Outsourcing BIM services is witnessing an upward trend; offshoring companies are queuing up with enticing offers on BIM services. The dilemma for construction companies is- how do you identify the best BIM service provider?
The increasing global population pushes the demand for sustainable and efficient residential or commercial structures, healthcare, hospitality and transportation facilities. BIM has the potential to create a sustainable impact in the building industry for project owners, architectural firms, engineers, contractors and stakeholders.
However, BIM adoption and implementation has its own set of challenges, key among them being:
- Huge investment in costly software
- Lack of trained and skilled resources to work on BIM software
- Infrastructure requirements to support BIM technology
Outsourcing BIM services has proven to be a very effective and viable solution helping companies overcome these challenges. However, the competency and credentials of the BIM partner you choose could make or break your project.
So, how will you choose the perfect BIM outsourcing services partner?
Choosing the right BIM partner is no mean task given that the market is flooded with BIM outsourcing companies that claim to have achieved several milestones and have incredible portfolios displayed on their websites. Selection of a trustworthy and competent offshore BIM company warrants meticulous evaluation to prevent construction hassles and project losses at a later stage.
Here are 5 criteria which are crucial while selecting a BIM partner
1. Check the BIM company’s experience
With so many companies presenting themselves as leading BIM service providers, it is imperative to check credentials of such companies. An in depth check of their portfolio for stability, experience and scope of projects executed is warranted. Claims must be substantiated with demonstrated and documented experience.
- Check the company’s website for past projects and case studies. Inspect the kind of projects successfully delivered by the BIM service partner you plan to hire.
- You can also request for a pilot project after clearly outlining your project expectations. Check the BIM Families, templates, standards and other parameters used. Such an exhaustive inspection will provide a very clear idea on the company’s expertise and domain knowledge.
- It is equally important that the outsourcing company’s project execution methodology is aligned to yours as well as to industry standards for seamless implementation.
BIM Models with LOD 300 for Eye Hospital Building
TrueCADD’s credentials as documented on its website includes creation of a detailed architectural, structural and MEP coordinated BIM model of LOD 300 following AIA standards, for one of the largest hospitals in Egypt. The client was able to resolve all the inter-disciplinary clashes, using BIM technology. The BIM model created in Revit was further used for implementing energy efficiency, saving the end client 30 to 35% of their total budgets.
2. Believing only after seeing
Not everything that shines is gold! This also holds true when you are identifying delivery capabilities of a BIM company. What gives any BIM company a competitive edge is the skill of resources associated with the company. Therefore, while it is always prudent to check whether the company is registered or not, it makes greater sense to verify the credentials of the BIM architects and engineers connected with the company.
Initial meetings with the team ensures personal verification of credibility of the company and a first-hand experience of their professionals’ skills, knowledge, strengths, record of accomplishment and technical expertise.
TrueCADD has a team of more than 150 professionals comprising of BIM consultants, architects, engineers and Autodesk certified Revit technicians. With their focus on quality, speed and consistency, the BIM experts at TrueCADD specialize in high-end construction solutions for hotels, hospitals, airports, commercial and residential buildings.
3. Reference Checks
Check the claims and corroborate the facts. Past and current clients are a good source of references. A sound word of mouth reference can help in decision-making. The feedback received from new or repeat clients is probably the most reliable and authentic. You can probe how the company functions in terms of project execution, quality of the deliverables offered and adherence to targeted timelines. One can gauge the strength of the company along with issues and challenges faced by them in completion of project.
– BIM Manager, Construction Firm, USA
4. Low costs are not always the best deal
BIM involves industry and labor. A genuine company will always quote a price commensurate with the effort. While you should ascertain the charges so that you do not overshoot the budget, do not get swayed by companies that offer low prices to gain clients.
It is important to understand that low cost or less time does not always guarantee efficient project execution and may affect the quality of the final deliverable. Companies offering lower costs may also lack expertise or professional skill required to create BIM models, resulting in poor quality of BIM deliverables.
5. Say no to freelancers
Freelancers often work on multiple projects and offer low prices. Construction companies or general contractors should be careful while outsourcing projects to freelancers. This is so because freelancers usually work without any project manager or a setup.
Without a proper work environment and without the latest equipment, software or technology, it may be difficult to work on complex projects. Finishing projects on time may also be difficult to achieve due to lack of project exposure, lack of team collaboration, BIM process expertise etc.
Use of automation and technology speaks volumes
Adopting automation and keeping up to date with the latest technology is ideal to gain a competitive edge in the global market. BIM has a promising future wherein buildings, structures, designing and constructing will be not only be cheaper, safer and more efficient, but also more responsive to end-users.
To assure an efficient construction process, higher return on investment and growth in business, it is crucial for construction companies and firms to choose a business partner that excels in automation and has the latest know how about the new technology in BIM.
At TrueCADD, we use the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach which employs BIM Interoperability tools for enhancing collaboration. Our expertise in automation is demonstrated by Revit Plug-ins, Dynamo, Python and .Net which enables clients to outperform competition on speed and quality.
Before finalizing on a BIM outsourcing partner make sure your expectations, align with what the partner offers. What is the end goal you are seeking and retrace the path so that it leads you to an ideal, trustworthy and reliable partner? Both should be on the same page.
Make sure you define your own expectations, milestones and deliverables concisely. There should be no ambiguity. Furthermore, it is vital to ensure that the BIM outsourcing partner is up to date with the latest technology trends and software.
So while evaluating a company for your BIM modelling needs, follow the checklist to ensure cost benefits, save time and guarantee that the project is in able hands!