Geo Week News

May 14, 2024

Procore Releases Connected Solution for Preconstruction

A conversation with Procore’s Will Lehrmann around the company’s latest offering for preconstruction workflows.
Shutterstock

Late last month, a provider of construction management software solutions, announced their latest connected service, this time addressing the preconstruction process. Most of these services were previously available on Procore’s platform, but were separate offerings rather than coming together under one, more cohesive connected platform. 

In their announcement of the news, Procore cites trends in the construction industry as a reason why they have presented this connected solution. They say connected preconstruction “unifies key preconstruction processes, such as BIM, Coordination, Estimating, Bidding and more, on one centralized platform,” and will “help facilitate collaboration, streamline and automate processes, centralize access to data, and improve project outcomes.”

Recently, Geo Week News spoke with Will Lehrmann, a VP of Product Management who works on preconstruction solutions with Procore, about this new announcement, how it came to be, and some trends he’s seeing around preconstruction processes across the industry.

Something that has increasingly come up in our coverage of the AEC industry at Geo Week News is the idea that technological solutions for the sector are becoming larger in number, but disparate. It’s great to have the tools, but now end users are having to toggle between an increasingly large number of applications to complete a single project, or even a single task. This is true for all stages of a construction project, but preconstruction may be at the forefront of these issues, and Lehrmann noted that some of this kind of feedback is what helped lead to the development of this new connected preconstruction offering.

Shutterstock

“Through our research with our customers and spending countless hours talking to our customers, the number one challenge they were dealing with in preconstruction was the fact that they’re having to manage multiple tools and solutions just to complete their job,” Lehrmann told Geo Week News. “The majority of preconstruction teams are not happy with their technology solutions, and a lot of that comes from the fact that solutions are disconnected, so their processes end up getting broken and it creates more time-consuming steps as they’re working through preconstruction.”

Along with this growth in disparate and siloed tools for preconstruction professionals, the process by which these workflows are being completed is changing as well. Lehrmann notes that the industry is seeing a significant shift away from traditional workflows that often kept stakeholders largely separated, to a design-build process that involves multiple stakeholders throughout the process. One report indicates that spending around design-build construction is expected to yield a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2 percent between 2022 and 2026, reaching $405 billion at the end of that range. Procore believes having this kind of connected solution will put firms implementing design-build strategies in a better position to succeed.

The connected preconstruction solution offers the following products from Procore in a more integrated fashion:

  • Bid Management

  • Project Management

  • Project Financials

  • Estimating

  • BIM

  • Analytics

  • Prequalification

  • Design Coordination

Lehrmann relayed that these products were a combination of acquisitions and solutions that were developed in-house by the Procore team.

“We did make some acquisitions – I think most notably, we acquired a product called Esticom, which is an estimating product. But then I’d say a lot of it has been our product technology teams investing into improving these tools, connecting these tools, and then connecting them with project execution solutions like project management and project financials within Procore.”

Tangibly, the biggest overarching difference this kind of connected product makes for preconstruction teams is simply an increase in the amount of readily available information. Lehrmann gave an example of a team that could now easily find previous estimates along with how those estimates compared to actual results, something that sounds simple on its face but has been surprisingly difficult in the past thanks to the aforementioned landscape around disparate tools.

Shutterstock

While this foray into connected preconstruction solutions is a new one for Procore, there are similar offerings by other major players in the industry, so it was only natural to ask Lehrmann what separates this from competitors’ offerings. He pointed to the strategy Procore takes into mind when acquiring companies and developing new products, focusing on how everything can be cleanly integrated.

“Procore is really intentional that, if we acquire something or build something, that we’re doing it in a truly integrated way. For us, just having solutions that solve the core needs of preconstruction isn’t enough. Just saying, Hey, you can buy Procore and have access to all the tools you need, that’s not actually solving the problem. Actually solving the problem is that, as a user, I have a consistent user experience that looks the same across all solutions.”

That also brought us to a conversation about what the future looks like in terms of the company addressing preconstruction. Lehrmann first pointed to the company’s ongoing ethos around taking customer feedback to heart, calling their “deep partnerships” with users Procore’s “secret sauce.” More specifically, though, he pointed to giving customers more and more data as the real key moving forward. 

“Preconstruction teams are such a critical category of folks that need access to rich data and insights to make better decisions,” Lehrmann told Geo Week News. “They are sitting at the top of the funnel and have so many decisions to make for their company, from which projects they should pursue to which type of construction is the best fit for them. Some of those early decisions you make about what a project is going to cost or look like have massive downstream effects on your ability to hit margins, to achieve your schedule, and to have a great relationship with your customer. So we need to arm preconstruction teams with better data.”

Ultimately, though, they think they’ve already gone a long way toward solving some of these big problems preconstruction teams have been facing in a rapidly changing industry. “Our connected preconstruction solution is absolutely meant to deliver best-in-class tools for preconstruction teams that have to do the job everyday, and making their lives easier with better tools, more automated tools, but then also connecting the steps so we can create more efficiency for their teams.”

Want more stories like this? Subscribe today!



Read Next

Related Articles

Comments

Join the Discussion