Is BIM Right For You And Your Company?
Wikipedia defines Building Information Modeling, or BIM, as “a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. It is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle.”
The concept is not new, but for years it just hasn’t been very cost effective for small to medium sized construction firms. BIM calls for extensive training and the upfront costs can be prohibitive for smaller companies.
That being said, it is an effective tool for improving your business, with benefits that include improved visualization, reduced costs, improved productivity and increased delivery speeds, among others.
In fact, many in the commercial construction industry now consider BIM to be a necessity, rather than a mere convenience, as it was in years past.
But is it right for your company?
To answer that question, you need to take an in-depth look at BIM and it’s many benefits, as well as the costs.
Basically, there are three questions you need to answer, and we’ll address them here one-by-one. Then you can make your own decision as to whether or not this technology is right for you.
How much will it cost?
Well, the short answer is a few thousand dollars for the software alone. But there are options to save a few bucks when the time comes by using alternative products rather than those developed and produced by the leaders in the industry.
There are also tax credits that can help offset some of the costs. So be sure to check with your local government, as well as state and federal offices, to see if your company qualifies for any of these tax breaks.
What about training?
Well, that can be expensive too, sometimes as expensive as the software that you’re being trained on in the first place. But again, there are options. Don’t just accept the first training options that you’re presented with.
While training for the most popular software programs can run a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars for initial classes, there are alternative companies that offer training for substantially less time and money.
Do your research!
Is it worth it?
That’s a question that each company or manager needs to answer individually, as there are many variables that go into answering it effectively.
Like with any investment, the return on your initial input can be returned to you many times over in the long run. But you need to make the commitment to pay the upfront costs and let things happen over time.
BIM can definitely help any firm land more contracts, certainly more than they would by using standard proposals. Industry averages show that BIM generally pays for itself over the course of three to five years.
So if you’re looking at a growth cycle for your company, BIM may be a good option to pursue. But only YOU can answer that question for YOUR company.