BY DEBRA WOOD
Digital tools from Procore Technologies give contractors the ability to collaborate on jobsites to ensure everyone is working off of the latest plans, reducing rework.
An entire team can communicate in the Procore platform.
PHOTO COURTESY OF PROCORE
“Procore was an amazing advancement for the industry,” says Todd Wynne, chief innovation officer at Rogers-O’Brien Construction in Dallas, a member of multiple AGC chapters. Rogers-O’Brien has relied on Procore for several years. “It helps in many ways. It is our one truth of information for our projects.”
Wynne reports everything was paper based and color coded 10 years ago, creating challenges finding the correct information in a timely fashion.
“Paper on the jobsite can be a mess,” says Wyatt Jenkins, senior vice president of product for Procore Technologies in Santa Barbara, California. “This is why document management on a mobile device is so important. Individuals can communicate the right information to the right person at the right time in the right location.”
Outdated information leads to rework and costs the construction industry billions of dollars, Jenkins reports. In 2018, research from FMI, a consulting and investment banking firm, estimated the cost of rework exceeded $500 billion that year.
“What Procore has done is digitalize that environment, creating a unified space for collaboration,” Wynne says. “Time is money in our industry, schedules are getting shorter and designs more complex. I do not think we could build some of the projects we build these days without Procore.”
Roger-O’Brien’s trade partners and architects communicate through the Procore platform. It creates an alignment of information, Wynne says. The company uses it to take building information models to the field, for requests for information, submittals, daily logs, safety observations, punch lists and more.
The construction industry has been slower to adopt technology than many other fields, such as finance. But Jenkins reports an increase in contractors using digital tools, including integrated project delivery and building information modeling. “There are a few catalysts that drive technology adoption in our industry,” Jenkins says. “One of the big things is the increase in complexity and speed.”
Owners and other stakeholders wanting and expecting real-time visibility is another factor, he says, as are labor shortages. Younger people expect the use of technology, because that’s how they conduct their lives. Given the numerous job opportunities, they often will go with the company using at a minimum consumer-grade technology.
Also, everyone walks around with a smartphone, including older adults, who use their smartphones for a multitude of things. Therefore, it’s less difficult for them to start using the device at the jobsite.
“Procore has done a great job to cater to the technical literacy of someone who has been trained in their personal life to use Google Maps to navigate to a kid’s soccer game or Netflix to stream a show,” Wynne says. “Procore is as simple to use as a consumer-based app but it is for important information.”
Procore has a single, unified platform, allowing users to search the entire program, something Wynne considers a valuable component. All Procore tools talk to each other. The company’s officials understand and partner with the construction industry.
“When we innovate, we start with the customer problem and work backwards,” Jenkins says. “We connect the field and office, we partner with construction and focus our product on having a single, connected platform.”
NEW THIS YEAR
Procore has invested in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision in the last few years to add even more efficiencies for people using the company’s core product.
“There is so much innovation in construction,” Jenkins says. “These are technologies we can apply to a lot of things in construction.”
Quick Capture provides voice recognition, translating spoken words to text, making it easy to walk around a jobsite, telling Procore what data to enter.
PHOTO COURTESY OF PROCORE
AI allows for natural language processing and speech to text. For example, people can continue working while answering the phone.
“It will change how things work in the field,” Jenkins predicts. “People favor handsfree technology.”
Also, AI will allow project-over-project insights to enable managers to make better decisions.
Procore’s new Quick Capture provides voice recognition, translating spoken words to text, making it easy to walk around a jobsite, telling Procore what data to enter. For instance, during a punch walk, the contractor can talk to Procore, directing it to create a punch item and taking a video or still photo of the problem in need of follow up.
“Procore’s investment in AI and machine learning will free people to do more people things, like building relationships and creative thinking,” Wynne says. “Procore is allowing our people to be free of the monotony of data entry and things a computer can do, so we can get back to being builders and creative thinkers on how to find new ways to shape the geometry of our world.”