Vico Guest Blogger Series

BIM Doesn't Come in a Box

Posted by Holly Allison on Wed, Nov 03, 2010 @ 03:35 PM


Betcha didn’t see that one coming from a software company!


But it’s true, and we need to dispel the myth that by buying a couple software licenses your firm can do BIM.


BIM does not come in a box


The one thing that we’ve learned from over 400 virtual construction projects around the world is that it takes guts to change the status quo.  Buying some modeling software, some clash detection software, and hiring a recent CM graduate to use them just isn’t a viable BIM strategy.  The true adoption of BIM takes guts because it won’t happen overnight; people will feel threatened; departments won’t want to share data; and the firm will need to map out process change.   Is that what you’re ready to sign up for?


The good news is that GCs are stepping up to the plate.  According to the recent McGraw-Hill SmartMarket Report, 49% of GCs report doing some sort of BIM in their projects.  And we see it with our customers, too.  Firms who had gotten their feet wet with modeling and coordination are deciding to “go 5D” and push BIM processes through to their scheduling and estimating departments…even out to the field with production control.


Why would CEO’s want to knowingly inflict process change onto their firm?  The answer is simple: BIM wins business. "98% of BIM users say that having BIM capability is having an impact on their companies winning new work." (page 18, BIM SmartMarket Report: The Business Value of BIM) 


We’ve seen it time and time again: all the GCs today can show models in the Owner Presentation, but only a couple dozen can take it to the next level and show the Owner several scenarios and see the impact on schedule and budget.  And only a handful can manage the entire project with BIM-based deliverables: a cost-loaded schedule; project risk analysis; resource forecasts for major subcontractors; and updated cash flow forecasts.


We spend a fair amount of time with CEOs and their executive teams once they’ve made that decision to “go 5D” and here is what we’ve found:


1.) It does take executive sponsorship, complete with incentives.  The best leaders also provide a way to recover after a major mistake.  Without this safety net, the team might not stick their necks out or take a chance. Yes, good people and teams will face challenges with BIM, but recovering will make the team stronger.  We can help you establish ground rules and workflow, but you have to provide the leadership.


2.) You’ve got to “talk the talk and walk the walk.”  More often than we’d care to admit, the deal is won with BIM gobbledygook, the celebratory toasts are made, and the very next day the paper and Excel creep back into the process and it’s business as usual.  Any other software company might not care how you run your business, but we would like to think that you’re not just Hollywood BIM, you’re the real deal.  This software company wants you to dig your heels in.


3.) Your team is tired of “winning the game in overtime.”  How many times has your operations team performed heroically in order to save a project?  And how are you going to keep these key players on your team?  We’ve found that BIM can be a rallying point for these key employees and help them dig into project details to make them run as smooth as possible from preconstruction out to the jobsite to turning over keys.  Again, it isn’t a magic bullet, but it affords a different way to manage a project for success and your talented players will stick with it.


During the last five years, Vico’s customers proved for themselves what we know to be true about the benefits of BIM.  Innovation was what drove new project wins, our customers exploited 3D modeling, clash detection, model-based coordination, rigorous content planning, multi-model management, change management, and model-derived block drawings.  Some went further into 5D with model-derived quantity takeoff, cost estimating, and location-based scheduling.  It is no exaggeration to say that the Vico customers who “went the deepest” are the same companies who reaped the most benefit from the technology.  They literally picked the jobs they wanted to win, developed the best plans, recruited the best teams, executed more effectively in the field, and delivered a new and exciting owner experience.


So here’s the bottom line: there’s much more to BIM than can fit on an installation CD.  We know that.  Because not only did we build the installation CD, but we also developed the peer review services that turn true 5D BIM into a game changer.


Sure, we make software that you can consume one bite at a time.  We make it easy to step up the ladder with 2D-3D-4D-5D BIM.  But for those firms who are willing to make a calculated bet on full 5D, we offer the most comprehensive combination of software, consulting services, and personal commitment to your success.


BIM doesn’t come in a box, it comes in a team. Make Vico part of your team.


If you’d like to see what’s possible with 5D BIM, read through the 5D BIM Checklist.  We originally compiled it as a way to compare vendor software offerings.  But in this tough economic climate where every win counts, it’s also a way to see how your firm stacks up against the competition.



If you're interested in this topic, you'll also want to research:

Blog: The BIM Washers Versus the Real Deal

Blog: Talk the Talk AND Walk the Walk with BIM

Blog: Differentiating Your Firm with 5D BIM

Blog: BIM Doesn't Come in a Box

Blog: 5D BIM Versus 50-Yard Line Tickets

Blog: The Top 10 Reasons to Do 5D BIM

Blog: The Top 10 Ways to Derail Your BIM Initiatives

Webinar: The BIM Master Class Series

Webpage: The D's of BIM


We also offer a step-by-step guide to our 5D virtual construction workflow with video tutorials. These videos are just 2-5 minutes in length, but illustrate how to use a particular piece of functionality. You can access the video library index and view just what you need, or download the complete set of training videos. We have training videos for Estimators, Schedulers, Supers, and anyone who does CM Reporting.

Tags: model-based estimating, quantity takeoff, 5D BIM, coordination, BIM process chanage, Virtual Construction, model-based scheduling