As the construction industry continues to see the benefits of its digital transformation, more specialty contractors are leveraging construction technology to be more productive. Construction technology allows specialty contractors to optimize existing processes, better connect workflows, and improve their ability to leverage data to gain insights, all of which keeps them ahead in today's increasingly complex and competitive market.
Construction professionals need to ask themselves these three questions for maximizing productivity:
- What outdated processes should be replaced to adjust for our new modern day built environment?
- How can we better nurture and support our field leadership teams through training on relationships and business management?
- And, lastly, what role does technology play in enhancing human capability?
While artificial intelligence, BIM, connected workflows, and mobile apps are allowing the construction industry to do more with less, it’s important to remind ourselves that technology is not a magic pill. Construction is built on relationships, and technology is the support to the systems, people, and teams that make this industry operate. It takes evaluation and investment in the above three areas to move the businesses of construction forward.
“Often, businesses get too tied up in the weeds of reactive activities to see the bigger picture or health of their organization. Procore creates the visibility and operational fluidity to support the business and relationship management training we provide.” Josh Bone, Executive Director - ELECTRI International
The Foundation for Electrical Construction (ELECTRI) is leading the charge by investing in the resources and training needed to empower and support field leadership. As the educational arm of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), ELECTRI works to fund research, publications, and educational and consulting programs that help electrical contractors develop their careers. They partner with technology companies like Procore to ensure that the efforts of their research and training are optimized through the support of technology.
The combination of ELECTRI and Procore working together creates an environment where both industry leaders and technology leaders, solely focused on construction, are working together to solve some of the greatest challenges field leaders face across all trades.
ELECTRI has developed quick, powerful training videos that focus on how to refine business processes and build better relationship skills from preconstruction to closeout. While ELECTRI helps field leadership develop the business acumen needed to be better leaders, Procore’s functionality supports the skills they’re learning and enhances their ability to work more effectively.
“Procore enhances communication–It’s essentially the lifeline and support businesses need to hold their field leadership accountable. It’s also what gives the office teams the visibility needed to support them. By providing field leadership with the visibility and tools needed to document and capture what’s happening in the field, office teams have a much more fluid understanding of what’s happening to the business, as a whole.” Josh Bone, Executive Director - ELECTRI International
For example, budget handoffs from estimating to project teams can be notoriously painful and mentally draining. ELECTRI focuses on best practices for verifying scope, inclusions, and incorporating field workers into the review process. To optimize those best practices, Procore’s platform provides an ideal environment to facilitate that fluid hand-off. What could be more enabling than doing your estimating and project management within the same platform? Once awarded a project, all that information collected during the preconstruction phase is instantaneously handed over to the operations team in a consistent and standardized way.
ELECTRI encourages field leadership to meet with their customers to align on billing expectation and finding the sweet spot with line items. Procore houses those items and provides financial visibility into their project cash flow.
With Procore, Field Leadership has immediate insight into their forecast, labor hours, and change impacts. This allows them to keep a pulse on their project’s financial health and empowers them with the information needed to be a proactive project stakeholder—something very valuable in navigating conflict.
Conflict management and conflict mitigation can be highly conceptual topics, but they are both truly at the heart of what Procore’s Platform can facilitate. The ability to fluidly communicate with all project stakeholders on one connected platform plays a role in keeping projects moving and actively mitigating issues along the way. However, conflict does happen. When it does, it usually arises when issues are not addressed, only to come to an impasse where expensive meetings become the priority. While ELECTRI helps field leaders learn how to resolve conflicts effectively, Procore’s immediate access to information allows data and facts to frame those conversations. The ability to quickly and efficiently loop appropriate stakeholders into a situation, provide details and insight into communication threads, progress, change order requests, documentation, photographs, etc, support and help with that conflict resolution.
To ensure project mobilization is covered, the slightly controversial and very common practice of ‘front loading’, is addressed by ELECTRI’s training. Tips on understanding which items have the longest lead time and how to remain transparent with the client is essential to keeping the project moving and developing trust. Procore provides the space to share these strategies by showcasing clear breadcrumbs from the estimate to the operational budget so that stakeholders understand how costs were conceived in the first place, and insight into why the project’s Project Manager chose to bucket key items within the schedule of values to ensure mobilization costs are captured within the early billings of the project. Lastly, Procore can ensure that your billing plan is aligning with your actual costs by having clear visibility into real-time labor and material costing.
It is the combination of business skills and the right technology that can have transformative effects on our businesses. ELECTRI’s focus on helping field leadership overcome process and relationship challenges are complimented and enhanced by Procore’s solutions. Together, we are helping specialty contractors work smarter, better, and more collaboratively.