BBI Construction is Taking Quality and Safety to a New Level

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For nearly 50 years, Oakland, California-based BBI Construction has taken its role as a good citizen of the Bay Area seriously, focusing on projects that add value to the community, from multifamily residential to schools, community centers to historic renovations. The company prides itself on quality work, while committing to lowering risk, keeping costs in line, and ensuring these important community projects remain on schedule.

Over the years BBI has built up an impressive roster of Bay Area clients, including the California Jazz Conservatory, the City of Oakland, and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, to name just a few. BBI’s success is due in no small part to its firm commitment to integrity, respect, and accountability.

The company began its Procore journey a little more than two years ago, as a large tranche of projects was wrapping up. BBI was gearing up for its next batch of projects, and it saw an opportunity to explore alternatives to its then construction management software, which wasn’t meeting all of its needs. After assembling a committee to look into their options, BBI decided Procore was the best fit. Since then, BBI has converted all of its projects over to Procore, and continues to discover new tools and features that help them live up to their commitment to quality.

The Right Tools for the Job

BBI started its Procore journey with some of the platform’s core functions. They found the ability to call up drawings, documents, and specs especially useful, providing the company with a traceable paper trail they never had before.

It’s pretty handy to get into Change Events and see who exactly has changed what. You can summon that information in a second, and it’s always at your fingertips.

Scott Looney, Project Manager at BBI

“It’s pretty handy to get into Change Events and see who exactly has changed what. You can summon that information in a second, and it’s always at your fingertips,” said Scott Looney, a Project Manager at BBI.

As the company grew more familiar with the platform, BBI expanded its reliance on Procore even further.

“Another tool we actually just figured out a month or so ago was the Compare Tool. During rehabs, we’re constantly getting revisited sets of drawings, and it’s always nice to be able to compare one against the other and have the new stuff shown,” added Looney.

Sarah Davis, an Assistant Project Manager for BBI, was with the company at the start of its Procore journey and has been excited to see it evolve into the indispensable tool it’s become. Citing the company’s previous spreadsheet-based billing process, which was “tedious” and “very difficult to get moving,” BBI has started using Procore to streamline its entire system.

“What we’ve discovered over the last two years is the more subs that are aware of what’s in Procore, how to use it, and having more people involved in Procore, the easier the system is. Utilizing the invoicing tool is solidifying that at least one person from every sub has to know how to use Procore in some way, shape, or form. So that has been really awesome,” Davis said.

BBI is also in the process of transitioning into using the RFQ tool, which has involved getting PMs involved and equipping them with an entirely new tracking system. This has gone a long way toward improving accountability.

“It’s really helpful to have that documentation of every single time we have a change order, an RFI. We can go back and see we’ve asked for this cost three times and still haven’t gotten any of the money, whereas before there was no real documentation because it would be in everyone’s siloed emails,” explained Davis.

Communicating with every stakeholder is vital to a successful adoption

Implementing Procore is a process, and BBI knew that in order to roll it out across the organization successfully, understanding and communicating its value was essential. BBI’s Procore committee was tasked with identifying and adopting best practices and explaining how these new tools would fit into project teams’ toolkits.

“Our process was to communicate with every stakeholder at BBI, from the President down to everyone on the project team in the field and in accounting, have the meetings, send out the emails, set the standards and communicate those. To this day we’re still adopting the tools to billing and ERP and using the same methods of communication,” said Looney.

Initially, the stakeholders at BBI who were most affected by the transition to Procore were the PMs and APMs. As the company experimented with different features, the rollout began encompassing more and more of the field team as they discovered tools like RFIs and Daily Logs, which allowed more people in the field to be more involved in Procore and have a greater understanding of how the tools interface.

“We’ve slowly transitioned into having everyone at BBI really be invested in Procore, and that’s been a really interesting process to be a part of,” said Davis.

Working side-by-side with Procore’s Customer Success Team

Another key element that helped BBI navigate its successful rollout was the Procore Customer Success team, who provided the company with early direction and suggestions every step of the way. Davis and Looney singled out Procore’s chat functionality, which allowed them to get answers to pressing questions around the clock.

It’s very handy to have somebody on the other side of a chat session just walk you through even at midnight. Nine times out of 10 they have the answer, and if not, they can get back to you and give you the answer video or the correct information, so it’s been instrumental.

Scott Looney, Project Manager at BBI

“It’s very handy to have somebody on the other side of a chat session just walk you through even at midnight. Nine times out of 10 they have the answer, and if not, they can get back to you and give you the answer video or the correct information, so it’s been instrumental,” Looney said.

Procore Customer Success Manager Paulina Vega echoed Davis and Looney’s sentiments about the vital role a Procore committee plays in a successful rollout.

“That’s one thing that I always recommend to my clients: having a strong Procore committee definitely helps. It’s essential for the success and rollout of the tool.”

Improving communication and accountability on every project

Implementing Procore has helped BBI transform inefficient or outdated processes to help ensure projects go more smoothly, and its ability to improve communication and accountability across the organization, playing an integral role.

Looney has particularly appreciated the ability to get real-time information from the field as it’s filled out, such as daily logs, photos, or inspection reports. It has enabled him to be better informed when he’s having conversations with other PMs or owners, so he always knows exactly what’s happening in the field.

Davis heaped praise on the RFI distribution tool, which has helped BBI prevent issues from falling off the radar as a project progresses.

“The RFI distribution tool is my friend, both for helping keep subs accountable but also keeping BBI accountable. We’re able to make sure subs are aware and are held accountable when they get an RFI and maybe don’t do anything with it, or potentially completely ignore it and just build it regardless,” Davis says. 

In recent months BBI integrated its ERP accounting data into Procore, which helps PMs see the real-time impacts of direct costs as they get entered into their budgets. What was once a process involving reaching out to the accounting department, downloading the data, and filtering through massive amounts of information now simply appears in each budget line.

Having already greatly expanded the role Procore plays in BBI’s day-to-day operations, the company has been taking an even deeper dive into the platform. It has been working to identify the tools it could be using more effectively and is always on the hunt for new tools that can provide enhanced functionality, even experiencing the thrill of seeing a newly released beta build of an existing tool. 

“It’ll be exciting to see what Procore comes up with next with regard to tools. We also see some hints of some beta versions coming through on various tools, so we’re getting a sneak peek at how that’s gonna evolve. That’s very exciting as well,” Looney said.

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