Best BIM Bad BIM: Steve Thompson

Credit: Steve Thompson
Credit: Steve Thompson

Answered from either a personal or industry-viewpoint perspective, Best BIM Bad BIM sees a member of the #GlobalBIMCrew divulge their best and worst BIM experiences and what they have learned from both. Today’s instalment features the Chair of BIM for Manufacturers (BIM4M2) and BIM Programme Manager for Tata Steel Europe, Steve Thompson. He gives his thoughts on BIMfobesity and thinking of BIM not as a short-term issue, but as a long-term opportunity.

What is your Best BIM Experience/What are the BIM industry doing best at the moment?

I count myself as very lucky to be leading Tata Steel’s BIM activities, and also to be involved in BIM4M2 working with other manufacturers and consultants. Within Tata Steel, my best experience has been working with a colleague who is a computer scientist. We’ve both come at BIM from a different angle, but it’s great to see what can be achieved with compatible skills from different sectors. For example BIM content that originally was taking us over 18 days to create is now taking less than a day.

In BIM4M2 it’s great to see individuals and organisations coming together and really committing to help move the industry forwards, whether large or small manufacturers, consultants or subcontractors. It’s that collaboration that I really love about BIM development, and jointly resolving issues whether technical or cultural, and seeing the benefits to those we have advised.

What is your Worst BIM Experience/What are the worst trends in BIM?

The industry suffers from BIMfobesity, too much information about BIM and it can be very difficult to know who to listen to if you’re new to the subject. I speak to many manufacturers and others in the industry that have been given very bad advice that can lead them either to decide not to invest in BIM, or to have BIM content that is not necessary or is inadequate. That’s one of our key goals in BIM4M2, to provide support and advice on how BIM affects a specific organisation, and we will be launching a series of tools to help at our seminar on 28th July.

It’s great to see some of the fantastic developments over the last few years, but we also need to make sure that those with BIM knowledge don’t create a new silo, that we continue to be accessible to the whole industry if we are going to really benefit from the implementation of BIM.

What lessons have you/can be learned from both?

Keep it simple. We need to make BIM accessible to all, and continue to share knowledge and experiences across the industry. Talk to others, whether clients or competitors, trade associations or suppliers, and ask what is needed in your part of the industry.

As a manufacturer, concentrate on structuring your data first. Then get started!

Finally think of BIM not as a short-term issue, but as a long-term opportunity.

Follow Steve and BIM4M2 on Twitter by clicking the respective links.

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