Back from attending my first Procore Ground Break 2023 conference last week, it was definitely a multi-modal experience. Not only was I a speaker, but I also attended sessions, participated in the Partner Summit, and managed a booth.
Overall, it was a fantastic event with great speakers, a clear product vision, and engaging conversations. I had the opportunity to pressure test ideas and develop new ones. Here’s a selection of construction technology and data insights I gleaned from this year’s Procore event:
❌ The Continued Redundancy (and Waste) of Duplicate Data Entry
Despite our advances, construction firms repeatedly enter the same data into various systems. It was surprising to hear this concern so frequently. This redundant task drains significant time and energy, a cost that can be quantified. Such challenges certainly obstruct innovation.
✅ Procore's Authentic Investment in Partnerships
I’ve experienced various sides of big company partner events. Often, the partner feels like an afterthought. However, Procore's genuine commitment to its partners and the partnership program stood out. The evidence? Partners being highlighted as one of the three key priorities in the opening keynote. In our systematically fragmented industry, this Partner-first approach might be a game-changer.
❌ If Everyone Says “Integration”, Does It Mean Anything?
The industry faces an undeniable integration issue, from legacy systems clashing with modern cloud solutions to overburdened tech groups and redundant data entry. Yet, when everyone discusses integrations, the message risks being lost in the noise. At its core, integration is about making data accessible where needed. It's a means to address business challenges, not an end in itself.
✅ Despite the Hand-Wringing, Construction Digitization is Happening
The construction industry's steady digitization is evident. It's not a revolution but a gradual transformation. A case in point is Procore's impressive 16,000-strong customer base and its robust partner application and services market. Many may bemoan the pace, but progress is undeniably underway.
❌ The Siloed Approach to Problem-Solving
I often refer to it as the “silver bullet” mindset: the belief that one solution will resolve everything. The focus might be on integration or replacing a key system. I've engaged in debates about one analytic tool versus another. My stance? The tool is secondary; having quality, timely, and accessible data is paramount. Isolating issues rather than seeing the broader system is a hindrance. Genuine innovation requires a holistic viewpoint.
✅ The Encouraging Answer to: "How Big is Your Team?"
The intriguing response wasn't the size of technology innovation teams but their strategy. The essence was to seek external expertise. One Director of Innovative Technology, essentially a “team of one”, opted to enlist data and technology experts as needed. This approach seems both feasible and promising for an industry trying to reconcile IT staffing with the needs of contemporary construction technology.
For Aedo, these observations translate to:
✅ Be the Collaborative Team Extension for Progressive Construction Companies
The industry craves expertise. Aedo should facilitate effortless and confident engagement tailored to specific needs. A crucial component of Aedo Blue is guiding organizations on the “how, when, and why.”
✅ Advocate and Enable the Investment Approach to Construction Technology and Data
Double data entry offers a straightforward ROI calculation. Harnessing data yields two benefits: 1. Cutting data management costs; 2. Gaining insights for enhanced business performance. By quantifying these outcomes, we can shift perceptions of technology and data from costs to investments, fostering sustainable momentum.
✅ The Procore Community: Go Where the Fish Are
One fact is undeniable: 16,000 organizations have invested significant resources in the hope of enhancing their business performance. These trailblazers are our ideal partners. Procore recognizes the vast potential of construction digitization and is earnestly adopting a partner-centric strategy. Aedo can be the domain expert assisting these pioneering organizations in utilizing their data for business enhancement.