What’s A Manufacturer To Do?

I was recently visiting a customer who specializes in design services for labs. During the conversation they relayed their frustration with many manufacturer supplied BIM content. Some lack the basics such as providing a consistent Manufacturer Name and URL in the designated parameter fields that drives their integrated schedule. Sounds like BIM 101.

It’s frustrating when you have to “cleanup” and “patch” what would seem obvious. Multiply these small frustrations across dozens or even hundreds of files and you can sympathize with the challenges of integrating manufacturer-specific BIM content into a design.

Now switch hats. Designers tell you they just need a basic / “generic” model for their purposes.  Specifiers need all of the detail. The construction company’s VDC Manager has constructability in mind and their own geometry and data wish list. Now your product has been installed and the Facilities Management team produces a list of their own BIM content needs.

It’s Complicated

We get it. It is complicated and unfortunately there is no definitive playbook. There are only ongoing conversations amongst the key stakeholders. Isn’t that the way it should be when things are in flux?

At the Building Content Summit (BCS) we facilitate these conversations by bringing together the world’s leading experts across all disciplines. The takeaways happen both in and out of scheduled sessions. It’s the kind of conference where one conversation can change your perspective and send you down a new path.

One of my favorite quotes is “Better to be broadly right than precisely wrong”. It’s fitting in a world of BIM that’s still very much defining itself and a reminder that you need to be in the conversation rather than thinking you have all the answers. Given my recent conversation with the lab services provider I think there’s a corollary for manufacturers; “Better to be consistently wrong than inconsistent” when it comes to BIM content. We’re all trying to learn and serve one another more accurately and efficiently.  I won’t pretend to have all the answers but I am in the conversation. Are you?

By Randall Stevens

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