At the launch of the Construction Strategy on 2nd July this year Peter Hansford made it clear that BIM is, and will remain, a central element of the government’s procurement policy. This has been supported by leading representatives of the design and contracting fraternity, and our recently completed report Adoption of BIM 2013 suggests that the value of UK construction projects using BIM will increase by a factor of 14 between now and 2016.

With this in mind I believe BIM is another sales tool, an argument I present in my recent article for RIBA Insight. I also debate that product manufacturer’s should incorporate BIM into their sales strategy in another article for specifinder.com. This blog is a summary of these points. BIM will become an important sales tool and manufacturers need to ensure they are using it to maximum advantage in the same way that they use other items in their toolkit like literature, samples or CPD seminars.

Manufacturers who make BIM objects available will be helping architects with the design process, confirming product benefits and the value they represent. By providing off-the-shelf designs they will help ensure compatibility with other systems, saving the architect time.

This will provide early confirmation of design intent and achieve product visibility, making it more likely to be referenced during procurement and less likely to be value engineered out at a later stage. Putting this into hard facts, 58 per cent of architects who used BIM said that when designing they would give preference to products supported with BIM objects. This proportion is projected to increase.

There are also emotional benefits associated with offering BIM. Regularly telling specifiers and contractors about your BIM object availability as part of your communications will present your organisation as a quality company, and set it up to speed with current standards and practices.

When working with BIM, it’s most important for manufacturers to offer objects in the right format. At the early stages of design only basic drawings are required to ensure the BIM environment isn’t cluttered with memory-hungry data. Fully rendered drawings will be required later, so offer both formats

Also, train your sales team so that they understand the basics of BIM and how to use your objects.

BIM is relatively new to both the designer and manufacturer; all stakeholders are still learning how to use it to its best effect.

Even if your 2014 budget cannot run to developing BIM objects, you should be monitoring your competitors’ offering closely and preparing a strategy to implement BIM in the future. And if you are concerned about how to justify it to the Finance Director, invest in the Competitive Advantage report Adoption of BIM 2013 which will also give you advice on how to use BIM to maximum effect.

Further Reading

Construction Research: Adoption of BIM: 2013 Building Information Modelling is a hot topic, with government and the construction industry shouting its benefits. The problem for the manufacturer, with hard pressed budgets, is will I get a return on my investment? Adoption of BIM has been researched and written to help answer that question and then make the right implementation choices

 

 

BIM eBook Front coverOr see our eBook: Incorporating BIM into your specification strategy

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