easily pick upwithout much hurdles, mainly because of the Procore interface that isvery easy to use. The advantages of Procore software is that allmembers in construction project can roll out different sections basedon user requirements. For instance, from the Procore dashboard, it iseasier to see the summary for all the projects that a particular firmis undertaking. Training people on how to use Procore is easy. Thesoftware comes with training videos that can be leveraged to enablemembers learn the working principles and ensure that all people areequipped with the necessary skills before proceeding to any otheractivity. The videos are incredibly easy to understand. The meansthat the software can be used when one requires to complete the jobon time (Fayek8).
Increased Transparencyin Construction
The Procore has been seamlessfor many firms and clients. Due to ease of usage, big constructioncompanies have been training their clients to use it. Thesynchronization and centralization of information helps the teammembers access project data that is pertinent for the success andprogress of the project as it gives a big picture perspective of eachaspect of the project. The Procore facilitates tracking and storageof all communication in a similar manner as an electronic filingcabinet. All the change history for all iterations and documentationsis tracked to increase accountability. As such, the project managerscan determine the success level of the project by evaluating therecent activities and plans, as well as enforce the users to be onthe same schedule and page to eliminate potential reworks or delays(Conlinand Arkady113). TheProcore service providers are very attentive to their clients. Themain factor that has ensured that the software remains at the top isthe capacity of the Procore team to listen to clients’ questionsand respond to suggestions constructively. Many constructionprofessionals look for a provider that is responsive and willing toadjust based on client’s requirements. The Procore team has madeconsiderable efforts towards responding to technologicaladvancements.
Increased Collaborationand Accessibility
There is no seat licensing inProcore. This implies that the software can be accessed by unlimitednumber of users. This distinguishes the software from itscompetitors. The unlimited user access saves money for mostconstruction professionals. For instance, a firm with over 400members can have all the staff accessing the software withoutcompromising the speed or quality of the services. Nevertheless, onesingle largest benefit of Procore is the ability to allow the fieldofficers access its strong mobile tools. Most members access theProcore from their remote areas such as homes, via mobile phones. Dueto its unlimited accessibility, Procore has eliminated theneed to complete huge tasks on computers, with staff no longer forcedto work from their desks. Therefore, due to all the benefits of theconsolidated cloud-based system, several other construction companiesthat have not endorsed Procore should adopt the software and enjoyall the benefits that comes with it (Chong,John and Xiangyu152).
Procore software helps construction management firms manage theirprojects efficiently. The main end users include accountants, teammanagers, project managers and designers amongst other people. Thesoftware is easy to use and understand. The software allows severalproject portfolios, allows unlimited users and the dashboard can beeasily customized. The Procore software has the capability to notifythe members on any updates, changes or accessibility withoutnecessarily having to log in. also, the software makes it easy forthe members to track any updates on project plans, insurancedocuments, inventory orders, submittals or contracts. Additionally,the software can be accessed via mobile devices from any place at anygiven time.
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