BIM – Sales Tool or Project Deliverable?

Let’s not sugar coat this. BIM a rapidly developing and potentially maturing technology is a business differentiator and a clear marketing door opener.

The downside is that BIM is often oversold with sometimes unsupported claims of business technology skills. Beware PowerPoint BIM, what’s wrong with live demonstrations of capabilities?  In certain areas, BIM is a saturated market with more practitioners than client’s wishing to adopt it.  One recent inquiry for BIM project services on the internet received no more than 50+ expressions of interest!

BIM solution providers often sell their BIM capability with their very product and team still in development. Why? Mostly we hear it’s about winning work with the mindset to acquire and develop the skills and capacity later. Glad, we are not selling medical skills. It’s at best a risky and irresponsible approach.

BIM delivery is by and large not testable with no real skills benchmark and no precedence of learning we can draw on, unlike more established AEC discipline services. Larger companies may an advantage over their smaller counterparts as their cost to implement a solution is offset by the number of employees, making it easier to invest in the BIM technology infrastructure to deliver the required BIM solution. Smaller organizations tend to have an agiler and responsive to market needs, with simpler layers of governance

Are you working in unmanaged 3D or doing BIM?

If you are associated with working in traditional 2D and then converting drawings to 3D then this is not BIM. If a project is to be a BIM project all BIM project authoring teams should start in 3D. Don’t employ those who don’t.

The Paradigm has shifted – BIM as a process is irreversible. You don’t have to do BIM, it is a choice but if you want to do BIM then be aware of the time investment, the software costs, system interfaces, training and skills required. Most people of us would not go back to working in the only 2D, without information attributed to the BIM object. In BIM, we have reached the point of no return but we must recognize, it’s probably got at least a further 5 years of development. Most teams who work in BIM, get the benefits and work to create efficiencies that cannot be realized in the traditional way of working. It’s worth doing.

So – only sell BIM capability if you can do it, and be prepared for your performance claims to be scrutinized?

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