California, US-based SaaS construction application provider Procore Technologies has launched a free iOS and Android mobile drawing management application. CurrentSet by Procore helps ensure project teams work off the latest drawings, not outdated versions.
CurrentSet also helps users view, mark up and share plans across devices: iPads, iPhones, Android devices, and laptop or desktop computers. Offline work is automatically synced and updated when a user is back online.
Procore, founded in 2003, provides cloud-based construction management software, helping users manage all types of construction projects including industrial plants, office buildings, apartment complexes, university facilities and retail centre. Its drawing management capabilities, with automatic naming and numbering, have been a core part of the Procore platform and – as with the document collaboration functions of other Software-as-a-Service construction platforms – help ensure that project team members have immediate access to the most up-to-date version of project plans, reducing the time and costs involved in annotating, approving, printing and distribution of new sets of drawings. Procore CEO Tooey Courtemanche says:
“CurrentSet by Procore brings the power of Procore’s drawing management technology to everyone in the construction industry at zero cost. We want construction project teams to be able to easily experience the value of Procore’s solutions, even if they’re not ready to invest in Procore’s comprehensive project management solution. CurrentSet by Procore allows any construction professional to get real value for free, and then add Procore’s features and functionality whenever they want.”
In addition to drawing management, Procore offers a full suite of project management tools to help project teams share and collaborate on project documents, photos, contracts, directories, schedules, submittals, RFIs, etc.
In an increasingly mobile-oriented market, apps to enable project participants to share real-time information updates are proving popular – I recently wrote about another Californian business, Plangrid, for example – but while some of the new apps are start-up creations, CurrentSet has the advantage of coming from a mature business with over 10 years of SaaS construction software delivery experience (indeed, it is easy to see why it offers a free service – it allows users to sample Procore’s technology, and if they like it they may look at using the wider platform).
As the UK market is moving towards building information modelling (BIM), I have reservations about the long-term applicability of mobile drawing viewing, mark-up and sharing apps; I raised this when I looked at London-based start-ups Basestone (January 2014 post) and Cadbeam (May 2014) earlier this year. While there will continue to be a need to share flat drawings in pre-BIM projects, this requirement will diminish over time as more projects deploy model-based approaches, so the smart money will be on apps that can support BIM.