It’s always great to spend a few days in Chicago - getting some deep dish pizza, walking the Magnificent Mile - and it’s even better when we get to be there for Groundbreak. Alongside rocking out to Foreigner’s performance at the event, Quickbase was thrilled to spend a few days connecting with construction experts to help solve the biggest challenges in construction today. Procore’s vision is to improve the lives of everybody in construction - something Quickbase is passionate about supporting as well. Here are some of the key themes from Groundbreak, and why they fit neatly with what Quickbase focuses on as well.
Combining the physical and the digital
One major theme throughout Groundbreak is the need to merge our most critical physical assets with the digital world and the transformation all around us. Construction makes a massive impact on the world, with every physical space we interact with being something that a tradesman touched. And as the rate of change in construction accelerates, there is a massive opportunity to use technology to improve how we work together and transform digitally as well as physically.
Procore ultimately sees itself as a way to drive more connection across construction - between data, workers, and the physical space around us. Their new spatial context feature is a great example of this. And as keynote speaker Michael Steep pointed out, everyone and everything is continuously connected, and in construction there is a lot of data and information flying around. Finding ways for technology to feel more like a construction site - collaborative, connected, and fast-moving - is critical for construction to continue to modernize.
"The real benefit of better connecting all of you is that the data that the data that you're generating becomes even more powerful, allowing you to leverage insights as well as artificial intelligence to not only solve problems quickly, but to anticipate them long before they happen,” shared Tooey Courtemanche, Founder and CEO of Procore during his keynote.
At Quickbase, this to us is dynamic work - combining physical and digital resources, orchestrating your most important projects, and delivering products on-time and on-budget. Be it managing new projects to get them completed on time, or giving workers in the field the tools they need to collaborate with the back office, Quickbase is committed to finding ways to bringing digital transformation to construction’s physical assets.
Solving for the uniqueness of every project
In construction, every project is unique. Part of that comes from the people themselves, and finding new ways to support diverse construction audiences. Procore is committed to creating more diverse workplaces in construction by committing to inclusivity for women and minorities and enabling people to gain new skills, and by committing to solving mental health challenges in the industry.
This also comes with the specific challenges that every company faces along with their projects. When every project has specific safety requirements, timelines, budgets, and other nuances, rigid point solutions don’t get the job done. Like on a jobsite, everything needs to be connected for easy collaboration. One challenge affects everything else, so your processes need to be connected to get more done.
This requires more connectivity among teams and among tools. Connecting critical systems will reduce the fragmented nature of data across construction projects, and improve collaboration with vendors and subcontractors. “Eliminating that copy and paste from one system over to another is a big value,” Quickbase Fellow Solutions Consultant Peter Rifken shared in Quickbase’s breakout session, “Overcoming Data Fragmentation in Construction through an Integrated Technology Approach.”
Modernizing an industry
What makes this all such a huge opportunity is that construction, as an industry, has traditionally had low technology adoption. With technology moving so quickly, not modernizing means getting left behind. When data sources and solutions aren’t connected, scaling work become unsustainable - and that means losing ground to the competition. With most technology being “pre-packaged software,” it solves for an individual challenge - but not the overall goal of making your projects more efficient and effective.
Organizations looking to bring their construction processes into the age of dynamic work need to find ways to better leverage the massive amount of data that can come from construction today. With hardware, design software, RFID sensors, and machine learning coming together to create more data than ever, a single platform to manage all of this data will allow you to get the most out of your work and your teams. And with a new generation entering the construction field, finding ways to leverage their digital-focused skillsets will continue to build a talent pool and get more out of the workforce.
Michael Steep recommended starting at a specific stage in the construction process, like preconstruction, procurement, building, or closeout. From there, you can continue to connect across the value chain and ultimately find more opportunities to better incorporate technology into your construction process. “A pattern we see is to start focused, start small, then you can open the aperture,” Peter Rifken added in Quickbase’s breakout.
Modernizing in construction means eliminating the workarounds, the manual processes, and all the Gray Work that can plague the industry. With Procore’s commitment to making construction a more digital process that’s easier to manage, organizations can continue to find new ways to be productive and new ways to make the jobsite more efficient. Quickbase shares that mission, and we’re excited to partner with Procore to forge that future.