Through its connected, intuitive platform ProcurePro is eliminating the common issues faced during the procurement process, allowing construction businesses to keep their projects on the move and on budget.
Procurement is mission critical to the success of construction projects. It’s one of the first processes head contractors carry out on a project and yet traditionally has been a disjointed, high-risk and time-consuming endeavour. Identifying the need for a better way, ProcurePro launched in 2020 and its solution is now cutting the time construction businesses spend procuring by up to 50 per cent.
Purpose-built for head contractors, ProcurePro is a powerful software solution that helps businesses procure trades quickly and efficiently, with complete visibility and control. Guided by the company’s founder and CEO Alastair Blenkin, and co-founder Tim Rogers (ex Hutchinson Builders) ProcurePro is creating massive efficiencies in the procurement process for the likes of Richard Crookes Constructions, Roberts Co, BESIX Watpac, Hutchinson Builders, Hansen Yuncken, Kapitol Group and Taylor Construction Group to name a few.
Generally, says Blenkin, the overall procurement process is a combination of 15 to 20 processes all tied into one and managed by legacy systems such as Microsoft Word and Excel, shared drive email and phone calls. “Consequently, contractors end up with a deluge of documents and spreadsheets which can lead to disconnected information, no visibility or traceability, missed lead times, poor data quality and gaps in scope of works,” he explains. “This makes it difficult for contractors to gain visibility over their projects and make informed decisions.”
“Using this method, it can sometimes take a contractor over 40 hours to procure a single trade.
“ProcurePro solves all of these challenges – we’ve consolidated these 15 plus fragmented processes into a centralised piece of software.”
By delivering one centralised system for procurement, ProcurePro gives contractors complete visibility throughout the entire workflow, with all relevant data accessible in real time, every single day as procurement happens.
Further to the challenges associated with the traditional process of procurement, macroeconomic conditions affecting the Australian construction industry are making quality procurement systems even more crucial for head contractors. Supply chain disruptions, cost escalations and the ongoing after-effects of the height of the COVID-19 pandemic are putting contractors in an ‘innovate or perish’ position. Those sticking with outdated and inefficient processes run the risk of falling behind in an already extremely competitive industry.
“In procurement in particular, it’s really one of those ‘hair on fire’, top one, two or three business problems for builders, particularly through the lens of cost escalation,” says Blenkin. “In times gone by, contractors used to sign up a subcontractor and a couple of months later clean up the paperwork.”
“But that doesn’t fly in this market, particularly when costs have increased so dramatically, supply chains are disrupted, and labour shortages continue to burden the industry.”
In the current climate, subcontractors know they are in high demand. If contractors don’t get a contract in place quickly to secure them, they run the risk of losing the subcontractor to a different job.
As a result, says Blenkin, ProcurePro is experiencing a huge demand from builders looking to level up how they procure trades. “With ProcurePro the full process of tracking, issuing and chasing contracts is seamless,” Blenkin explains. “Everything is in one place, providing one source of truth for all parties.”
Visibility, consistency and control
Moving away from fragmented and disconnected procurement, ProcurePro ensures the process is smooth and consistent with features such as a procurement schedule, a scope of works library, tender and price breakdowns, comparisons and recommendations, vendor management, contract creation, electronic signature and reporting and analytics.
ProcurePro enables contractors to view live updated procurement schedules all in one place as procurement is carried out, providing complete visibility every day of the month.
Contractors can rapidly create quality scope of works to prevent scope gaps, improve profitability, create consistency across projects and reduce revenue leakage. “The user can also view insights into vendors including vendor performance, workload and history to quickly identify supply chain risks and opportunities, providing complete supply chain oversight,” says Blenkin. “What’s more, tenders and addendums can be sent within seconds, and subcontractors can upload their quotes, transmittals and correspondence directly into ProcurePro.”
The platform also recommends and compares vendors based on historical information captured throughout the procurement process, including pricing and approval workflows. Then ProcurePro automatically populates contract particulars ready for sending. Once sent, its electronic signature feature allows contracts to be signed fast with complete traceability.
“To top it all off, ProcurePro captures data and insights from the entire procurement process so that contractors can identify and mitigate risk, improve performance and reduce costs,” says Blenkin.
But what about the risks and costs associated with implementing a new technology?
Many contractors have war stories or scars from previous construction technology implementations gone wrong, causing them to be hesitant or disinclined to give it another shot. Construction companies also have a lot on their plate, from industry challenges to huge workloads, which can make it difficult for them to find the time or the resources to take on a new system.
ProcurePro is striving to change an industry mindset of technology implementation being a strenuous undertaking, instead showing it can be an extremely fruitful, simple and successful process.
“We’re trying to almost re-educate the market on how software implementations can and should be done,” says Blenkin. “Essentially, we’ve made ProcurePro easy to implement and fast to scale.”
“It’s also easy to use – we’re putting guardrails around people to make it simple for them to follow the procurement process and do their job.”
Blenkin says he’s had numerous customers come to him saying ProcurePro has enabled them to hire more junior or ‘greener’ staff because it’s such a user-friendly software. At a time when skill shortages are putting a strain on construction businesses, ProcurePro is creating opportunities to attract and recruit the next generation.
In just seven days ProcurePro can be set up for a business. By 14 days, ProcurePro can be live across a business with its teams trained and projects set up on the system. In 90 days, ProcurePro can be scaled company-wide across all projects.
“We’re all about giving the customer comfort throughout the change while also making it a fast and effective process,” says Blenkin. “We pride ourselves on our less than 60 second response time in ProcurePro’s help centre, which has real people answering your calls and assisting you, in real-time.”
ProcurePro’s streamlined implementation process was powerfully demonstrated when Probuild collapsed, and Roberts Co took over a number of its projects in Victoria. ProcurePro was implemented on nine of these projects worth almost $1 billion in one morning.
“In just a few weeks we had set up ProcurePro on all nine projects, given all team members a demonstration and training session, and the teams were off procuring on the system,” says Blenkin. “This shows that implementation can be done quickly and efficiently for any size business, from the smaller builders to the larger scale contractors with multiple projects on the go.”
Having now experienced the power of ProcurePro herself, Roberts Co Executive Chair Alison Mirams says, “ProcurePro takes the commercial aspects of construction – tendering, letting, scopes and contracts – and wraps it up into a single piece of software which makes life a huge amount easier for our project teams.”
On average, says Blenkin, ProcurePro saves its customers 50 per cent of the time spent procuring by eliminating manual tasks, resulting in huge cost savings. “It might sound a little unbelievable,” says Blenkin. “But when you write down how many manual tasks there are in the procurement process, including sending emails and updating Excel spreadsheets, it’s a lot.”
Some customers have reported even larger time savings, with Monarch Building Solutions estimating ProcurePro made its procurement process 60 to 70 per cent faster, resulting in an estimated cost savings of $750,000 in 12 months.
Similarly, Kapitol Group estimates ProcurePro has saved the company up to 15 hours in procurement per trade. Kapitol Group Director Andrew Deveson says ProcurePro has been a game changer. “From an owner’s point of view, the complete transparency is unbelievable – there’s no hiding or faking it,” he says. “It’s efficient, intuitive and has helped us attract and retain smart people, who spend more time on higher value work.”
While construction companies continue to be snowed under by a plethora of challenges, both on a macro and microeconomic level, software like ProcurePro can help take the pressure off. Why have a multitude of processes managed by different, outdated systems when one software can do it all?