Procore: Construction data drives industry progress

The latest ‘How We Build Now’ report sheds light on challenges and opportunities.

What gets measured, gets managed.

That’s thinking from Procore Technologies when it comes to helping transform the construction sector. 

The construction management software provider is on a mission to identify and generate hard data on how builders are faring and areas that can be improved. 

The Procore team recently released its second How We Build Now report. More than 500 industry stakeholders were surveyed about general sentiment of the Canadian construction industry, the digital maturity and adoption of construction technologies, as well as the challenges and opportunities that businesses face.

Data fuels proactive decision-making

The first iteration of the report was released in 2020 right as the COVID-19 pandemic was throwing construction and every other sector into uncertainty. It also came at a time when many other topics were coming to the forefront, including digital adoption, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, labour shortages and supply chain constraints. 

“What we found is that construction is going through a big period of transformation,” explained Nolan Frazier, a sales leader at Procore. “And it’s useful to look at multiple areas at once when thinking about this industry.”  

And while these are things that the industry has been aware of for some time, Frazier noted that having quantifiable data on them is important. When companies have access to real-time and historical data, it allows them to be proactive in making business decisions rather than reactive.

“Our company mission is to improve the lives of people who work in construction,” he said. “We are a member of this industry, and whatever we can do to support as it undergoes this transformation, that’s what we are here to do in every way we can.”

Both iterations explored the general sentiment of the industry, but the first report did have some focus on the impacts of the pandemic. Now that the pandemic’s impacts have been waning, the 2023 report was able to be broader in scope. 

“Those types of events don’t happen as frequently,” said Frazier. “Whereas, what we are dealing with now, people have gone through this cycle before, and some people in the industry are used to moving through this type of situation when it comes to inflationary pressures, interest rates, skilled labour constraints, supply chain constraints and what not.”

Emerging themes

One major data point from Procore’s latest report is the impact of rework.

“Most builders would tell you that rework wastes a lot of their time,” said Frazier. “In this report we were actually able to get metrics for it.”

The survey shows 27% of the total time spent on a project is spent on rework or rectifying issues. The report also found that 25% of executives at general contractors and owners that were surveyed are women. And just 4 in 10 of the companies surveyed have a diversity, equity, inclusion policy in place.

These are just two examples of areas that the industry has been concerned about, but now there is a baseline of data to track growth. 

“This gives us something that we can act upon as an industry,” said Frazier. “We can work on how to move those numbers.”

Zooming in to regions

Procore’s latest report is also offering a unique look into Canada’s specific construction markets. 

Frazier explained that the report shows how the thinking and issues of builders fluctuated by province. 

“When we hear the news, we can all make assumptions about B.C. versus Ontario and so on, but to see the data come out with the survey results, it’s something more quantitative that helps us further the conversation,” he said. 

In the coming months, Procore plans to team up with The Home Depot and industry associations to take their report on the road. They will host panel discussions and networking events around their findings with industry leaders. 

“We are really looking forward to meeting with Canadians in these markets and talking about the issues that they face every day,” said Frazier. 

Self improvement 

He added that connecting with the industry through the report and the resulting discussions plays a critical role for Procore itself. 

“We look to these builders and stakeholders to let us know where they want to go,” said Frazier. “And our role in that is to help them get there. So understanding their priorities, their areas of focus and their strategic priorities helps us understand what we need to be working on and what we invest in as a business.” 

The data shows the industry has immense demand and builders are beginning to embrace technology as a way to deliver more work and overcome some of the limitations of labour, time and budget.

“We are seeing a consistent desire to modernize the industry and the tools it uses,” he said. 

“From the first survey, the results around the adoption of technology, and people involved in software evaluation has increased. As an industry, I think a lot of the builders are accepting that technology isn’t something that is just nice to have. They know that they need to find a way to adopt it and incorporate it into their businesses.” 

Get your own copy of the report and check out its findings here


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