I had to choose a heading. At first I remembered „The search for the right BIM path!“. During the writing, I decided for the variant „The Seekers on the way to BIM?“. We are dealing with different groups of people and companies. Each group has its motive and motivation. The search for the right BIM path would suggest that there are wrong and correct ways. There is certainly not a single way people and companies go on the BIM path. To judge publicly and to set a path as the true path, one should perhaps not make it then.
I sometimes divide the seekers into the following groups: investors, planners, suppliers, building contractors, facility managers, software producers, consultants and negators. The search on the way to BIM also includes the question of why or after the goal? I do not deal with the question of whether we need BIM at all. The searchers must decide for themselves.
Their goal is to invest, but also to get the best possible result for their investments. They want to ensure as accurate and well-founded cost prediction as possible and during the production as far as possible no cost increases by means of supplements and a reduction of the construction defects to a minimum. BIM is a good choice for investors. It forces all subsequent parties to go a transparent and defined path. Investors need only decide about whether or not to make BIM. Anyone who can save money is generally inclined to do so.
The planners are now confronted with the topic of BIM. In the first projects, BIM means a lot more. That’s so. But BIM does not only mean an increase in the number of employees, but also a change in the way in which the company operates so far, as well as possible investments in employee training and software, hardware and other technical equipment. Where is the benefit? If the projects are more transparent and the planning is completed before the start of construction, then one does not have to reckon with too many technical discussions in the further course and the greatly reduced number of the construction defects is then easier to cope with. The construction direction becomes easier, the stress factor decreases, time is saved and the number of disputed cases reduced. First, the productivity decreases a little and then it increases enormously. But for the group of planners the implementation of BIM is certainly the most difficult. I often ask the question: What software should I take? So, simple love planner is not to answer. This question had asked me 20 years ago. Then I sold a software and a training that I had in the portfolio. At some point, I gave up the idea of selling an individual consultation to the planners. Most planners do not want to buy advice. Nothing has changed to this day. Only the acquisition of a CAD software has nothing to do with the conversion of the way of working in a company. In addition, however, the planner must first be prepared to accept help with a complex process. Professional help Unfortunately Costs something.
The supplier industry has long been actively involved with the third dimension. Without 3D, no new technical products are being developed today. A part of the suppliers has already taken the step not only to produce the products digitally for their own needs, but also to make these digital products available to the customers. On the other hand, they were only about the data format. However, this has been clarified at the beginning of the year. Now even those should be able to make a decision that has not been made so far.
The creators of buildings and buildings want and need to be more productive. A consistent and perfect planning with BIM contributes to this. They also benefit from the IFC data exchange format at the beginning of the year. The big ones in the industry have actively pursued the topic of BIM themselves. Currently, the middle class is a little under pressure and must follow if he does not want to miss the connection. Many have already begun. This group is now also motivating the planners to become active.
Facility managers are mostly seen as unproductive cost centers in companies. They were the first to have consistently digitized their processes. Until now, they had to look at their graphical material from different sources. In the future, it will be different. We must not forget, however, that the data will only reach them temporarily. Therefore, not all have decided about how they will deal with the data. In the first step, they will deal with the suppliers of their previous CAFM software. If these solutions are ready, a quick agreement will be reached. But if solutions are not offered to facility managers, it will become a little more complex and complex. Data migration threatens in the future.
At first, it was a small group of CAD software developers who were heavily involved in BIM. After finally clarifying that BIM is a process and a methodology and not a CAD software, further software producers have been involved in BIM. The decision on the IFC at the beginning of the year should now be the last trigger for all developers dealing with graphical objects in the construction industry and to offer a corresponding standardized interface. I have already advised software producers. They belong to my customers. In the area of software developers, too, a group is now gradually becoming the focus, which offers project organization and document management on the Internet on your platforms. There will be only one black or white in the future. Either offer solutions for BIM or disappear from the market. Saving and versioning drawings will no longer be sufficient.
Consultants also belong to my customers. Even large consultancies are among the seekers. With this group of customers, I do not refer customer advertising. Now, I’m doing an interesting online seminar project: „Introducing BIM in the planning office in self-government.“ The seminar series has been running since the beginning of February. Recently, I had the request of a renowned consulting firm, whether I could send them the first seminar. That would be free. Such requests I get more often. I then offer the company my paid support. The bigger the company, the more unlikely it is to get an order.
The negatives are found in all areas of life and in all groups. When it comes to political views, today it is on Twitter and Facebook partly violently to the point. In technology and science, it is and in part also quite politically. Is the earth a disc or is it round. Is the digitization useful or is it not? Do we need BIM or do not we need BIM? There have always been arguments about the pros and cons.
The decision about BIM must be taken by every company and every employee for themselves. However, a decision should also be taken on a factual rather than an emotional basis. I find occasional negative emotional approaches in the discussion forums. Fortunately, it is only occasional slip-ups. If negative criticism, then please also with a concrete objective justification.
Are there any good reasons to say yes or no? Is it about knowledge about matter? Is it the fear of the uncertainty? Is it a general skepticism against digitization? Can you not afford the investment? The reasons for negation can be manifold. If you are not sure, wait and watch as the things around you evolve.
To deny the digitization loudly and categorically would be perhaps the wrong way. If I were planning a BIM project, I would not motivate you to participate in the case. If I were an owner of a company and you were an employee, I would plan without you in the future.