Camden Property Trust Streamlines Construction Workflows

Keeping construction projects on time and under budget are keys to success—but many companies in the construction industry are falling short of their expectations. According to a report from McKinsey & Company: 20% of construction projects run over schedule, and 80% are over budget. 

Organizations like Camden Property Trust are turning to technology like Docusign to change that.

When Camden went public in 1993, it maintained 6,000 apartments in Texas. Today, it’s one of the largest real estate investment trusts in the nation—overseeing the construction, maintenance and operations of over 59,000 properties across 15 different markets. 

When it comes to getting the appropriate sign-offs needed to keep projects moving, efficiency is Camden’s number one priority. But, for a long time, there was a major hurdle standing in the way: loads of manual paperwork. Contracts took weeks to execute—and change orders were often a two-week process that involved shipping documents back and forth between Camden’s Houston headquarters and building sites across the country. 

Here’s a closer look at how Camden cut costs while dramatically reducing turnaround times on change orders, contracts, invoice approvals and more.

1. Digitize signature collection and automate workflows throughout the project lifecycle

Camden started its journey with Docusign as part of a digitization initiative to accelerate project timelines while gaining the flexibility to grow operations at scale. They searched for an electronic signature tool that was easy to use and required little onboarding so their employees could immediately reap the benefits.

Docusign was the perfect fit because it was easy to use, reliable and could integrate into the company’s existing management systems. Camden implemented Docusign in several departments, including construction management, facilities, IT and HR. Almost everyone was up and running with eSignature after just one training session. For Camden employees, Docusign eased the frustration of complex approval processes, making workflows simple, fast and mobile—a big sell for project managers who frequently travel from site to site.

2. Integrate Docusign with contract management software

After this initial success, Camden set out to increase efficiencies even further by integrating eSignature with its Procore construction management software. The integration gives Camden a one-stop shop to streamline contract generation, manage change orders and speed invoice-to-payment processes. Employees no longer have to generate documents in one tool and upload them into Docusign. Change orders and invoices automatically flow from Procore to Docusign with a single click for approvals routing. Project teams can check the status in real time via Docusign or Procore.

3. Automatically send lien waivers out for electronic signature

Lien waivers are a critical step in protecting Camden against future claims. Camen simplified the process using Built, a Procore plug-in that automatically generates lien waivers and sends them to subcontractors for electronic signature via Docusign. Once lien waivers are signed, payments are released and trackable through Procore.

Usage has exploded since Camden first implemented electronic signatures years ago. Here are some of the results Camden has seen so far:

  • Lower costs: Printing, faxing, scanning and overnighting costs have become a thing of the past. Digitizing agreement processes has helped the company save over $25,000 each year.
  • Increased efficiency & workflow: With Docusign + Procore, Camden decreased the time to approve change orders—from 2 weeks to 2 hours. The time to collect signatures in general is now 6x faster.
  • Improved staff productivity: The integration freed staff from tedious administrative processes, empowering project teams to focus on higher value tasks. 
When we first implemented Docusign, it was a game changer. Now, it’s a game changer times ten. We took change orders from two weeks to two days—and now two hours.
Deborah Soland
Executive Assistant
Camden Property Trust

 Read more about how Camden Property Trust keeps projects on time and on track with Docusign and Procore.