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How to use the potential of BIM for manufacturers

Why is BIM important for manufacturers?

Building Information Modeling was first applied in project design, and it was initially viewed as an upgrade for the 3D design. However, the potential of BIM goes beyond. BIM is a modern, intelligent process for design and building management. It facilitates the exchange of information within the process of construction and use of the building, thus enabling more informed decision-making and removing obstacles in the construction process. This makes it possible to create projects faster, cheaper, and with a lower impact on the environment.

It is no surprise, that more contractors and construction companies want to use the potential of BIM. Manufacturers as suppliers of the building materials have to adapt and support these companies with suitable data. However, there is a small percentage of the manufacturing companies with these capabilities. That opens the opportunity for manufacturers supporting BIM to grow and use it as a perfect marketing tool to secure new business relations.

Why is BIM important for manufacturers?

BIM has a huge use for manufacturers and suppliers of construction products, as architects and designers increasingly use digital versions of products in the development and design process. As a manufacturer, you are a provider of products directly to a developer, contractor, or to another supplier. They are now interacting with their supply chain in a different way - through BIM, providing new digital routes to market.

Andy Butterfield, director of the built environment, product certification at BSI, says: “Manufacturers need to provide BIM content for their products because their route to market has just changed. Online BIM Object libraries are their new shop window, increasing the visibility of those products to potential customers.”

It means, that manufacturers should produce “digital twins” of their products alongside the physical product to enable their products to be incorporated into BIM.

Butterfield also says, that as long BIM content is provided in the right format, it can help manufacturers become preferred suppliers. Visibility of manufacturer content within BIM models can also help to raise brand awareness and future engagement with facilities management providers.

Steps to implement BIM

Steps to implement BIM

Recognize the business and marketing opportunity of implementing BIM. Do not look at BIM as a tool. Instead, look at it as a business opportunity offering services beyond what your company has traditionally offered. Establish a vision for BIM and link it tightly to companies' goals and philosophy. A BIM vision should clearly reflect the relation between your organization and BIM. How it will define future direction related to staff roles and responsibilities, skill sets, service offerings, and strategic positioning? How will it change your business? Then you can build a solid definition, capability, and expertise of BIM within your company.

Clearly define your BIM capabilities to clients. Talk to your key customers to find out how they are using BIM, whether they are including your products in their BIM models and any challenges they face, to see what sort of BIM content you should provide to best support them.

Then make your clients and prospects aware, through your BIM marketing program, of precisely what you plan to offer in terms of BIM.

Start building your BIM portfolio. Once you understand what your clients want, focus on your biggest ticket items first to have the biggest impact. Consider where you will host your BIM content and how you will engage with users to benefit your business. If you don’t have the in-house skills to develop BIM content, engage with a qualified BIM adviser to help you produce so-called "digital twins" for your products. Ensure your BIM content aligns with the BIM standards by using a common language and structure, and that you have processes in place to keep your content accurate and up to date.

Educate your staff on BIM trends, language, and culture. Train your internal team to understand the relevance of BIM in your company, how it relates to products, and how your BIM content can benefit your business and customers. Your client-facing staff should the overall vision and goals for BIM.

Promote and share your content and offer support. The marketing department should learn to use new capabilities that BIM offers and tell the world about your BIM support capabilities to make your brand well-known as a Manufacturer providing BIM data.

How exactly will you benefit from BIM?

The most important benefit is, that you will not be left behind the industry during its digital progression. BIM will help your products get more specified in the designs and you won´t be left aside from projects, just because you couldn´t deliver the right information.

Modern design teams will have easier access to product information and geometry, so they will more likely be selected and use within the buildings. The same applies to the construction companies and contractors, which will rather buy your products because they will find it easy to get the specific information to match your products towards the project requirements. In other words, it will increase your sales.

Another beneficial trait of BIM is access to data about the usage of your products. You can find the answers fo the questions such as:

  • Who is looking at them?
  • In which project are they specified?
  • Do customers actually buy them after specification?

This information can be used in the development of new products and matching market demands based on informed decision-making.

Where should I start?

The easiest way to get your company on board with BIM is to register your brand in platform for free, where we will take care of:

  • Helping you and your customers to understand BIM and building your vision
  • Building yours ready to use BIM portfolio aligned with the BIM standards within the software tools for architects
  • Promoting BIM within your brand
  • Giving you a Product Information Management platform to manage BIM data
  • Providing easy to read analytics about the usage of your products


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