Introducing the platform economy to the construction industry was easy…we just had to change everything

Ten years ago the Henry Ford mindset reigned supreme in the construction industry: you could have anything you want as long it met an exacting set of ERP parameters and cost you a freaking fortune. And, by the way, it would only work some of the time. Fast forward to March 29, 2017. Enter Procore.

Procore made what is now known as the biggest change in construction software. We doubled down on one thing … openness. That’s how it became the keystone of Tooey’s keynote and that’s how it has become the foundation of the Procore present and future and, dare I say it, the future foundation of the construction industry. All it took was a dedication to be open across platforms, across applications, and across stakeholders. We didn’t just tell you to build to a certain spec and things would work. We made sure everything would work all the time.

It was really hard to do. Don’t take my word for it. Having been in this industry quite a while it has been simply amazing to see many software companies that once saw Procore as a threat now calling and saying they want to integrated with the ecosystem. They want to be part of Construction OS. In fact Construction OS is becoming a movement not just for software companies but for stakeholders from all corners of the construction universe. General contractors, owners, subcontractors are all calling to share data on safety and performance to make the industry better. But it is going to take dedication to keep it going. I’d like to ask you, a valued member of the construction community, for help.

1. The software companies have to keep talking.

Software companies need to understand customer choice will always reign. If a software company decides to put barriers between openness and choice they will only temporarily stem the tide. Ultimately the dam will break and they will have clients looking for alternatives. Regardless of overlapping feature sets it’s better that we all work together for the greater good.

2. Operational efficiency and innovation can’t happen in a vacuum. 

We need to share information and best practices. This will result in a better climate for everyone. Why? Because the construction industry will be providing their clients more value and clients like to pay for value. Wouldn’t it be nice to be chosen for more than the fact that you were the lowest bid. By maximizing value you can be.

 3. Collaboration means shared success not shared blame. 

Remember that regardless of our roles in the construction supply chain we have aligned goals. We want workers home safe every day. We want our buildings to endure the test of time and we want our projects to be baselines for every project to come after. In short we all want the best and safest outcomes. With a shared, central repository of data, practices, and tools, we all win.

Bringing the word platform to the hardest working industry isn’t about technology, it’s about helping the fine individuals in construction go home earlier, happier, and safer. It’s only been three months since that monumental keynote — but the industry is already changing. Let’s all work to keep it going.

About the Author
Bassem Hamdy is the EVP of Marketing & Enterprise Strategy where he focuses on improving Procore’s position in the industry by leading product and segment initiatives through a mixture of business process improvements and marketing. He received his BComm. from McMaster University in Canada.