This is part 2 in a series of blog posts on how the intersection of 3D and business data can be leveraged throughout the lifecycle of a facility. Part 1 can be found here.
In my experience, many construction companies are using BIM models in preconstruction and construction to perform clash detection. Some, but far fewer, are using 3D design data to drive material requirements and quantities in their estimating or job cost systems. This process eliminates duplicate entry and, more importantly, can establish a link between objects and the model and business data.
What I have noticed, though, is that this link between BIM models and data in financial systems is not frequently leveraged past the material/quantity takeoff. I believe contractors, subcontractors, and owners are missing a huge opportunity here! Consider some of these use cases that I have discussed with various colleagues and customers.
- Assembling Bid Packages – you pull up a model, select elements on it, and click once to assemble a bid package in your procurement system. Since your systems are fully integrated, all of the pertinent information from the model is brought into the bid package and published to a bidder’s portal. All you have to do is add your bid instructions and watch the bids come in!
- Visual Bid Analysis – when those bids come in, you pull that model back up (on your iPad or tablet this time) and see it painted it red/yellow/green based on how the bids came in compared to estimates. As you move your mouse over the model, you can see summary info from the bids and click to drill in and see details. Once you’ve selected the bid to award, one click starts the contract or purchase order in your financial application.
- Visual Buyout Analysis – as you buy out the job, that same model can be painted based on buyout status and savings, similar to during the bid process.
As I mentioned in my previous post, similar things are being done in other industries such as Oil & Gas and Aerospace & Defense. We here at SAP are excited to be co-innovating with our customers to deliver use cases like this to them, no matter what they’re building!
What issues do you think the industry needs to overcome to see greater adoption of these use cases?