After we set the stage for BIM being a marketing effort in part I, lets start the approach of this marketing effort within organizations: Implementing BIM as a technology and process is one thing, building company credentials and portfolio that supports the promises you make when responding to RFP and presenting to clients is another. It requires incorporating BIM within the DNA and fabric of your organization.
Establish | BIM VISION & STATEMENT
You should start by establishing a BIM vision and a mission statement. These should be tied to your company’s philosophy and goals.
Your BIM vision is the first thing prospective and/or existing clients will see. In addition to aligning with your overall business model, it will need to be real. This statement should reflect:
- Organizational culture towards BIM philosophy.
- Role and place in the industry as it relates to BIM.
- Your BIM path that you plan to lead moving forward.
In addition, and as you can see, a BIM vision and statement doesn’t require the learning of a piece of software. It is a new way of doing business, if your production staff understand the power of BIM – however those in the front-lines from CEO to Project Managers don’t, then you can’t really call yourself a BIM capable organization.
Below are a couple of BIM Vision Statement examples:
“VA’s Office of Construction and Facilities Management (CFM) has determined that Building Information Modeling (BIM) represents both an enhanced technology and a process change for the architecture-engineering-construction-facilities management industry. VA is committed to moving both the organization and its service providers to BIM as effectively and efficiently as possible, and to integrating BIM process requirements and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) methodologies into its delivery requirements”
The Autodesk BIM deployment plan document guides you into developing a vision: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?id=14652957&siteID=123112
Establish | BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
Let us then look at BIM in what it can offer our clients and facility owners, a none-traditional (technology/process) approach would reveal a business integration approach for business developers:
”3D” BIM: modeling & documentation
This service allows for utilizing BIM as a tool to develop and deliver design for all disciplines in a 3D format with intelligence built into the delivery to be harvested and/or utilized at a later time. This service offers clients:
- Focus on design – not drafting.
- Early visualization by client – faster approval cycles.
- Ease of coordination between construction documents.
- Spatial Coordination between disciplines
- Clash detection and conflict resolution limiting issues on-site and during construction.
“4D” BIM: integration for construction
Here we are able to build upon the “3D” service by adding timeline and schedule attributes to ensure on-time, smooth constructability and delivery of projects:
- Extraction of intelligent data and automated schedules.
- Ability to take-off materials and quantities.
- Models + Projects Schedules à Construction Sequencing.
- Projecting future construction sequence conflicts.
- Tracking and identifying location of material and pieces on-site in a simulated environment.
- Visualization of construction-sites for contractors, subs and clients on-site in trailers.
- Integration of BIM with mobile-devices for managing construction & commissioning / hand-over.
“5D” BIM: COST estimation
Not just about simulating cost on a BIM model, it really redlines the way you communicate with the owner and offer them live up-to-date information that helps them see the current cost and compare it to the estimated total target cost of their project. As well as interim costs against design during design phases.
“6D” BIM: Building Lifecycle Integration
Offering integrated, maybe proprietary, facility management solutions to clients by utilizing BIM information from 3D, 4D and 5D to integrate in the operation, maintenance and future renovations of buildings. Through such service, you are able to assist the client in controlling cost and getting the best out of their designed envelop. Now leveraging BIM to assist in a state-of-the-art FM / O&M solutions.
BIM Specialty Services
As BIM experts, you should be able to offer guidance to your clients on how to utilize and/or implement BIM within their organizations and / or on their projects to the best fit their needs and future. This leads to a more educated client and manageable expectations, not to mention further opportunities:
- BIM Roadmaps and Integration: documented standards and procedures.
- Establish and/or build intelligent bldg. prototypes / content libraries for use with other consultants.
- Convert existing building to BIM virtual models.
- Oversee and manage BIM process during design / construction projects.
- Maintain an up-to-date BIM As-Builts during construction.
- Better RFP documents with direct expectations and anticipated results.
While not all AE firms may consider offering a separate line of business for BIM consultancy, it is critical to note that our customers are looking to us to help them navigate through BIM in a similar way we chose to do with sustainable design. My approach is one that sets your firm aside from competition, while you make look at these services as scope beyond design and construction – I look at them as a vehicle that will distinguish you from the other firm and allow you to book more work through BIM empowered design and construction delivery. Who will lead this process? We will cover that in Part III.
