When it comes to the old guard construction industry’s attempts to keep up with the daily onslaught of new gadgets from tech whipper–snappers, it does conjure an image. The energetic grandchild on the beach runs ahead and yells, “Grandpa, follow me! I’m up here.”
Well, eventually, the youngster realizes that some accommodations need to be made, no matter how hard Grandpa may be trying to keep up. (Otherwise, the outing may end in the Emergency Room rather than the ice cream parlor!) That admittedly rough analogy is behind Procore Technologies‘ official release yesterday of its new Windows 10 native app.
“The industry has increasingly become more mobile, with phones and tablets commonplace on most job sites today,” notes Tim Weyel, Procore product manager. “Android, iOS, and Windows remain the biggest players, but the fact remains that, by far, the majority of construction professionals are still working off of computers running Windows.”
This information, confirmed by Procore’s research on its own customer base, was something of a revelation. “To put this into perspective, we have more than 1.3 million users,” explains Weyel. “That means about 90% of them have logged on to Procore on a Windows operating systems this year.”
The new Windows 10 native app offers such users the functionality for more efficiency when they’re working in the field, including offline access to a project’s most current set of drawings. Additionally, drawing and photo management are the first of many Procore tools that will be available on the Windows 10 app, adds Weyel.
“The reality is, some people like the Microsoft Surface Pro a lot,” says Procore EVP Bassem Hamdy., who visited BuiltWorlds’ Chicago headquarters last week. “They have told us that they don’t want another device to run disconnected. They raised their hands asking for this, so we are delivering.”
The product release comes after considerable market testing, which solicited feedback from Beta users, including Matt Brock, an assistant project executive at CBG Building Co., Arlington VA, and Thomas Gore, senior project manager at Monteith Construction Corp., Wilmington NC.
The new app “will simplify the way we work by allowing our teams to use one system, one way, on one device,” Brock told Procore. “Jobsites often have unreliable Internet, so knowing that the Windows app is already downloaded to our devices is reassuring.”
Added Gore: “We’ve gotten rid of all our paper drawings, saving us thousands in printing costs per project. In our construction trailers, we’re installing touch screen plan tables, and in the field, we’ve created ‘digital plan boxes’ which are 50-in televisions in a rugged cabinet. Both are run on Windows, using the Procore app for the entire project team to access the latest drawings and project information.”
But this is just the start, with much more to come, notes Weyel. “From here on out, we’ll be releasing new tools on the Windows app on a monthly cadence, with our goal of reaching feature parity with the Procore iOS and Android apps within the next six to eight months,” he says.
Whew. Okay, now let’s go get some ice cream!
To learn more about the app’s features and functionality, click here.