Dave McCool has spent over a decade in construction, starting out as a labourer in the field and moving his way to director in his prior role at McCarthy Building Companies. In October of 2017, he joined Procore to spearhead the organization’s BIM initiatives and is currently the Senior Product Manager of that department.
Dave is an educator and passionate advocate for the practical use of technology in design and construction and has been recognized internationally for his efforts to make a positive change in the industry. Dave assisted in creating the first cloud-based design scheduling tool for construction, co-authored BIM and Construction Management (used by over 25 universities and has been translated into both French and Chinese), has been an officer for both AIA and NBIMS committees, received the DBIA Distinguished Leadership Award in 2016, and has lectured at multiple university and industry events around the world.
Additionally, Dave helped develop one of the first virtual reality therapy programs in the United States, approved for children in isolation for both oncology and cardiology patients at Loma Linda University, and is still actively engaged in this research.
Please tell us about Procore.
Procore is an all-in-one construction software solution that connects applications, devices, and users on one central platform. With an unlimited user model and world-class support, Procore encourages collaboration so that all relevant parties can be involved in a project, without being penalized with hidden fees. Real-time data and insights provide comprehensive visibility into all aspects of a project, minimizing risk, and facilitating accurate projections. By delivering best-in-class products for Project Management, Quality & Safety, Construction Financials, and Field Productivity, and the ability to integrate with leading third-party applications, Procore helps firms around the world save time and money while gaining project control and visibility.
What is Procore’s anticipation towards Digitalization within the AECOO Industry?
We believe that the industry will continue to move away from paper-based workflows where information is siloed, duplicated, and easily lost to a more digitalized platform approach, like Procore’s, where all stakeholders can work together, sharing information in an open and connected environment.
Please tell us about Procore’s philosophy about an Automated Cloud-based Construction Management System in AECOO industry.
Procore’s philosophy is centralized around collaboration. The growing use of integrated project delivery methods means that all stakeholders need to have the ability to collaborate throughout the entire lifecycle of the project; design, construction, and operations. Our open platform enables this by allowing all stakeholders to use a centralized database to communicate and collaborate, which has proven to reduce risk and increase productivity.
At the same time, we also recognize that every project is different and may require a specific tool to get the job done, which is why we say, “open.” We want to provide our customers with choice, so they have the flexibility of choosing the right tool for the job, but still allowing them to connect that data in a centralized location using our free “open” APIs.
Please tell us about Procore’s Innovation Lab and User-Centric Technology.
Procore’s Innovation Lab is a chance for our clients to work with Procore and build the next generation of our products. Our goal is to bring clients into the product development process; they work closely with our development teams (engineers, designers, and product managers) to help develop creative solutions to common problems faced in construction management. On a monthly or bi-monthly basis, we fly our clients down and they, in turn, give us feedback on existing tools and help us build the future of Procore.
What digitalization strategy has the highest rate of return and a positive impact on the AECOO Industry?
Our focus on creating a more collaborative environment for teams not only pushes the industry forward, but in turn allows us to build better products to meet the needs of all stakeholders. It’s an almost symbiotic relationship, because we’re somewhat dependent on our customers and their collaborators to help guide our development, but at the same time they’re dependent on us to listen and deliver solutions that solve their problems. Simply put, we can’t build great products without our customers!
What are some of the major challenges in AECOO industry you feel
technology will help to overcome?
Grouping “AECOO” together seems very natural, because they all have a shared interest in the success of a project, but the reality is that breaking down the silos between A-E-C-O-O to build a cohesive and collaborative team to achieve that shared vision is extremely difficult. Each group likely has their own repository of information in a disconnected platform, so sharing information between the five groups creates a tremendous amount of waste in double entry and risk of either outdated information or lost information. The ability to have open platforms through APIs and standardization around information exchange is paramount to overcoming this challenge.
Finally, please share your thoughts on how an Integrated Construction Management System will impact the AECOO industry in the next five years?
Not to be cliché, but it’s all about the data. As Peter Drucker says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The data of our industry has been so fragmented that it’s been tough to connect the dots, find patterns, and measure anything for understanding. There are plenty of articles referencing the fact that from a digitalization perspective, we’re just a step above Hunting and Agriculture, so basically the equivalent of homo erectus. Similarly, our brains are starting to get bigger as we digitalize paper-based processes into a centralized database, which allows us to glean insights and make better decisions. Additionally, the ability to pattern match for trends and intelligence is no longer a manual process, and we can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate results to various hypotheses. Having this ability in an Integrated Construction Management System allows us to help our customers understand their projects in a way they’ve never been able to in the past. They’ll be able to find new opportunities to not only reduce risk but increase productivity and profitability.
I can imagine the articles, during the late 19th century when Carnegie steel was introduced, saying, “this is the most exciting time to be in the industry!” Owners were able to make bold statements in the skyline, designers could think outside the box, and builders had massive backlogs and were building to the skies. However, one could argue that we haven’t really had an industry-changing event, like steel, until now. The digitalization of construction is the next evolutionary journey and there couldn’t be a more exciting time to be in the industry!