Can we connect the world of construction management to the Internet? Yes, we can.
Not traditionally regarded as a hotbed of software application development and data management tool implementation, the gritty world of construction has as many operational workflows as many other industry verticals. Working to serve this space with a dedicated technology platform and related services is Procore. The company’s construction management software is today used by more than 1.5 million users in 92 countries.
Basing its software delivery mechanism firmly on the cloud model of services-centric computing, Procore has recently announced its Construction OS product. Not quite a pure-breed OS (operating system) as such, this is software product designed to interconnect people, applications and devices.
Inside the box, users get reporting and visualization tools; access to approximately 100 dedicated construction industry-related apps in the App Marketplace; a newly launched developer portal; plus the ability to securely integrate, store and manage projects within one platform.
Apps to fill cracks
When not filling in unsightly cracks around the building site, users can use the App Marketplace here to access construction software for functions including the following:
- Photo and video capture
- Document management
- Bidding and estimating
- Time and materials tracking
- Scheduling, quality and safety
“We are a software company that believes openness means freedom, partnering choice, and truth,” said Tooey Courtemanche, CEO, Procore Technologies.
“Construction OS is the culmination of all the technology that we’ve built, the API and the App Marketplace, that will help Procore scale, so we can help you realize the promise of the single source of the truth. It will help further align all parties around that common goal of a frictionless jobsite with free-flowing communication that gets everybody closer to the main hub of information.”
Read more: The rise of the IoT ‘megatrends’
Internet of tea-breaks
Seemingly designed to provide software-based management controls for everything but the tea break schedule, Procore attempts to validate the use of its tools by insisting that it recognizes there are many critical steps throughout the construction process that fall outside the project management realm.
The two latest updates to the Procore platform are as follows:
Procore Construction Financials – a job-costing solution that connects the field and the head office, providing businesses with a central location to monitor the financial health of their projects in real time.
Procore Quality & Safety – consisting of tools that help users baseline, identify trends and improve on their quality and safety processes.
Procore claims that globally increasing labor gaps and diminishing access to capital are driving a transformational change in the construction industry. This then is some of the reason why construction firms could be looking to technology to enhance the way project teams communicate and drive greater value on and off the jobsite.
So how can we summarise this technology with regards to the IoT then?
Essentially (** takes a deep breath **) this is operations dashboards for construction managers to take time and materials tracking apps into the field to synch in with live photo and video capture of project completion (from the same mobile device in many cases) which then sync into the wider data pool for more effective onward bidding and estimating (and connection to the rear end materials supply chain) such that the entire construction site becomes the Building Site 2.0 for the connected age.
Right, I’ll get my hard hat.