Construction projects involve a lot of management and processes that produce a ton of documents, files, and records. Traditionally, a lot of time was spent managing this information, and it was easy for an organizational or communication error to become an obstacle in a project.
Today, we can use technology to turn this situation around. Digital management systems allow us to automate processes and connect all the parties involved – from managers to clients, and even site managers – on the same platform in real-time.
That’s why the sector is increasingly turning to specific tools to manage construction projects, such as Procore. My company currently uses it in 30 different projects, and after more than half a year of experience, we can say that it lets us optimize construction processes and, as a result, improve the experience with that work and its quality.
All the information in one place
Procore is the cloud solution that works as a collaborative platform for all construction projects. This allows the different parties involved to communicate with each other, share the necessary documentation for the project, and store information, to name just a few features.
One of the major advantages of using this type of tool is organization. Thanks to Procore, we can move from a working model where information was sent repetitively among the different parties involved to a more centralized model, where all the messages pass through a common place. This significantly reduces the time spent on communication.
Another big breakthrough has to do with organization. With this centralized system, all the information related to the work – such as technical reports, certifications, or workers’ daily records – is available in one place, and it isn’t duplicated on different devices and tools.
Since this resource is specifically designed for construction projects, it has specific features, such as those that make it possible to see the plans (which can also be updated in real-time). This offers advantages for any project, but especially those that are more remote. Workers who are on-site can access any document at any time, regardless of their location.
The advantages of utilizing this type of tool don’t end there. At my company, Procore has made it possible to keep all the workers connected at all times, reduce the use of paper as much as possible, make decisions immediately, and foster mobility. In other words, it has led us to optimize the construction processes for projects.
The challenge of digitization
Over the past few decades, our entire world has been going digital. However, this has been a little harder for the construction sector. For a company like mine, these management tools are an opportunity to take another step toward digital transformation and to gain efficiency. They involve a low level of adaptation, and in return, they offer significant improvement at different levels.
Currently, 30 Ferrovial projects use this tool. Construction on the Isabel II Canal in Madrid is using it in a very interesting way to provide greater traceability and facilitate communications management. In the I-35 expansion project in San Antonio (United States), it is being used to improve document management and project communications.
The tool is also useful for smaller projects, such as the work on the Fruit and Vegetable Market in Legazpi (Madrid). In this case, it is serving to streamline communication between team members. The manager has gone from using paper plans to consulting them directly on the tablet.
One thing is certain: Procore has different features that can be used to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the needs and characteristics of each project. Ferrovial’s digitalization strategy stipulates that its use is mandatory for projects whose budget exceeds €25 million, but the truth is, it can be used for any project that wants to incorporate it into the work tools.
To incentivize and encourage digitalization in project management at the company, a good strategy is to hold face-to-face and online training sessions on how to use Procore, to create Wiki sessions describing use cases in other projects, and offer support for projects, for just a few examples. All the initiatives being carried out by Ferrovial’s Digital Construction and Data Management department are helping boost the tool’s implementation in the company’s projects.
Embarking on this digital journey offers major advantages for the world of construction. Organizing projects and learning how to get the most out of tools like Procore is increasingly a winning strategy for any team.