Pitt Meadows Plumbing is a family business founded in 1978 in the small community of Pitt Meadows, BC. Rapid growth and an expanding slate of cross-Canada projects inspired the company to do something it had never done before—select a construction management software platform.
“My dad and my uncle originally ran the business, but as the kids and cousins grew up, we go into the trade ourselves,” says Nathan Robinson, chief estimator and project manager with Pitt Meadows. “I started as a plumber and moved into project management and estimating.”
Now located in the neighbouring community of Maple Ridge, the company grew into Pitt Meadows Plumbing & Mechanical Services Ltd., providing a range of mechanical work. While the core company offers plumbing and heating, a network of trusted sub-contractors offers specialties that include refrigeration, sprinkler system installation and sheet metal work.
“As a family company, we’re very hands on,” says Robinson. “But our projects were growing in complexity and geographic range. We could no longer rely on a series of binders full of project information and our office-based server to manage all of the projects in the same way we were accustomed to.”
Robinson looked at various construction management platforms. In 2012, the company decided to adopt the platform provided by Procore Technologies, Inc.
“The major draw for us to use Procore was that it made easy to keep all of our project information in one location, and it was accessible from anywhere,” says Robinson. “Our senior project managers are really hands on. If we had a job in Fort St. John and another in New Brunswick and a bunch of jobs in the B.C. interior and here in the Lower Mainland, they couldn’t keep tabs on what was going on without constant telephone calls and site visits. Procore centralizes all of the information, so they only need to check in on their phone to do the same thing. We also knew how much data entry and project management was costing us. The savings in time resulted in a definite cost and labour advantage.”
The features most frequently used by Pitt Meadows are the ability to upload and access shop drawings and the Submittals Tool, which provides architects, project engineers, project managers, and subcontractors with a method to ensure that the correct products and quantities are installed on a project.
Pitt Meadows also appreciates the fact that the Procore license doesn’t require payment for each additional user.
“With some other project management platforms, you have to pay per user,” says Robinson. “When we’re invited onto some projects using a different platform, we have to pay a substantial amount to adopt their system. On a recent project at the Okanagan Correctional Centre we invited at least 200 people onto the Procore platform—we don’t want them to have to pay to play.”
Sub-trades on Procore can integrate into the platform as far as they like. Those who prefer to fully integrate can access online video training modules for each tool. Those less inclined can work with PDFs from e-mailed links generated by the software.
Robinson says he also appreciates the consistent addition of new tools to the Procore tool set and the evolution of existing tools.
“We were among the company’s first Canadian clients,” he says. “When we started on the platform, we asked them reformat certain portions of the platform for Canadian use. Right now, one of our project managers is working with them to adapt the software to better reflect Canadian change management. For example, in the U.S., they don’t use the term ‘site instructions.’ They’re now changing the terminology used in the platform just to accommodate us.”
This content is sponsored by Procore Technologies, Inc. in collaboration with ConstructConnect™ Media. To learn more about Procore, visit www.procore.com.