Kier picks Procore platform

UK main contractor Kier Construction has selected Procore as its field and quality management solution (but not – it seems – as its corporate ‘common data environment’).

According to recent articles on the CIOB-backed BIM+ website and on The Construction Index, UK contractor Kier Construction has chosen the Procore Software-as-a-Service platform as its field and quality management solution.

Louisa Finlay, director of clients & markets for Kier Construction, said:

“We have bold ambitions to revolutionise digital practices within the construction industry and our partnership with Procore is integral to supporting our aims as part of our project delivery. The platform is easy to use and provides consistency, which is vital as we deliver on our purpose and provide high-quality projects for our customers.”

According to the US-headquartered Procore, its platform’s ease of use and range of integrations, alongside its ability to consolidate point solutions and create efficiencies for everyone on a single platform, will provide Kier with greater visibility across its projects – ensuring consistency, enhancing quality and supporting sustainable working practices. “The high level of transparency Kier will gain also allows the company’s data to be redelivered as intelligent insight which can drive improvements in everything from project progress, to supply chain developments as well as safety and performance.

Procore logoBrandon Oliveri-O’Connor, VP of EMEA at Procore, said:

“Working smarter isn’t just about using technology, it’s about amplifying a company’s mission and values. It’s a privilege to partner with Kier and support their social and environmental impact goals. By connecting the field to the office and all stakeholders, Procore’s enterprise-ready solution, built by and for the construction industry, is very proud to welcome Kier into our portfolio of customers in EMEA. The company is now one of our largest customers in the region.”

The EE view

Normally, Extranet Evolution would not bother to highlight news of a customer win by an AEC technology vendor (often, major contractors will be claimed as customers by multiple competitors – project or regional adoption may reflect localised rather than corporate preferences). However, the Kier/Procore tie-up is significant for a couple of reasons.

First, Kier Construction is one of the UK’s biggest contractors. In early 2018, it was briefly ranked, by turnover, as the second biggest UK construction contractor (behind Balfour Beatty) and was a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. While Procore lists some substantial US contractors among its customers, it has – until now – struggled to make major inroads into Tier One contractors in the UK and Ireland. To be fair, the US operation had a substantial headstart: Procore began as a California-based startup in 2002, opened an Australasian office in 2017, and only established a London office to target the EMEA region in 2018. This announcement, therefore, marks a step forward for Procore in the UK main contractor market – though it may not be as significant as it initially appears.

Clearbox logo

For, second, Kier is a contractor with a long history of involvement in development of AEC technologies. Over a decade ago, its in-house department developed a BIM “common data environment” (CDE) platform later branded as BIMXtra. In 2013, the developer was spun out as a separate Hampshire, UK-based business called Clearbox, headed by former Kier director Graham Forbes, with Kier as a “supportive investor” and – in 2016 at least – mandating use of BIMXtra as its standard default tool (see December 2016 EE post: Clearbox BIMXtra starts with BIM). Update (5pm BST, 11 April 2022) – Kier signed a three-year enterprise deal to use UK-based Asite‘s CDE in August 2021. EE understands Asite is integrating Procore’s field tool into the CDE alongside several project-specific point solutions from other vendors.

Kier coming good

The change comes at the end of a testing four years for Kier. Its share price plunged following a failed rights issue in late 2018 (just months after Carillion’s catastrophic January 2018 collapse, of course), and by mid 2019 some analysts considered Kier might “go bust”. It required an extensive restructuring, debt reduction, cost-cutting and disposals programme, which included shedding 1,700 employees and selling its Bedfordshire headquarters and its housebuilding arm, to get the company edging back into profit in 2021.

Procore yet to score a profit

In the meantime, Procore has grown its EMEA presence and expanded into the Middle East and North Africa, after, in May 2021, it became a NYSE-listed company (see June 2021 EE post Reflecting on the Procore IPO). While its 2021 full year revenues of US$515 million represented 29% year-on-year growth, it has yet to declare a profit, losing US$265m in 2021. Having topped US$100/share in August 2021, its shares were trading at around US$54 on 8 April 2022, down 36% from the IPO opening level of US$84 in May 2021.

It will need many more Kier-type deals if it is to become profitable, and will need such customers to be adopting the whole Procore platform, not just elements that are complementary with other provider’s solutions.

[Disclosure: Procore is a past consultancy customer of Ltd.]

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