Procore Integration Accelerates Construction’s Speed of Cash

On-the-spot changes communicated immediately, automatically, universally improve construction process and profits at Canada’s tallest tower

The One, an 85-story Toronto tower, is being developed by Mizrahi Developments in partnership with Foster & Partners, based out of London, England.
The One, an 85-story Toronto tower, is being developed by Mizrahi Developments in partnership with Foster & Partners, based out of London, England.

By Nathan Medcalf, Contributing Editor

When Mizrahi Developments got the green light for The One construction project in Toronto soon to be Canada’s tallest tower, they wanted a project-management solution to match the project’s scope.

“We did a big search, and that search was global.Rendering of The One, Canada's tallest tower, at 1,005 ft.Rendering of The One, Canada's tallest tower, at 1,005 ft. Everything we found was single silo – just scheduling or just budgeting; there was no soup-to-nuts solution, and then we found Procore,” says Josh Lax, vice president of development at Mizrahi Developments. “The One is a massive project – a massive equity investment; to rely on a system, we had to have confidence not just in what we were sold, but in what the product does and the people behind it. We like to know that there’s a lifeline so if there’s an issue, we can pick up the phone and call somebody directly.”

Procore representatives have helped Mizrahi build the necessary confidence in software. “Our entire site – in fact, our entire project from construction and design management to schedule management is all based in Procore,” says Lax. “Procore plugs into other software we use; its ability to bring together the separate silos on a construction project from trade communication to the finance side and building out our cash curve is really important to us.”

The company had been using separate software solutions for each aspect of the construction project. Information didn’t flow well between programs.

“Our previous financial accounting software wasn’t as transparent to the site, which we think is very important. You move at the speed of cash. The best way to judge a project is by its spends. If you’re billing to actual work complete, that’s the best indication of where you are in your schedule. The fact that we can tie in our schedule to our billing and see that in a comprehensive data set is phenomenal for us. Without Procore, it’s a step we would have to do manually, and it would never integrate as smoothly as it does with Procore.”

The One project’s builder, Clark Construction Management, is also a Procore user.

“We’re a relatively new company with a lot of old guard that came from a very large company,” says company president, Mike Clark. “We needed a really good management tool that could go above and beyond what we used before something that would allow us to keep all of our documents and our paper process very streamlined without using a lot of people.”

Switching to Procore allowed Clark to eliminate two positions (document control and assistant document control) from their staffing costs.

“We use every component of Procore,” says Clark. “You name it, we use it.”

Procore provides a crucial opportunity to go paperless.

“If you try to do a hybrid, you will fail. We didn’t need to go paperless; we started paperless,” says Clark. “We advise subs, by the time you print the drawings, they’re old and obsolete. I used to work for another company, and I would see thousands of rolls of drawings still in the brown paper with the transmittal on it thrown out on arrival, because changes had occurred since they were printed, and now they’re obsolete.”

“Procore has improved communications between the trades and the consulting engineer,” says Lax. “It has empowered the trades people to raise issues, make commentaries and communicate directly with our engineers, which has really expedited the change response time to a site condition. It takes only a short time to log an issue, tie it to a geographical place, tie it to the drawings, tie it to an actual picture of what’s going on, have the engineer review it, comment on it and sent back.”

“Previously, when there was a site condition, for example, an electrician identifies that he can’t install a socket where he is supposed to because there’s a concrete wall and the conduit hasn’t been precut out,” says Clark. “So, at the end of the day, he would submit a report that includes what couldn’t be done according to the work plan. Then it would come to our office, and we would review it and put it into a transmittal to the engineer and notify the architect. They would come up with a solution, send it back to the main office who would send it to the site to instruct the foreman, and that was the loop for information changes on site. Today, when that change happens on site, Procore can notify the engineer right away. Then the solution can get solved in minutes. All the while, keeping a log of everything and keeping us and the architect appraised of those changes.”

Clark continues: “If you try to accelerate the communication loop under the traditional construction process, the electrician calls the electrical consultant directly because they know each other from working on many projects together, and explains the issue; it gets solved, but the changes aren’t documented, or maybe they are, but they only get shared between the electrician and the consultant and never makes it into your drawing set or to the architect. Procore doesn’t allow for mistakes. It is one of the better tools in the last 30 years that actually adds to the bottom line of our construction process.”

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