Smart Solutions

A&R Boosts Morale, Productivity, and Profits With Procore Workforce Management Solutions

Using the Procore platform, A&R has simplified and improved scheduling and communication, so it can put the right people in the field with the right skills for the job and everyone has the information they need, resulting in a more productive team.

Since A&R Mechanical Contractors adopted Procore’s workforce management software, project planning has become much less of a struggle, timelines have decreased, and profits have increased. For example, getting paid for out-of-scope work has dramatically improved with the T&M [time and materials] Ticket Tool.

A&R, a specialty contractor based in Illinois, had been using various apps and manual methods for planning, payroll, and scheduling, which was inefficient and complicated. With Procore’s single, centralized platform, A&R has aligned teams, both in and out of the field, so that everyone can easily collaborate and access project information in real time.

Justin Weidner, vice president of A&R Mechanical Services, the civil division of A&R Mechanical Contractors, said, “Procore increases communication across all fields throughout all projects. We’ve got more informed teams, which, in my opinion, increases the morale of the guys in the field. They feel like they’re connected and they know what’s going on. And when you have an informed team, you have a better team.”

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Containing the Chaos

As the person in charge of A&R’s self-performing contractors, everything from overseeing scheduling to collecting payments at the end of projects falls onto Weidner’s shoulders. To manage each of these aspects, Weidner implemented a number of different apps, but the technology was actually creating problems instead of solving them.

“I was putting things in places that were tough to access,” Weidner explained. “Our workers were reaching into too many spots for information. We had too many manual methods. Time cards, papers, T&M tickets for change orders, schedules—you’d be amazed how many time cards we got with no one’s name on them.”

Weidner continued, “The field workers are really just trying to get the job done. When you’re a self-performing contractor and you’ve got all these types of projects, you’ve got to be able to adapt and move quickly.

“We needed a way to track the work that we had, obviously. Procore did that for us. We were able to bring everything that we were looking to track under one umbrella.” Weidner observed.

Paying and Getting Paid
Using Procore, A&R has accelerated the overall payroll process, and payroll is more accurate. Instead of attempting to track time manually with paper time cards, employees sign in to their Procore accounts, and, using Timesheets, access their project and enter their hours with cost codes. The days of losing time cards, getting the job number wrong, or simply forgetting to put their name on their card are virtually gone. Taking payroll tasks to a cloud-based platform has enabled A&R to collect more accurate information quicker and pay its workers much more efficiently.

On top of this, A&R has leveraged the T&M Ticket Tool to track, submit, and get approval on out-of-scope expenses, which has improved payment. Employees can track out-of-scope work, then easily request the authorizing signature with just a few clicks. Previously these tickets would have the wrong job number, would lack critical information, or just be lost in the foreman’s truck for months. As a result, the ticket would often be rejected, and A&R would not be paid for extra work.

“With the T&M ticket tool, we’re able to be in the job the moment it’s time to start the ticket. We’re able to put all of the information, pictures, receipts, and anything that you’re going to need to get paid later, and put it right in there,” said Weidner.

“The best part of this tool is that you can import the timesheets for the crew you just used over to the T&M ticket, which eliminates double entries,” Weidner added.

Optimizing Workforce Scheduling
Procore has also helped A&R simplify what used to be a chaotic process. Instead of scheduling using a messy whiteboard that lacks important information, project managers can use the software in the following ways:

Determine the best fit for a task. By clicking on the name of an employee, A&R’s project managers see the employee’s profile page, which contains details that help managers select the right person for the job when scheduling.

See who’s available. For example, Weidner said, “If I schedule Chris for the next couple of weeks, I can see his previous obligations to ensure I’m not creating any conflicts. After I finalize the assignment details, I can ensure all relevant parties are immediately notified of the changes. When we transition to the Gantt view, I can see who should be coming and going across projects and when. I can also see when we need more people.”

Craft an easy-to-view schedule. A&R has saved significant amounts of time just by having the option to create a clean, readable schedule that clearly shows its people, along with their information and availability.

Weidner said that scheduling within the Procore platform “makes it easier for everybody to manage what they need to do. Everybody sees what their assignment is, the project name, address, and any other specific details we want to include.

“With workforce planning, the amount of detail you need on some of these projects and certain nuances make scheduling difficult. Procore gives A&R the ability to act on last-minute things right away.”

Streamlining Communication
Perhaps most important to A&R, though, is the fact that communication has become much more thorough across the board. Weidner remarked, “The biggest advantages we’ve seen from [Procore] are our staff conversations. It’s been phenomenal for us. Our project manager is more in touch with who their teams are. Superintendents know more about the skill sets of field guys.”

With Procore, A&R can share necessary project information with workers before going out to a site to make sure that employees know what is going on. Project managers can even send alerts with updated information via text message. A&R’s project managers and those in the field no longer have to worry about knowing who is working or when and where they will be.

Weidner noted, “We’re seeing more of project ownership. We do a lot with self-performance, which is driven by our project foremen. Knowing their teams helps them to own the project more. They’re more in touch with making sure they’re not adding additional resources and keeping the right people on certain jobs, which results in an increase in productivity for us.”

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