How is technology playing a part in construction industry coronavirus recovery?
The construction industry has an opportunity to pivot towards improved communication and collaboration using technology as it moves into recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to speakers at the Next Steps Summit, a virtual event hosted by Procore.
A series of new additions to Procore's software platform will help serve the industry as it expands its use of technology moving forward, an opportunity that should be grasped by firms of all sizes, according to Procore president and COO Steve Zahm.
"This is an opportunity to transform the way construction gets done," Zahm said. "78 percent of owners expect to see increased use of collaboration technology... let's focus on digital transformation and getting projects started, and let's move forward together."
The company has added a number of features during the course of the COVID-19 crisis, including integration of video connectivity into its platform that allowed users to connect a number of differetn video conferencing tools into the existing software. Contractors were able to get their teams and their clients connected and do virtual site walkarounds using those tools, Zahm said, a feature that proved very popular.
"Video integration was adopted by more companies more rapidly than anything in our history," he pointed out.
Procore announced several new additions to its platform that will help improve collaboration and communication among construction teams.
Custom and Configurable Fields across the platform will give users the opportunity to customize their users' Procore experience. They can turn fields on or off, mark them required, optional or hidden with Configurable Fields, or add new fields to help collect key data points with Custom Fields.
A new search function works across all Procore tools from one spot without the user leaving the homepage, reducing the time needed to find important information.
Real-time labour costing has been added, combining the strengths of several tools to provide immediate reaction to potential cost problems. The moment labour hours are submitted, they are instantly applied to the budget as a cost. Project managers can track labour costs in real-time, identify at-risk scopes of work, and act quickly to make decisions that positively impact project budgets and profitability.
Procore BIM, a 3D viewer introduced in 2019, is now available as a web-based viewer, meaning users can take advantage of 3D models in the field without lengthy downloads or other limiting factors.
The new Action Plans tool allows users to take action on plans from one controlled location - inspections, forms, specifications, drawings and other documents can be accessed through one collaborative tool.
A Correspondence tool allows users to capture and manage all communications across their project in one system, reducing concerns with miscommunication and contractual disputes. All history is easily accessible through Procore, and correspondence can be converted or linked to other key documents.