As Building Information Modeling becomes adopted throughout the architectural, engineering, and construction industries, AEC companies must decide if, and how, they will offer BIM services to their clients. Due to the uneven application of BIM—some geographic areas use it sparsely, while others are rapidly implementing it—and the time required to master it, many companies lack the in-house talent to successfully integrate it into their service offerings, and even those companies that maintain BIM teams may find themselves having to let people go if the projects aren’t there. Outsourcing can be a winning strategy to add more projects as desired without jeopardizing headcount or revenue.
When should I outsource?
Before you even start selecting a BIM outsourcing partner, ask yourself the following: Do I need one? If you can honestly answer “yes” to each of the questions below, you probably don’t.
- If your clients ask for BIM, can you provide it immediately?
- Does your BIM team keep up with the latest software and standards?
- Is your BIM team led by a manager that can set strategic initiatives and enforce company culture?
- Have you collaborated on successful BIM projects already?
Okay… I need to outsource. How do I choose?
In general, a good BIM partner should offer expertise with current software and standards across many disciplines, an ability to participate in real-time (match your time zone), flexible staffing, secure infrastructure and confidentiality, and be a good fit for your corporate culture. When you get down to specifics, hiring an outsourcing partner is the same process as hiring any other team member. You want to make sure their skills match your needs, they have the appropriate education, certifications, and accreditations, a record of successful collaboration, and good references. Don’t be afraid to ask about their turnover rates and relevant HR policies (which affect the former), how long they’ve been in business, and their operational models and costs (scaling). If your company does not have a BIM manager, can your potential partner provide one? What is their manager’s experience, etc.? Can they provide styles development, technical knowledge, and standards documentation? It may seem daunting, but professional BIM outsource providers will be prepared to answer all of these questions to your satisfaction.
Can you give me an example of a good BIM outsourcing partner?
Indovance, Inc., located in Apex, North Carolina, has been providing outsourced CAD services, including BIM, since 2003. We have developed what we call the “Twin Engagement Model,” in which we match our partner clients’ hours, strategies, visions, and corporate culture to deliver expert design in architecture, land surveying, civil and mechanical engineering, pre-media, and signage on an as-needed basis. When choosing a BIM outsourcing partner, it’s important to look for a company who specializes in the area you need, whether that is CAD and Point Cloud conversion, parametric family creation, design development, construction documentation or others. Additionally, it’s critical to ensure your outsourcing partner is up to date on industry-leading software such as Autodesk Revit Architecture, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, RhinoBIM, and many more.
Building Information Modeling will become more and more commonplace as city planners, investors, builders, and end users discover the benefits of its use, and AEC companies must be prepared to offer these services. Choosing a reliable BIM outsourcing partner will allow companies to navigate the transition quickly, easily, and securely.
Thanks for reading!
Please enjoy a limited number of articles over the next 30 days.
For total access log in to your The BIM Hub account. Or register now, it's free.