More and more organizations such as GSA, local government agencies and large developers are changing their pitch. A few years back it was common to see an RFP asking for “some BIM” scope as part of documenting design on projects. Today, shortly after, the same organizations are expecting much more in terms of demonstrated BIM expertise on real-time projects.
Currently a number of leading key-challenges are creating a large gap between BIM, as a technical implementation, and what an organization can offer through its marketing capabilities. Identifying those challenges will ultimately assist you in formulating a plan to tackle each issue individually and achieve a better orchestrated strategy, offering your clients the services/expertise they deserve.
In a difficult environment, everyone in the industry is here to compete for both new and repeat business, where the stakes are rapidly changing. The expectations placed on our firms to grow and win projects are rising exponentially. In today’s marketplace, it is no longer about what you have done, rather, what you have done lately.
As organizations begin to recognize the substantial adoption of BIM and the competitive nature of the current marketplace, the very limited amount of clients that we’re willing to pay extra for BIM deliverables are simply gone. There is now a solid understanding among these organizations that the industry is moving towards BIM and integrated design leveraging sustainability and the tools that support an integrated project delivery approach. If you don’t offer these services at a competitive rate, someone else will.
Consider this – if in one or two years from today 50% of all RFPs in the AEC industry would require BIM and you have not yet established a BIM consultative expertise, you would have to win twice as many of none-BIM RFPs just to maintain the same level of business. Essentially, be twice as strong in a market half the size.
NEW BUSINESS PROCESSES
Given the varying stages of BIM understanding and adoption levels, it is difficult to gauge our current growth rate. We can review the McGraw-Hill data polled in 2010 in their publication “The Business Value of BIM”. This report reflects a growth of 49% in North America in 2009. The reported percentage reflects the fact that we are adopting BIM rapidly as a technology, the question is, are we looking at the new business processes this involves and how will it affect our ability to win work?
A lot of us are embracing the new BIM technology just fine under such rapid pressure. The issue becomes lack of time spent on the processes involved with this adoption. BIM is a new process, failure to study and document how it integrates in this business yields several challenges in key-areas relating directly to defining BIM scope and solicitation of services rendered:
Strategy & Vision – There is a significant lack of education on BIM leading to a deficiency in strategy, vision and direction. You must understand what you are selling in order to sell it effectively and attain clients/work. In general, organizations look to implementing BIM as a technology and this approach mainly transitions over to bidding work. Here the word “BIM” is viewed as a piece of software, which misses all together the new opportunities and/or potential liabilities of accepting the work as-is with lack of scope definition.
BIM Leadership – There is lack of BIM champions that can implement the technology while understanding the business side both internally within their organization and externally for clients. The new role of a BIM leader is not yet recognized or defined.
Communication is Redefined – Despite of the aggressive adoption of BIM, in most cases, design and contractor teams are still caught in the same vicious cycle of their relationship. They don’t realize that BIM redefines the communication between all players on a project by introducing a highly communicative environment to deliver a better product to the owner. This communication change calls for different business relationships and a paradigm shift in culture that is yet to be outlined:
- Multi-Design team communication (same or multi-company)
- Design and construction teams’ communication on projects.
- AEC relationships with their owners and clients.
The Definition of BIM – It depends who you talk to, the definition of BIM varies. It is evident that most business developers and RFP responders view BIM as a method to create three-dimensional models with some intelligence involved. They are completely missing the ultimate point of delivering a full virtual design and construction (VDC) package to the client. A product they can leverage today or in the future.
Credentials and Experience – While some companies were able to complete multiple million S.F. projects in BIM, the vast majority are still trying to integrated a true BIM concept solution on projects in tandem with balancing billings, phases, submittals and so on. As we continue to become experts on sustainability and others types of services, we are lacking the consultant expert mentality on BIM to lead our clients and make sure they are getting the most out of the product they are asking for.
- Lack of firms’ corporate BIM portfolios and credentials.
