BIM, short for Building Information Modeling, is a digital 3D representation of a building or space. It’s how architects and engineers turn sketches into reality before the first mound of dirt is ever moved. It’s also how building product manufacturers remain relevant in the modern construction era. But to succeed, product manufacturers need to have a smart BIM strategy.
What in the world is a BIM strategy?
Creating BIM used to be a transactional activity; it was a box a manufacturer checked. Market-leading manufacturers now rely on BIM to remain relevant and to position their products in way that helps them achieve marketing and sales goals. Manufacturers focus on BIM content — the 3D representation of a product and all it’s technical details that make it easy to see how it fits into a bigger project — but they also need to focus on a BIM strategy, which is how they use this technology over time.
Here are some sure-fire signs it’s time to take a closer look at your BIM strategy.
1. You set up your BIM content and forget it.
If you’re not updating your BIM content to reflect product changes or adjustments for the latest tools and applications, such as newer versions of Revit or Sketchup, you’re missing out. You’ll also look stale to the architects, engineers and contractors (AECs) who are looking for products.
2. You don’t maintain control your BIM.
Who changes your models when products evolve, launch or when acquisitions are made and product lines are folded in? If the answer isn’t you, it’s time to change that situation. It is no longer necessary to remain dependent on a third-party firm to edit and publish your BIM content. You can do it yourself.
3. Your BIM isn’t on your website.
Architects, engineers, contractors, specifiers and building owners rely on manufacturers to provide the most up-to-date, accurate BIM content. If you’re not providing it to them on your website, chances are they’re going to select a building product manufacturer who is.
4. Your other management systems aren’t integrated.
Updating BIM with technical details and specs can be time-consuming and tedious. By integrating Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems with your BIM, you create true data synchronization. You can automatically publish your data to the market in real-time, never having to worry about consistency issues or multiple versions floating around.
5. You think BIM is a fad.
Thankfully, few manufacturers really think this — but it’s worth mentioning because the BIM landscape is changing so quickly. The vast majority of projects are now designed using BIM, and many governments now have BIM mandates, which affects the procurement process of any public building. If you haven’t taken the first step toward this goal, you need to catch up. (Luckily, that’s not so difficult. We’ll cover that shortly.)
6. You don’t have a BIM management system.
Maintaining, editing and publishing BIM content is a huge challenge for most manufacturers. When you add BIM content management software to your system, you can effectively manage and publish content on your schedule instead of outsourcing.
7. You think BIM is only for your top products.
That approach used to make sense on some level, particularly years ago when creating BIM was significantly more expensive. However, now there’s no excuse for not having your entire product portfolio available to specifiers. Using BIM with one product leads to a positive brand experience, creating growth potential for all your products. Make sure all of them are ready for that moment.
8. Your BIM distribution is dependent on a third-party aggregate website.
BIMobject, ARCAT, CADdetails and others put each manufacturer’s content right next door to direct competitors. The specifier isn’t getting your brand experience; the specifier is getting the brand experience of the aggregate website.
9. You think it’s too late.
It’s never too late. BIM technology has improved by leaps and bounds, and manufacturers can quickly get up to speed. BIM content creation is affordable, easily integrated with other systems (like PIM and DAM) and can be set up to distribute content directly from a manufacturer’s website in weeks, not years.
10. You’re not using BIM to help achieve sales and marketing goals.
BIM can do that? Yes, it can. The biggest reason why is because BIM increases product and brand awareness, which is all part of marketing. By using BIM content management software, product manufacturers make it easier for architects, engineers and anyone else to do their jobs and increase submittals on your site. The rate of BIM adoption in the industry shows no signs of slowing down because it works.
If you aren’t seeing much return on investment with your current BIM strategy, talk with Concora or book a demo.