Now that I have your attention, let’s crack on! I’ll get to the headline shortly….but first I return to a theme I’ve raised before, but like an itch that won’t go away, I just have to have another scratch!
This post might not be popular in some quarters but heigh-ho we’re not living in the world of the #BIMthoughtpolice yet….so we can all have an opinion can’t we?
So onto the provocation…….
Stephen Beechey wrote a very good article in Building recently, “Only Connect”
I wrote a comment there and I’ve expanded here……Whilst a great summary of where we are and where we’ve been I have a strange sense of deja-vu reading this. We should know all know this, surely, by now? We know about the bad image of the industry, the skills shortages and the difficulties of getting young people interested in careers in construction, the shortage of engineers, and lack of interest in STEM subjects.
Isn’t it time to actually DO something instead of just talking?
Strange, but there are people out there already inspiring young people to join the industry. Every day. Engaging and connecting with the Millenials.
Why is it that great organisations such as Surrey SATRO http://www.satro.org.uk and Class of Your Own http://designengineerconstruct.com and others that we know struggle to get the support and resources they richly deserve??
It seems to me that there is something very wrong here chaps.
Our industry is characterised by lumbering organisations that are too slow to move, can’t adapt quickly enough and always find a reason to vote in favour of the status quo, or the usual death knell – “let’s have a focus group” – i.e. lets kick this into the long grass for a while, and let people think they’re discussing something that will make a difference.
Well have I got news for you………institutes, umbrella organisations and CEO’s of major contractors – all of you……….The world is changing, and the wave of innovation and change that has transformed music, manufacturing, auto and aerospace is coming to a construction site or office near you very soon!
Question is will you still be here in 5 years time to make the most of it? Will you have the people with the right skill sets and knowledge? Will you have a digitally capable and enabled supply chain in place? Because if you don’t start investing right now and begin the change process, you will be toast, on someone else’s plate! The tide of change is accelerating, leaving less time to change and catch up, and consequently the investment need goes up.
So that’s sort of part one done here.
Supply chain and SME’s. I have no doubt that for the majors, big practices, big subbies, Level 2 will not present a real issue. For many they’ve already started the journey, and they’ll get there. Even for latecomers there’s time to catch up, because there is still a lot of BIMwash out there.
However where this potentially falls over is the supply chain. You can have a great CDE, 3D model, SQL database, whatever, but it will only work as well as the least effective member of your team, Tier 1’s in theory are no problem, it is Tier 2’s , 3’s where the action is. Where are the SME’s in this picture? Organisations like BIM4SME http://www.bim4sme.org and South East Constructing Excellence http://www.secbe.org.uk are working hard to get the word out. But resources are limited. Where is the support? Funding, access for training, grants for investment in kit and ongoing support….for SME’s? Ironically, depending on the SME involved and where they sit, the cost and tech involved may not be very great at all. I think this really is the case where the fear or confusion about implementing BIM paints a much a worse picture than the actual reality.
So that’s sort of part 2 done here.
Networks and support. Messages I hear coming out the Taskgroup seem to spend a lot of time talking about Level 3. And I’m not the only one here, someone at the CIC BIM Forum last Friday said “It’s as though Level 2 is thought of as a done deal……well it isn’t!”
Fact – Membership of the Regional BIM Hubs might be as great as about 4000 people. Representing a similar number of organisations. Our industry on a good day is composed of as many as 3,000,000 people. Add attendees at conferences, working groups, the BIM4 groups and the rest, 10,000? 20,000?
My dear earthlings we have barely scratched the surface. It is 13 months to 2016!
Some food for thought here.
The networks are in place, but they lack the muscle to make the impact. And here I think the leaders of industry and the Taskgroup have to bear some responsibility. We are in the midst of the greatest, deep-rooted and extensive change programme our industry has ever faced. And it relies on volunteers, freebies and goodwill. Isn’t this a little bit of a cop-out to say that it’s up to industry to sort out the implementation and pay for it? Having just emerged from the worst recession in history, I think we could do with a little help here!
Computer says no. There must be a better way.
So what I would I like for #BIMChristmas?
- More funding, support, and high level push for the BIM4s and Hubs
- More support for the organisations trying to make a difference on the skills gaps, and getting the digital natives into the industry
- More support for SME’s
I think there’s a common strand here – support, funding, resources. I haven’t even started talking about “legacy” yet, don’t get me started!
You know it makes sense. We all know deep down that our industry can and should be better. The reality is that if we don’t start doing something on a much bigger scale we won’t have an industry. We’ll just be taken over by Google or China.
I don’t believe that Level 2 is as dead as a dodo……yet. We’ve made a lot of progress in a short time. But if we don’t step up here, it will be.
So to restate my question from a while ago, what are YOU doing? What is your company or organisation doing? If you’re not here to make a difference, and to make things better, WHY are you here?
We need to start thinking beyond short-termism and commercial self-interest before it’s too late.
DO something to help. TODAY!
PS. I would add I’m not always this grumpy ( I think….) but getting really frustrated here……thanks for listening – but do more than that – ACT! NOW!