- Inadequate internal BIM implementations, thus inability to supply clients with a solid strategy.
- Industry is mainly focusing on gearing up the technology instead of looking at this as an opportunity to add another line of business to their arsenal of services.
Over the past several months I worked very closely with a reprographics giant to create an on-site FM solutions for our AEC firm to manage reproduction internally. This solution worked so greatly so far for our organization and it is helping cut cost tremendously.
I was recently asked by the IRGA Convention to speak on BIM as part of a panel of two very accomplished speakers. My point of view will address the convention which most of which are reprographers and their suppliers on how BIM is changing the AEC industry. Partly, this speaking engagement will cover topics to educate them how BIM is evolving our business. The other part, is project how it will evolve their business to catch-up with ours.
So as I continue to put together my thoughts for the presentation, I took the time to think deeply of how their business will be affected by BIM. For one thing, I noticed a lot of reprographers now have a “BIM” business unit that goes after BIM work. I think to myself, REALLY?! Now they want to come after our thin market?! I think it is a joke how the term BIM is used so recklessly that it is losing the meaning of BIM.
In my mind, it is not farfetched to anticipate a “BIM Handler” business that will provide collaboration tools, virtualization and cloud computer power for a true BIM integrated project. It is not just 3D printing. Between BIM and sustainability – I wonder what the future of reprographics will be? Of course, that is after a really LONG time given that the AEC industry is slowly adopting BIM.
This doesn’t leave out others that will continue to be committed to printing such as Oil and Gas industry and many of the process piping and industrial design and construction firms that are less interested in BIM.
Let me know what you guys think of this, your feedback is valued.
I am working on my AU2010 class: Responding to the BIM RFP.
From my perspective, this is a growing challenge, as we move forward with BIM in a very economical challenging time. Our focus has been on the technology and maybe processes, however, very little done on the marketing and business development side.
Your assistance with this survey will be very much appreciated.
Dear readers, I must start out by apologizing to everyone for not keeping up the information on my blog. A very good personal and industry freind (cadkicks.com) got on to me this morning for not maintaing the blog.
All I have to report is good news: I have accepted a new role and challenge wih a fantastic healthy organizaion as a Managing Director overseeing BIM / CAD Technologies. More on that to come soon.
Due to my recent role, I have been able to focus on manaing BIM beyond A/E Design and looking in construction, owner benifits and FM at great deal of depth. again, more about sone of these processes in the near future.
Today I am attending a McGraw Hill Constrction in Dallas with a number of companies including A/E and Construction Management on the BIM topic with real-life experiences.
I will close by saying BIM continues to advance, it is coming people… Not just 3D but far beyond and many are taking the role of educators in the industry. I will be sharif thoughts on several roundtable discussion that I will be attending and/or speaking a in the next months.
This is a fantastic article by James O. Jonassen. The material in this long article focus on a BIM Strategic approach that addresses the process/technology from a business standpoint in each of these areas:
• BIM through design only
• BIM through construction only
• BIM in design-build
• BIM in integrated project delivery
• BIM in enterprise/project integration
To view the article go click on this link. Enjoy!
I have been reading the book Tribes by author Seth Godin and came across this fantastic quote: “Some tribes are stuck. They embrace the status quo and drown out any tribe member who dares to question authority and the accepted order.” I consider this an exact reflection of many in the AEC community stuck with the basics in their approach to embracing BIM as a process.
Although this might not be a BIM Management book, I highly recommend it to Technology Directors, BIM Leaders and Managers. It simply walks us through creating our own tribe of BIM/REVIT, then generating a movement that will guide us through this change that we desperately need. The burden falls completely on our shoulders to bring this movement into our firms and become the BIM Evangelizers within our communities promoting this new process.
BIM Managers should start internally, by showing a completely different level of interest in integrating this process within the AEC firm away from your standard CAD Manager that was simply interested in applying standards to tools of technology. This is an excellent place to start a movement of change to introduce BIM and REVIT.
This is an approach that I will be committing myself to promote within my community, in AU 2009 classes and so forth because I firmly believe that we must start taking those steps aggressively to create and lead the BIM Tribe.