Construction industry software solutions company Procore Technologies announced this week two new products aimed at making the preconstruction process more effective and efficient: Procore Bid Management and Procore Prequalification.
Thousands of current Procore customers, according to a company press release, are already using Procore Bid Management, which allows users to create bid packages, send bid invitations to lower-tier contractors, engage in communication with bidders, collect bid sheets and make sure that every necessary scope of work is covered. Procore Prequalification, which digitizes the subcontractor/vendor qualification process, keeps potentially sensitive information about both approved and unapproved companies organized and secure. That product will launch into beta at the company's Groundbreak event next month.
- These two solutions, the company said, can shave hours, even weeks, off of the manual processes that contractors currently use to manage bids and lower-tier contractor qualification.
It is important that contractors get things right in the preconstruction stage because what happens in that phase typically has a big impact on the ultimate success or failure of the project. Preconstruction activities for contractors usually include scheduling, budget development, value engineering and, of course, soliciting and evaluating proposals, or bids, from lower-tier contractors and vendors. And finding the right contractor at the right price takes time and dedication, but efforts in this area are sometimes bogged down by the disorganization of manual processes.
Trying to streamline that process is one of the reasons Procore decided to enter the preconstruction space. Another driver for Procore is that preconstruction has typically been underserved in the construction software industry, said David Malenoir-Evans, the company's vice president of product management, financials and preconstruction. And Procore, he said, is uniquely positioned to create a product that connects to all phases of the building process on one platform. Procore also offers construction project, resource and financial management solutions.
The ultimate goal, Malenoir-Evans said, is to connect all stakeholders on a single platform and be "the single source of truth" on projects. Also, he said, Procore's preconstruction solutions create the opportunity for early collaboration and an efficient flow of information that can reduce the risk that comes with bidding and qualifying lower-tier contractors.
Tim Miller, director of preconstruction services at Barnhill Contracting Co., located outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, said his team has been using Bid Management since February and the standout feature for him is the time it has saved. Before implementing Bid Management, Barnhill, which specializes in K-12 and high-rise construction, typically saw employees in this department using Excel spreadsheets to manage bid and subcontractor information.
"[Bid Management] allows us to focus more on the client experience and less on data transfer," Miller said.
Incorporating the new software into its operations, Miller said, was made easier by the support Barnhill received from Procore, with quick reaction to team questions and concerns.
Miller said that Barnhill views preconstruction as "the heartbeat" of a project and the better the setup, like with Bid Management, the more it prevents different members of the project team from duplicating effort, having to deal with scope gaps and operating in a vacuum.