A full-service general contracting and construction management firm, Harper General Contractors has been serving North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee for the past 70 years. All of Harper’s team members use Procore in some form or another to manage various aspects of construction projects. Harper also relies on TrueLook cameras to provide around-the-clock visibility into jobsites, noting that it’s an essential tool for running projects and delivering exceptional service to clients. So, when TrueLook introduced its integration with Procore’s Embedded Experience — which makes various tools and applications accessible from within the Procore interface — the decision to embed TrueLook was an easy one. The company has been accessing TrueLook through Procore’s Embedded Experience since July this year, with great results.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Timothy Lewis at Harper General Contractors and learn about his role there, how they use TrueLook cameras, and how having TrueLook embedded in the Procore application is simplifying and streamlining project management and collaboration at Harper.
Q. What do you like about being a senior project manager at Harper?
Lewis: Every day is different. I really like hard problems that require creative solutions. My goal is to keep production and team morale high while we tackle any issues that arise across our numerous projects.
Q. How does your firm use TrueLook cameras?
Lewis: We have 5-10 cameras scattered throughout the company on different projects. Pictures answer thousands of questions in seconds. You don’t have to tell the story, you can show people the problem, for example, if there’s a steep slope that makes using large machinery challenging, or a stormwater box blocking construction. Having a picture you can point to clears up confusion and makes it easier and faster to make informed decisions.
My favorite feature is being able to see the status of a project in real-time from wherever I am. My role puts me in a different office chair or jobsite on an hourly basis, so being able to transition and keep pace with the larger projects I manage is extremely important. I’m on Zoom meetings every day, collaborating with clients and other stakeholders, and having a tool like TrueLook is critical to our productivity. With TrueLook, everyone has daily access to high-quality visuals, without having to travel to the various jobsites. The cameras also alert our equipment division to any major events that require their involvement, and they can quickly have boots on the ground to support the project teams.
Q. How do you use Procore?
Lewis: We are 100% bought into the Procore product line, and have been for about five years. We use the platform throughout all of our 270+ employees in some fashion. Our labor force keeps track of their timecards in Procore, project managers and superintendents use the full suite of products to manage projects, and our executive team uses it every day to manage risk. We are avid supporters of Procore’s development process, and we provide them with continual feedback on new and existing features.
Q. What challenges were you looking to solve when you decided to set up the embedded experience of TrueLook within Procore? How did it change the workflow?
Lewis: We were trying to drive further user engagement with our stakeholders. Prior to the integration, users would have to log into two different systems or find the shared public link to the Truelook cameras. This was a time-consuming process that minimized engagement with the TrueLook application, which is essential for effective collaboration and decision-making. Since our users spend time in Procore weekly looking at drawings or reviewing submittals, I knew it would be much easier if the application was embedded in the Procore platform.
Q. What specific benefits have you seen from having TrueLook embedded in Procore?
Lewis: The biggest benefit of Truelook is project team and executive-level visibility into real-time jobsite progress, regardless of a user’s location, and the Procore integration drives daily engagement. I really didn’t think having TrueLook embedded in Procore would be much different than accessing it from the Home screen link, but I was wrong.
In fact, I saw increased engagement with my executives from day one. I was on a remote work session with my VP of Operations, and his ability to launch TrueLook within Procore got the conversation flowing quickly. We didn’t have to wait for the technology or search for a link — it just opened immediately, and we were able to have a meaningful conversation that helped everyone get on the same page and move our project forward.
Thanks to the integration, we have a streamlined workflow for accessing the cameras, and we can maximize our time spent in the tool. I find myself navigating to the camera as a tool inside Procore the same way I would the drawing or RFI tool. That’s a huge shift in the mindset of the user, in that it’s not an ancillary product but a core function of Procore.
Q. Has the Embedded Experience helped your team navigate the operational challenges of Covid-19?
Lewis: The integration has helped my team work more productively away from the office during the pandemic. It helps us to stay on-schedule and keep our trade partners on-scope, so projects progress as planned. Some situations require multiple stakeholders to have immediate conversations, and you can’t wait days or weeks. With TrueLook embedded in Procore, everyone has the flexibility to easily access the camera visuals wherever they are — in their home office across town or across the country — and collaborate effectively.
Q. Do you use the Procore’s Embedded Experience for any other products?
Lewis: Not yet. We are very picky about our technology stack, and minimizing complexity keeps it simple for our project teams to operate at a high level and not struggle with technology. TrueLook is more than a vendor — they’re a trusted technology partner, and no other tools have become as essential to running our projects and delivering exceptional service to our clients.
Q. What do you think will be the long-term impact of the integration at your firm?
Lewis: The enhanced engagement of the integration means less time spent on the road and more visibility into what’s happening at the jobsite. There’s a real cost and time savings to be had, not to mention reduced risk from being able to take action immediately to mitigate issues.
This interview has been edited and abridged. To learn more about how Harper is using TrueLook through Procore’s Embedded Experience to increase jobsite visibility, productivity and collaboration, download the full case study.