In the early stages of BIM deployment into the AEC industry, architects and engineers immediately benefited by providing more accurate construction documents in terms of visualization and coordination. Shortly thereafter, contractors realized BIM allowed them to more accurately estimate, schedule and execute a project’s construction. Now, more owners realize the benefits of BIM relating to facility management— from operations and maintenance to asset management and renovation. In this light, BIM has developed into an unparalleled tool of collaboration and shared return.
Adoption also is moving downstream to subcontractors, many of which are surprised at the return on investment when required to participate in the BIM process. As a result of the positive effect on their bottom line, an increasing number of subcontractors are adopting BIM into their standard business processes. Continue »
Not long ago, creating a mobile project team simply meant setting everyone up with a cell phone. As phones became smarter, wireless networks improved and data plans came down in price, contractors began to make mobility more meaningful. A new marketplace developed that offered construction-specific mobile apps for a variety of tasks, such as remote time entry, punch lists and even basic cost estimating. Continue »
No single advancement has the ability to change the construction industry as much as BIM, which has made its way into AEC businesses at an incredible velocity. According to the NBS National BIM Survey conducted in 2011, almost one-third (31 percent) of construction professionals are now using BIM—up from 13 percent in 2010. Three-quarters of construction professionals who are currently aware of BIM expect to be using it on some projects by the end of 2012. This rapid adoption means BIM will become the norm within the next five years.
The challenge for firms in the years to come will be to understand and leverage what the next generation of BIM will look like and what it means for their business moving forward. To put it plainly, if a firm’s use of BIM is a competitive advantage in the market today, what happens to that advantage when everyone is using it? Consider how BIM has been implemented during the past 10 years, and then overlay the advancements in cloud and mobile technologies to see what the future might look like for the construction industry. Continue »
Engaged Leadership Makes the Difference
BIM is more than a garden-variety software installation; it’s an all-encompassing exercise in change management. To succeed, the implementation effort must be led and championed from the top—not by middle managers and technical experts.
BIM is an organizational shift disguised as a software implementation. To get the most value, it’s best to treat BIM like learning a new language—one that will take a while for the entire enterprise to speak fluently. It can affect every aspect of how general contractors do business, from bids and pre-construction to site supervision and cost control.
Twenty years ago, the pre-construction process involved stacks of paper, trails of phone calls and nothing more high tech than a filing cabinet. Thanks to the cloud, everything from prequalification to proposal review has become paperless, automated and centralized—cutting administrative costs and boosting project efficiency from subcontractors, estimators and construction managers.
Which technologies are transforming the bid process for today’s general contractors, and what’s in the works to enhance their future operations? Let’s take a look. Continue »