“Government pressure, client pressure and competitive pressure” key BIM drivers for SMEs

Credit: Construction Computing Awards
Credit: Construction Computing Awards

David Shepherd has gave insight on why Building Information Modelling-resistant firms should take the leap of faith and get with the BIM program.

The BIM Management Handbook author wrote a guest contribution to BDOnline, looking at how important SME engagement really is. David believes that the benefits of operating within a BIM workflow can still be attained, without having to hire a BIM Manager.

“On average, each fee-earner in those [SME] practices is responsible for £80,000 in turnover or £17,300 in profit. So, a small five-member practice is probably earning about £400,000 in turnover with a profit of £85,000. So, on the face of it, both the typical £4,000-odd for each BIM software licence and the average salary of £50,000 for a dedicated BIM manager are extremely prohibitive for SMEs.

“Despite this, three key business drivers continue to motivate the SMEs which haven’t yet adopted BIM to seek a cost-effective means of implementing the technology. These are government pressure, client pressure and competitive pressure. It is no longer possible for them to dismiss the technology as just a passing fad.”

Instead of hiring new staff, Shepherd believes the development of existing team members can lead to real, long-term value. He identified two key roles an organisation needs, and wrote: “BIM sponsor (an associate or principal) responsible for spearheading the business strategy for the technology and achieving business results from the practice’s investment in it; and BIM champion (an associate or senior technician) with the leadership and social skills needed to spearhead the firm-wide adoption of the technology.

“The caveat to employing these measures is that they will only forestall the initial cost of BIM adoption. And, without adequate compensation, your erstwhile architectural technician may take off and become a dedicated BIM manager elsewhere.”

Read David’s inspiring thoughts in full by clicking here.

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