Implementing BIM - through the eyes of a Business Manager

Implementing BIM processes have their own complexities. Here are some questions to consider, through the lens of a business manager:

Given BIM’s front-loaded timescale, will you need to vary your charge-out services?

The impact of 3D modelling results in a skewed timeline in the production of work with in a high volume of modelling being completed in the design stages, compared to the traditional timescale of 2D CAD. The flow on effect is that the time to produce the traditional documentation stages are faster, with the potential for delays being due to other specialist consultants adding their expertise to the process and the statutory approval process itself.

Our practice, Robert Mann Architecture and Design, specialises in residential design, and a portfolio of large-scale luxurious homes, both new builds and alterations and additions. So we've had to consider how does BIM impact our workflow and how the client's engagement of our services impact our charge-out  rates. 

Some clients only want a concept design to increase sale value. Some only engage an architect's services for part of the process. Commonly, once the necessary approvals are completed to start construction, the architect is terminated (as seen on many Grand Design episodes).  The project is then given to a builder to complete the construction without the architect's involvement in the contract administration and to ensure that it gets built according to plan. This is possibly one of the greatest frustration, is the inability to ensure continuity between the design and the constructed. 

In short, when setting fees for services, be mindful of the time it takes in those front end stages and what services you clientele are wanting from you and therefore you may need to adjust either you fees or services accordingly.

Do you have a clear style guide to represent your BIM work environment?

A customised template file provides continuity in-house, it can help your team maintain branding, style on all projects and it avoids potential issues when transferring files between team members. 

Robert created his ArchiEd template for this purpose, not just for branding but having pre-sets, attributes custom to his design style preferences. He realised that by investing time into creating a template, it now saves a lot of time than changing things on the fly, in multiple project files.  

If you use ArchiCAD, we offer a Template and Workspace Customisation Course, so you can learn how to customise your own template file. Follow this link for more information.

Will you need to arrange up-skilling for your team?

If you have bought into one particular BIM software package, you want a large percentage of your staff training allocation to help achieve proficiency for efficiency, and to help avoid as many of the mistakes that get made by lack of understanding of the tool or the process to achieve what's required.

If your need to up-skill in ArchiCAD. We can tailor a corporate training package that can be delivered in-house or online, to suit your needs. We also provide technical support consultations for an individualised approach. For more information click here.  

How will you manage your customer’s delivery expectations?

A constant tension, between expectation and reality. Throughout any transitional period, our customers need to be assured that it's 'business-as-usual'. Put on your HR hat, or if you're lucky, activate your HR manager to strategise ways to schedule focused time for learning and focused time for working. Stop the multi-tasking approach (the stress of spinning plates) and make sure everyone gets home to their families for dinner. In hope to avoid burnout and staff turnover during the process, protecting your most precious asset - your talented team.   


Some of the greatest benefits of BIM will not be just through the produced materiality of your services, but rather the efficiencies and streamlined processes that can be harnessed, especially in a global environment. 

Do not undervalue the skills and knowledge of your workforce or the time it takes to learn. Learning is always an investment that will produce great outcomes, so empower yourself and encourage others to further their knowledge to get the most of BIM.

To understand more about BIM and various the software packages available click here.  

 * * *


The information contained in the article and website are general in nature and are the opinions of the author, through his professional experience and study. Click here for more details of our content.