goBIM - the eBay of construction things?
In 2017 it has become obvious that construction manufacturing businesses across the globe are on the move towards digitalisation. Industrial machines are now being connected to the Internet (IIoT) making big data in manufacturing even bigger. The products themselves are becoming beacons of information in the Internet-of-Things-enabled world. In addition, smart tools such as goBIM are getting construction product attribute data freed from silos. Data truly seems to be the raw material of the 21st century. Nevertheless, what do you do when you have the mechanisms of collecting data are already in place? What can this data be used for? What are the commercial benefits?
Some insight from the C2C market
Maybe not more than few years back eBay made a smart move worked miracles for every regular person trying to sell and buy a product on the platform. The market-leader started creating a product catalogue providing rich information (data) about each item for sale based on manufacturers’ data. By helping the customer selling an item to create a data rich listing (instance) on the basis of a manufacturer’s actual product data as a result of, researching manufacturer’s websites and documentation, eBay managed to bridge the gap between the manufacturer, the seller (also a customer) and the final customer. Why? Because in a market saturated with brands the consumer was becoming more and more aware of each product’s characteristics and their importance for their final purchasing decision. Consumers were becoming hungry for data and the customer-to-customer market was fast to capitalise on this. Are we hungry for data in the construction sector?
The answer is yes! YES. All manufacturers seem to be overly focused on incorporating smart technologies in their production lines in order to increase efficiencies and improve bottom-line results. The impact of this is, of course, great but there is another type of data, where those production upheavals truly show that data seems to be overlooked. Construction product attribute data or the data reflecting the characteristics of a product such as its watertightness, U-value, burglar resistance, energy consumption etc. are the bearers of competitive advantage when it comes to product sales.
Both design and build teams are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of connectedness and shared knowledge. They want to build BREAAM and LEED certified buildings, they want to achieve net-zero energy consumption and keep up with the market demands. As each building contains thousands of mechanical and electrical products: HVAC units, lighting, windows, insulation, temperature systems etc. every single instance is of importance to goals set by the client. Moreover, each of these items has separate maintenance and power needs, certification levels and health and safety requirements.
As the industry is moving to better defined digital processes (BIM mandates are spreading globally as a best practice for data-driven construction), suppliers have data as their only ambassador. Manufacturers are gaining a competitive edge by providing interoperable data that can be used throughout the building’s life cycle. Data that allows for massive scale information modelling leading to the analytical approach to exposing the benefits of modern day construction such as reduced remedial, increased power efficiency and reduced maintenance desired by all.
Seeing in a sea of data
One practical problem experienced by all forward-thinkers in the industry is that there is truly a sea of data out there. Still, there is no available solution that can provide data about construction product attributes to those who need it. Of course, there are many different sources that are time-consuming to explore and with questionable credibility. But has someone done the work that eBay has invested billions in to research and create credible product passports based on accurate manufacturers information (in the case of eBay, based on unique item identifiers such as the UPC – Universal Product Code, manufacturer’s part number, or manufacturer and model keywords)? The answer is yes. With coBuilder’s online platform goBIM, the search for a comprehensive next-generation solution is over.
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