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Luis Hernandez

Administrative civil engineer

Founder Sohersa BIM


Civil Engineer Administratorby the Pan American University.Young Engineer, with an entrepreneurial attitude and always looking for the optimization of processes for the AEC,founder of the company Grupo Sohersa BIMfocused on the implementation of the BIM methodology in Latin America and project management,  as well as continuous training with more than 300 graduates of courses offered bySohersa Learning. Graduated fromDiploma in Lean Constructionfor himTechnological Institute of Higher Studies of the West (ITESO)and current student of theCM-BIM certificationby AGC (Associated General Contractors of America)


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Failures of the BIM implementation to companies

It is known that the termBIMIt is beginning to be popular in the market, which indicates that there are different business owners, project managers and developers who are beginning to learn of the existence of a technological world associated with the construction industry. Being very visual information (three-dimensional models), the topic ofBIMIt gets your attention strongly. However, there are few who really understand what it is about and how the application of the BIM methodology can help them, this lack of knowledge has caused more and more managers to request three-dimensional models of their projects on a platform like Revit, without an analysis of what what they really need. Project modeling has become a fashion, rather than a useful tool for project information management, this can generate various problems, among which are:


  1. Modeling becomes an extra cost (because it is not going to be used correctly).

  2. Companies model completely at their discretion, without knowing the needs of the client or the final builder.

  3. As there are no standards, the final product lacks the necessary elements for the client, the quality is not approved and each entity involved develops the project at its discretion.

  4. The information is scattered, since not all the companies involved will use the same software or the same three-dimensional model. For example, there will be companies that use AutoCad and others that use Revit, making the information very difficult to unify.


These failures have different results, and one of them is the frustration of the client, who will feel that having opted for BIM was a mistake.waste of money, time and resources,it's not worth more. But several questions will have to be asked where we will ask ourselves, Who is the main person responsible for the failure? The designers? The builder? The client? Each project is different and dictating a person in charge from this point would be complicated, each one must be analyzed separately, but I can say something and that is what  is born withstrong foundationsYou will always have more chances of success, but in a project where do you have to develop these foundations well? In my point of view, from the mapping of the client's needs and the development of standards for their projects.


The need for an organization, in the construction industry, to have the basic knowledge of what the BIM methodology will contribute within its organizations is well known in order not to generate cost overruns and, in fact, adequately occupy the three-dimensional models, that at the end of the day they are only an enabler, the benefit will really come from the collaborative work of all the agents involved. In contrast to this, there is very little information with which people with the drive to learn can really train themselves.


Before making the leap from CAD (Computer-Aided Design) to BIM (Building Information Modeling), the context in which we find ourselves as an industry must be understood. Currently, the majority of companies dedicated to the construction industry continue to work in the same way that they have worked for decades, even centuries. And there is no reference to technology, which has clearly evolved over time, but to its implementation in the processes inherent to the industry.


We can turn to see what other industries have done with the available technology, taking advantage of modeling and collaboration in their final products to simulate their behavior in reality. In theAutomotive industry, for example, the product is designed and modeled before manufacturing it to evaluate its functionality, thus reducing uncertainty about the operation of the car and making decisions before manufacturing. Cars are not built on trial and error, that would be very costly.

In theaerospace industrySomething very similar happens but on a larger scale, since it is necessary to model many more systems, the interaction between them and also make a detailed description of the behavior of the ship in the face of fluid dynamic actions, such as the simulation of the wind exerting pressure on the model surface. In this industry, airplanes are not manufactured by trial and error either, all changes in the design are made in the model and then the manufacturing is executed.

Even thePetrochemical industryhas used the modeling of its facilities since before the existence of BIM in order to plan, design, manufacture and operate its plants.


Getting to the next step will require organized processes to be able to change the way we work. If company “A” already has well-defined tasks, processes and roles, then it will have a much less painful and more natural transition than company “B”, which may have defined roles but does not respect its own tasks and processes by foot of the letter. This is because the implementation of the BIM methodology will most likely require the creation of newroles, processes and tasksthat should be inserted in the place that best suits within the company's workflow.


Parallel to the construction industry, there are documented cases of the attempt to implement new technologies that fail due to not having an adequate organization in the company. Around the world, many companies have tried to implement enterprise resource planning software(ERP)to integrate certain operations, especially those that have to do with production, logistics, inventories, accounting and shipping. This in order to optimize times, make information management more efficient and minimize costs; which are objectives similar to what a company seeks with the implementation of BIM, if not the same objectives.


In 2013, the state of Washington and the SBTC (State Board for Community and Technical Colleges) agreed with the Ciber company to deliver ERP software for 34 technical schools and community universities, said delivery never materialized 100% because the 34 campuses had varied processes and had to be standardized to ensure the ERP software worked. Not having well-defined processes produced this failure.


In the year 2000 the sports brand Nike lost about 100 million dollars by creating thousands of pairs of sports shoes, this demand was made by a planning engine, not by the market. Trusting that a software solves everything produced this failure.


Finally, the Woolworth department store chain in Australia was unable to generate the usual profit and loss reports that store managers received each week for almost 18 months. This is because business procedures were not properly documented and, due to the transition, when replacing senior staff, new staff were not aware of such business procedures. The problem was not the change in data collection procedures, it was the company's lack of knowledge about its own processes that caused this failure.


The blog of CorpoNet (a Mexican consulting company with 20 years of experience in the implementation of ERPs) indicates the most common errors that they have identified, for which the implementation of an ERP in a company fails:


  • Inadequate definition of the scope of the ERP project

  • Failure to provide adequate and comprehensive training to staff

  • Resistance to change by the team

  • Inadequate choice of tool and consulting company

  • Lack of commitment from company management

  • Having unrealistic expectations about an ERP implementation

  • Expect immediate results without making changes to the company's processes and/or practices


All the above points are perfectly applicable to the case of the company that seeks to implement BIM in its workflow, so it is advisable to reflect on them before starting the change process.


Of the examples shown on theERP implementationIt can be concluded that the most important thing for a successful application of theBIM methodologyis the standardization of processes. The entire organization of the company, from its head to the student who is carrying out his professional practices, must understand that attachment and order to the workflow are what really make BIM such a popular methodology for the optimization of resources and communication during the different stages of a project in the construction industry. BIM is not software, however, currently many companies say they do BIM when all they do is model or outsource someone to model (use of technology) and that can be more expensive than using all the potential that exists ( use of methodology + technology). Switching to BIM is more a sociological than a technological change, in companies where there is no clarity of roles, tasks and processes, it is practically a revolution.


As mentioned above, BIM is not just modeling, it requires teamwork,process standardization and coordinationIn order to achieve a good execution, in order not to make this article longer and somewhat tedious, I will leave it here, not without commenting that in the next chapter we will be talking about how to standardize the processes in aBIM implementation, Pay attention!

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