Finding Your ROI During BIM Adoption

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When your company transitions to building information modeling (BIM), it’s natural to want to justify the disruptions, time, money, and planning that have been invested. You want to see a return on the investment (ROI), preferably sooner than later. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way when implementing BIM methodologies.

The successful implementation of new workflows and technology depends on a deliberate, even stubborn approach, including:

  • knowledge of current workflows.
  • awareness of changes needed to implement new workflows.
  • dogged determination to make the changes work.

The early BIM adopters have already assumed their position in the marketplace. The middle of the adoption curve is happening now. If you’ve been waiting for other companies to make the transition, you can now glean from their stories – examples of what works and what doesn’t. In addition, you now have access to workers with experience in BIM processes and software, like Revit. To find your ROI during BIM adoption look for these benefits.


Learn all about BIM in the Applied Software eBook, How to Keep Your Job Using Revit.


EFFICIENCIES

The cost of implementing BIM can be recovered through the efficiencies that come from a BIM-based workflow. The caveat is that the technology must be implemented properly, and inhouse processes need to adjust to harness its capabilities. Some common efficiencies gained by using BIM include fewer errors, fewer RFIs, less rework, and efficient LEED calculations.

Rather than being a quick fix, BIM revamps the way companies design and build projects. As the team becomes more proficient, their learning curve is part of the investment in the company’s long-term success. ROI isn’t evident on the first project using BIM. In fact, if you expect an ROI so obvious it slaps you in the face, it can take years to reach that point. Most companies using BIM successfully have reported it takes time to ramp up and perfect the process. They take a discerning view of the ROI.

Clash detection; image: Autodesk.com

FINANCIAL

One of the challenges in BIM adoption involves money. Your company will need to invest in workflow assessment, software, training, standards development, and support during the transition. After dropping that kind of cash, the people with the P&L statement sitting on their desk want to see returns right away. There are ROI calculators available, but they don’t factor in human nature. In addition, benefits span the entire project lifecycle. So it’s been difficult to set an industry standard.

Although the technology is over 20 years old, BIM is still considered by some to be a new thing. CAD has been around for nearly 60 years, and there’s no debate that CAD is more efficient and profitable than manual processes. We’re at the point where there’s little debate that established BIM-based workflows are more profitable than CAD.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Some companies are BIM capable in order to compete with larger firms that are BIM proficient. Most are aware they need BIM if they’re going to keep up and remain competitive. A 2021 Autodesk study reported about 50% of companies using BIM use it on at least half of their projects. That average is projected to increase to about 78% of companies by 2024; the adoption rate of BIM has surged since 2020. By using BIM, companies reported they could expand or diversify their services and also improve their win rate on proposals.

Image: Insead.edu

INTANGIBLES

The ROI for BIM adoption varies by company, but following a sound plan will ensure greater success in less time. You might achieve up to five times payback on the dollars invested in a project as one company reported. Or you may realize intangible benefits such as:

  • Fewer warranty problems
  • Improved safety
  • Efficient calculations
  • Owner satisfaction

Although these benefits result in cost-savings, you may not be able to calculate an exact amount. By achieving even one or two, the company’s profits are bound to improve.

A certain amount of stubborn determination to make it work “no matter what” goes a long way toward successful BIM adoption. Casual implementation, if it succeeds at all, will take longer and cost more. You need a plan, strategy, acknowledgement of the costs, and a willingness to see it through to its successful end.


To create a BIM implementation ROI list for your company, contact Applied Software today. The industry-trained experts at Applied have been guiding companies through BIM implementations for over 20 years.


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