The Director of Built Environment at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has authored an article relating to the “two-tier system developing” between active Building Information Modelling implementers and those smaller companies not yet adopting the technological process.
Alan Muse discusses RICS conducted research that states that large contractors are more likely to up-skill their project teams, and this should not put off SMEs, who may think they are too small to win work.
“Around a third of SME respondents [to RICS research] admitted to having a limited understanding of BIM, and nearly half said that although they had a certain level of knowledge, they hadn’t yet had an opportunity to put this understanding to practical use,” stated Muse in his piece for UK Construction Online.
“Digging deeper into the research and the picture becomes, perhaps, even more concerning – given that around half of the small and medium-sized firms we spoke to don’t even have BIM on their agenda.”
Muse continues by explaining why RICS are keen to demonstrate to SMEs that BIM is also as much for them as it is for major forces within architecture, engineering and construction.
“From an RICS point of view, we’re keen to make clear the opportunities that BIM offers not just to the major contractors and consultants, but also to companies with fewer than 50 employees. After all, there’s one thing we can all be sure of, and that’s that BIM is not going to go away anytime soon. With its wider adoption will come more and more business revenue prospects,” elaborated Muse.
“Technology in general will drive the future skills agenda, and BIM is at the heart of this trend. For smaller companies, it’s becoming increasingly hard to improve efficiency and gain a competitive edge through investment in people alone. Not least, this is because on-going skills shortages, which RICS reported on earlier this year, so investment in technical skills such as BIM provide an opportunity to differentiate your business offering.
“More SMEs need to start taking the necessary steps towards engagement. With the amount of information now available, there’s never been a better time to start a ‘BIM journey’.”
Muse also discussed the ways that RICS are helping SMEs get to grips with BIM in the article, which can be viewed in full here.