Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: The Industry Cloud: Why It's Next

PBS Building eliminates data duplication with construction management app

The Australian construction firm has opted to integrate Procore to manage the lifecycle of its construction projects.

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Image: Adam McGrath/PBS Building

Adam McGrath/PBS Building

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Australian construction firm PBS Building, formerly known as Prestige Building Services, recognised after years of using disjointed systems -- resulting in the double handling and duplication of data during the lifecycle of its construction projects -- that it was time for the company to implement a new solution.

"We made the decision to really look at the way we operate in terms of how we use our systems, and to redefine how we operate by using technology to manage our processes," said PBS Building chief operating officer Matthew Rayment. 

Prior to introducing a new system, the 30-year construction firm assessed the friction points that needed to be addressed. According to Rayment, six main problems were identified, and two of those were directly related to financial reporting and forecasting, and the flow of information between projects and project teams.

Following this, PBS went through the process of assessing different providers, and one of those vendors was cloud-based construction management software application provider Procore

"We heard they were coming into the Australian market and were very successful in America, and were doing things slightly different to other technology providers, so we engaged with them and went through a fairly extensive trial period to pull apart their application," Rayment said.

"It was very important for us that whatever system we implemented managed to fit in how we operate and how we work. We didn't want to change the way we operated just for a system." 

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Following a rigorous 12-month trial where Procore was used for the whole lifecycle of five different constructions projects, PBS signed an enterprise agreement with Procore last November. 

Rayment said since introducing the cloud software, PBS no longer needed to "print and dump" financial reports created in its Sage cloud accounting software onto Excel spreadsheets to manipulate the data, before moving it back into Sage again, eliminating days of manual administrative work for PBS.

"That flow of information now happens directly from Sage to Procore, so it's saving us lots of time from manually dumping data into Excel, which can be fraught with issues. We wanted to move away from Excel, and Procore facilitated part of that transition," he said. 

"We now enter that data into Procore and it automatically pushes it into the financial system. It removes the team's need to enter data multiple times to complete their day-to-day activities." 

Additionally, Rayment said that for the first time that PBS could now manage its construction projects in the field. 

"Procore's mobile application enables us to take the software to the field, which is where we operate most of the time," he said.

"Being able to take all the information, drawings, inspections and financial reporting out to the field and manage it on-site has really driven efficiencies." 

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However, the implementation process was not all smooth sailing. Rayment pointed out how there was some initial apprehension about a new software being introduced to the PBS workforce, but the company has been able to overcome this by introducing best practice.

"Some people's reaction was, 'oh, here's another software we need to learn about', but it ended up being reasonably well received as people started to use the package more," he said.

Rayment believes there's still a "long way to go before full adoption and best practice is in use", predicting that businesses will experience major gains in the next 6-12 months.

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