In the last 150 years there have only been a few innovations in construction which have significantly contributed to the efficiency of the building process. Building Information Modelling (BIM) has the potential to be one of these. It has the potential to: change the way the construction team shares information, avoid component conflicts and reduce operating costs for the client.

BIM is a real opportunity for the construction marketer. But it is important for marketers to engage with sales and technical staff to reap the marketing benefits. Here are some suggestions on how the construction marketer can use BIM to their advantage.

BIM is a differentiator

BIM helps to differentiate your product from your competitors. BIM is still seen as a differentiator and can help manufacturers secure work. Recent research conducted by Competitive Advantage on behalf of BIM4M2 reports that 60% of respondents say BIM has helped them to secure business. Conversely our research into the Adoption of BIM by Architects states that 77% of architects who use BIM would be influenced into selecting products supported with BIM objects.

Providing BIM contentt will position your company as forward thinking, boosting your brand. Creating a perception of a quality company that is up to speed with current standards and practices.

BIM can also facilitate a quicker understanding about how your product works, provide certainty of compatibility, and provide off-the-shelf selection of existing product design. All of this enables time saving and, because architects are usually pressed for time, they can often opt for the quick fix, when two objects are similar.

BIM facilitates communication across all parts of the supply chain

The construction Decision Making Unit (DMU) is complex, with many decision makers and many influences on product selection. BIM allows the manufacturer earlier involvement in the supply chain, meaning your product could be specified at an earlier stage.

Being involved earlier in the construction project also enables manufacturers to provide better support to specifiers and avoids the likelihood of a specification being switched.

From the marketer’s perspective this allows you to position your brand early on as one to be trusted, working collaboratively with specifiers to provide what they want. It means greater opportunity to communicate will all members of the construction DMU at each stage of the construction project. It also presents an opportunity to gain feedback. Knowledge that is valuable for informing your communications strategy.

BIM enables collaborative product design.

With more digital information available and greater communication across the supply chain BIM looks set to empower product manufacturer to work collaboratively on design. So answering market demand and providing what the specifier wants. And new product features developed as a result of this learning is great material for marketing. With BIM the marketer will not only be able to provide installation case studies but also in-use examples all with support data.

The benefits to the manufacturer of providing BIM content:

  • Enables early confirmation of design intent, and improves the likelihood of a design being specified
  • Allows the design team quicker understanding about how your product works, allowing certainty of compatibility and provides time saving in the design process
  • Creates a perception of a quality company that is up to speed with current standards and practices
  • Allows for greater collaboration with the design team and feedback on product development

These thoughts are echoed by John Tebbit:

“I see the advantage being the designers (not just the architect, but all those on the design team) being more connected with the manufacturer. BIM will allow for a direct line between designer and manufacturer. It could bring the Architect back to the role of master mason, reconnecting the designer with the build.” John Tebbit, Managing Director, Robust Details Limited.

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