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Local integration, eh? How Procore adapted to enter the Canadian market

Local integration, eh? How Procore adapted to enter the Canadian market
Procore construction management software is one of the most widely utilized suites of applications for construction on the planet. Entering the Canadian market about five years ago, Procore has developed a reputation for engaging with the local contracting community to ensure that the platform reflects the way Canadians do business.

“Once we signed on our first Canadian customers, we were pulled into the market by new construction companies who wanted to adopt our system,” says Dan Miller-Smith, vice president of International Sales for Procore. “However, we were mindful of other U.S. businesses failing to do their homework by treating Canada as an extension of the U.S. market. From the start, we were committed to learning the Canadian market from the inside of a construction trailer, not from our boardroom. Our clients helped us avoid the costly mistakes some companies have faced in adapting to the Canadian market.”

He acknowledges that Canadian customers are different from their southern counterparts. For example, American construction companies are more likely to go all-in on a software platform. Canadians are more comfortable engaging on a smaller scale before adopting a solution they like at a measured pace. Procore responded by offering customers the ability to slowly integrate at a pace they found comfortable.

“Contractors aren’t making a massive capital commitment to buy Procore outright,” says Miller-Smith. “Our success is bound up in customers choosing to renew our services each year and in expanding the range of tools and applications they choose to use.”

Canadians expressed a preference to meet the people behind the software face to face. Procore quickly expanded its travel budget to oblige.

Procore has made large investments in localization to ensure that appropriate spelling and terminology are used for the Canadian client-base.

“We understood that Canadian English is very different from American English,” says Miller-Smith. “In our engagement with the Canadian market we quickly localized all of our web-based and mobile applications as well as our training resources.” 

Procore also built different functionality into the Canadian version of its applications. For example, the company offered new tools for site inspections and site instructions that were purpose-built only for the Canadian market.

“We’ve also built out and customized our quality and safety modules,” says Miller-Smith. “They now reflect the variations we see in Canadian processes. Canada is a world leader in the development and delivery of public-private partnerships (P3s). We’ve expanded the capability of the software to handle the large number of stakeholders involved early in that process and matched the complexity of projects delivered under the P3 model over a longer timeline.”

He notes that part of the development of the Canadian Procore platform involves not only interacting with customers, but also interacting with non-customers who haven’t made a commitment to using the software.

“They can often teach us just as much about how we can strive to do better and serve the local market as our current clients,” Miller-Smith says. 

As part of its integration into the country, Procore offered the software to the Canadian operations of Habitat for Humanity at no cost, with more than 1,000 home-building projects delivered through the platform. The company has fostered close ties with regional construction associations across the country and with such organizations as Young Construction Leaders. 

“Our current projects involve bringing on French resources to better serve the Quebec market,” says Miller-Smith. “We’ve also gone to great lengths to integrate with Canadian education programs. We’re already teaching Procore at three universities that offer construction management programs aimed at emerging professionals.”

Now with well over 100 clients in Canada, Procore has set up brick-and-mortar offices in two Canadian cities, Vancouver and Toronto. New staff are already looking for opportunities to interact with clients in each market.

“We like to say that our customers help us set the corporate strategy for the Canadian market,” says Miller-Smith. “We’re not asking them to change the way they do business. They’re telling us how to change ours so we can help to serve them best.”

This content is sponsored by Procore Technologies, Inc. in collaboration with ConstructConnect™ Media. To learn more about Procore, visit www.procore.com.


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