Climbing the BIM ladder – The Supply Chain
Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been around for many years now and has so far been driven by a top down approach, but it can only get so far through customer demand. It is important to highlight what it can do for companies across the supply chain. The more of us that buy in to the benefits of BIM, the stronger the whole chain becomes.
Small improvements in efficiencies have a big impact
The BIM processes which make a team project so successful can also improve the office work within each individual company. By creating our own protocols on file creation, sharing and storage we are actively improving working practices. Inefficiencies occur when there is uncertainty and BIM helps to minimise this.
Front end loading is a process whereby investing more up front when your potential influence on the job is at its highest can reduce the risk of things going wrong at a later stage when your ability to react is less and the cost of changes is much greater. By investing in BIM and setting up good working processes a company can reap the rewards in the long term.
Improved business image and opportunities
BIM is now becoming well established and is a government backed initiative. By getting involved, a company is making a commitment to invest in the right training and software for employees, put in place procedures to ensure a consistently high quality of work and collaborate in order to meet the employer’s requirements.
By meeting the demands of BIM we are going above and beyond and this will naturally create a healthy business image. It is something that can set a company apart from competitors and mean the difference on a project tender.
Challenges and opportunities
There are challenges, especially from the point of view of a small business.
Below are some which we have experiences at LEDA and how we are turning them into opportunities.
BIM requires buy in across the supply chain
A lack of training in one company can affect the performance of the whole supply chain. LEDA promotes BIM from the top down. Investment has been made in software and training is provided for all team members. By keeping up to date we avoid being the weak link.
BIM awareness is limited
Not everyone has a complete idea of what BIM is and how it can really benefit a project. LEDA has a worked hard to create a clear picture of BIM, its requirements and its benefits. Our BIM documents are tailor made to suit each individual project and client, and share our overall BIM strategy. We have also designed our internal Standards, Methods and Procedures around BIM requirements so that every project benefits.
BIM is still being developed
There is still ambiguity on what BIM means and what is required to achieve it. LEDA was an early adopter of BIM and strives to remain ahead of the curve on its uptake. We engage with local networks at BIM events and actively take on BIM projects. When BIM is not required we still encourage its use and open a dialogue on the benefits. By being involved, we have a say on where BIM is going.