5 things that can go wrong while working with a BIM partner
Construction and development have always been data-intensive; however, the quantity of data streams is multiplying. Integration implies the process of creating a whole from the sum of its parts. In construction, this spans the gamut of activities from collaborative working practices to how data from unique sources can be brought together for greater efficiency and effectiveness.
For contractors, bringing data about project plans together with cost and quantities is tricky enough, particularly in a profession subject to the unexpected in terms of weather extremes, economic shocks, and planning challenges. Helping clients to see ahead and plan their myriad “imagine a scenario in which” prospects effectively has always been important.
Thanks to BIM, integrating such information into a construction-ready model is now possible. In fact, it is often the starting plan framework. This is apparent to construction companies in the USA, including even the small and mid-sized companies in the space.
The goal of better designed, more sustainable and lower cost “digital” buildings is praiseworthy. Yet, the expertise challenge this creates can be tough to overcome for small and medium construction companies in centers away from Silicon Valley and similar locations.
These companies are looking at working with partners to get their BIM initiatives off the ground. Of course, this is a model the software development industry has made popular. The way it works in that scenario is; the software development partner has the skills, the processes, and the ability to scale up or ramp down teams in accordance with the needs of the client.
Of course, this is also a great option for construction companies looking to leverage the power of BIM. However, before embarking on this path, it’s useful to know what could go wrong. That knowledge can help prevent your BIM initiative stalling when it encounters similar headwinds.
Here are 5 things that can go wrong while working with a BIM partner:
1. Poor communication:
A large number of construction companies that have adopted BIM technology face a peculiar issue in creating an efficient communication channel between the various construction departments working simultaneously on the project. This becomes a key challenge with BIM-driven projects due to the transparency. There is no hiding place – no covering of late information and mistakes. Of course, this is a bigger challenge when the BIM model is coming from a partner, usually located at a remote location.
Therefore, it is necessary to provide a method of project communication that ensures a smooth flow of communication between the BIM provider and the various on-site teams. Seasoned BIM service-providers are attuned to such collaborative working. They should help create an impactful communication model to support successful project outcomes needs to be implemented by the management
2. Lack of end to end experience:
BIM can impact various aspects of the construction project. It can deliver value in the planning, resource estimation, project management, ongoing monitoring, and, even, ongoing maintenance post-construction. That apart, the data the BIM model can help generate has tremendous value in itself. Clearly, when utilized to the fullest, BIM can help construction projects save significant amounts of time, money, and effort. But that kind of upside is possible only when the BIM partner has the end-to-end expertise to deliver across the entire project lifecycle. Without that experience, the BIM initiative could deliver sub-optimal impact, or, worse, no impact at all.
3. Lack of experience in large projects:
Gauging the experience of your BIM partner is the most significant step while finalizing the deal. Ask yourself – Does your BIM partner have experience in complex projects? What makes the BIM partner stand apart? How many projects have they worked on? A BIM service provider with that experience will bring greater depth and breadth of expertise. A BIM partner with global experience will bring the best to the table in terms of construction practices, techniques, tools, and technology. A partner without that breadth of expertise will probably fall short when faced with the real-world challenges of construction projects.
4. Lack of ability to scale:
Do your construction projects go through a smooth and linear growth? Probably not, right? It’s likely that the initial planning stage needs many more resources of a certain type. Once the design is done, those resources can scale back and a different set of resources need to take over. But there’s always the unexpected to plan for. Suppose your project needs a major change in the design you would need to quickly ramp up the resources for a short period of time. Working with a BIM partner can be a challenge if the partner cannot scale up or ramp back teams in sync with your needs. Projects are typically on tight deadlines, so that scaling needs to be quick and responsive. A BIM partner with the ability to scale can accelerate your project delivery and one without that ability can seriously hinder it.
5. Lack of understanding of the American Construction Industry:
A key challenge in implementing and executing BIM with a partner is the partner’s understanding of the American Construction Industry. The BIM partner needs to stay abreast of the latest developments in construction materials & methods. The partner must have the latest updates about changing government rules & regulations on both state and central level. A failure to bake that information into the model can have its own downside in terms of lost time.
Every construction project involves a steep investment of cash and human resources. BIM can help you deliver projects more efficiently and effectively but it’s vital to zeroing in on a BIM partner who is the right fit for your organization. Such a partner can help you make the most of the power of BIM for your construction projects.