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Business Travels at the Speed of Trust

I’ve been traveling. I just returned from Procore’s annual conference Groundbreak, and CRETech NYC. I shared stages with Michael Turner of Oxford Properties Group and Lisa Picard of EQ Office. Each said something that stayed with me.

At CRETech NYC, Lisa talked about shifting customer demand, alongside elevated expectations. With construction volume at an all-time high, she believes we need connection and transparency.

Our industry operates in disparate silos with disconnected teams, cultures, and incentives. We collaborate and execute on high stakes, complex workflows. We also attempt to increase project velocity at every stage. While this model succeeds, it is unpredictable. It is difficult to scale at a rate necessary to sustain the multi-trillion global construction market spend.

Everyone expresses a deep desire to establish trust and nurture partnerships with all construction stakeholders. Operating in our industry is like running a relay race. Every stakeholder has to succeed or the entire team loses. We’re great at running, but given the lack of transparency and communication between owners, engineers, architects, general and specialty contractors, it feels like we’re passing batons in the dark. We need to build trust in order to succeed.

At Groundbreak, Michael shared something in a conversation that a mentor said to him. It is my principal takeaway and mandate going forward; projects are partnerships that get completed “at the speed of trust.”

It’s Time for Change
We need purpose-built technology that fosters seamless partnerships throughout our project ecosystem. We don’t mean partnerships as traditionally defined. We mean deep connections and shared dependencies. Across the built world, the more collaboration, information sharing, transparency and data available among us, the faster and more surefooted the path to our success. Given our current disconnectedness, how will we build trust and connection?

Proptech represented one of the first widespread opportunities for owners to connect, internally with teams, and externally with vendors and providers. Construction technology had a similar impact on the construction industry. As the built world accelerates its pace, becoming increasingly complex, we need a single platform where all stakeholders can eliminate both internal and external silos in favor of collaboration and information sharing on the broadest scale. Long-term success for owners will come by increasing communication. Collective long-term success will come by increasing communication and transparency.

Why is industry alignment and establishing efficiencies so crucial now? Since 1950, the world’s urban population has risen nearly six-fold, from 751 million to 4.2 billion in 2018. Projected urbanization could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050. Our landscapes and skylines are changing rapidly. More than ever, we need all types of construction, ground-up development, redevelopment, and building improvements.

Bridging the Divide
Equipping our industry for change depends on building deeper connections. Among owners, there is a digital divide, and it’s no longer between those using technology and those who are not. Rather, the divide is between using technology operating in a silo versus technology connecting owners to all other project stakeholders. Construction is more complex and densely populated. There needs to be a single repository for shared information. Linking all project stakeholders from planning and budgeting to preconstruction, from project execution through operations and maintenance is the answer.

We believed, and still do, that owners should have best-in-breed technology solutions. We believe that integrating across the ecosystem allows all users to get the best out of their systems. More owners were seeking integrations to get faster, more accurate project information from contractors using Procore. This shared thinking brought our companies together.

We Have a Solution
Everyone deserves technology purpose-built for their needs. Procore for Owners delivers technology connecting owners to all stakeholders creating the built world. A unified, connected platform fundamentally changes our industry.

A complicated undertaking, Manhattan West was the culmination of massive collaboration. An elevated freight railroad yard has become a 5,400,000-square-foot mixed-use community. Office and residential high rises sit near a 1.5-acre public park. Architects, engineers, design consultants, general contractors along with a variety of subcontractors relied upon a unified platform.

That single unified platform helps not just owners but the entire construction industry. Everyone deserves technology purpose-built for their needs, but that technology must connect the entire ecosystem of stakeholders creating the built world if we are to be prepared for the opportunity that lies ahead.