2019 is proving a year of continued uncertainty, with added pressure on the construction sector from skills shortages and rising cost of materials – all impacting heavily on margins and profitability
In many respects this should be a bonanza year for construction, with an infrastructure pipeline of nearly £600bn lined up over the next decade. However, the industry’s historic underinvestment in IT is hampering efforts to modernise and to improve productivity.
While many Tier 1 or major contracting firms are well advanced on digital transformation, many smaller and mid-sized contractors, consultants and architects, as well as housebuilders, lag behind, particularly in use of technology for project delivery and adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM).
One of the main challenges of project delivery is the management and control of documents, drawings and data across the supply chain. The use of ‘free’ solutions for sharing information, such as email or use of generic file-sharing solutions such as Dropbox, often results in loss of information, leading to construction delays – or worse, rebuilds – severely impacting margins, as well as your reputation.
While the use of common data environments (CDEs) is becoming increasingly common to control and share information for project delivery, they are often driven by client requirements across major projects or within T1 across the enterprise.
Getting the basics right
A CDE, the basic requirement for BIM, provides a collaborative environment that encourages teams to work together, following a formal and standardised approach to managing project information, reducing the risk of mistakes and so controlling costs.
So how do companies take advantage of CDEs’ proven benefits without major investment – and how do you choose the right CDE for you?
When selecting a CDE, it’s essential to find a solution that will fit into the overall organisational strategy, as well as into any ongoing BIM strategy. An understanding of the CDEs’ intended purpose is crucial – ask yourself how it will be used in the long term:
Across multiple departments, project teams or selected team individuals?
For the design stage, or through to construction and handover?
On a single project, a programme of projects or an enterprise solution?
One of the recommended routes, even for large companies, is to identify a pilot project. This could be a joint venture project or used to improve processes internally.
Investing in a hassle-free solution that supports all project information management and collaboration needs – from a simple project folder capability for smaller works projects through to a workflow-driven, BIM Level 2-compliant CDE – ensures project teams become confident in the use of a single system to manage information, knowledge is recycled and clients build trust in your digital delivery abilities.
BIM made simple
The GroupBC suite of BC Solutions allow you to address the collaboration and task requirements of project delivery utilising BC Projects or extend to organisational wide use with BC Enterprise. As you mature in your digital information capabilities, BC can flex to fit as your digital capabilities mature, offering the smartest choice for team collaboration and construction information control.
Choosing a Common Data Environment (CDE) offers a range of benefits beyond attainment of BIM Level 2 compliance; it offers time and cost savings as well. But how do you choose the right CDE for your business?
Understand the benefits of a CDE and learn how to choose the right one for you by downloading our free guide: “Choosing the Right CDE For BIM Level 2 Compliance”.
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