Misery Loves Company – Communication across the Industries

23 November 2020All, BIMcommunication, Data, digital transformation



Over the decades, the AEC and manufacturing industries have become a melting pot of multiple generations – baby boomers, millennials and generation Y. While they’re all working toward getting projects built, they are involved in a tug-of-war about how those projects should proceed. The more seasoned and field-experienced workers have been comfortable with a hands-on approach to just about everything. It’s what they’re most familiar with and what has built the buildings and infrastructure of our nation to this point. Workers with less job experience, plus newer entrants into the job market, are more comfortable with using technology to accomplish tasks, especially repetitive and menial ones.

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One thing they all have in common is the desire to move projects forward. From these multiple perspectives, workable solutions can be found to address the pains that everyone on a job shares. One of those challenges is getting the data you need when you need it and using it more efficiently. In this respect, misery loves company.

graphic showing person in jeans and white shirt with hands on hips looking at a giant translucent graph of a construction schedule with activities on the y axis and weeks on the x axis across the top

Project data itself has historically been a challenge. For over a hundred years, the data has been buried in hand-rendered job drawings and specifications and filed away after the job is finished. While the industry’s upgrade to PDFs seemed better, the data remained locked up in the PDF. So, another “upgrade” was needed to make that data accessible.

The shift that’s needed is from analog to digital data – from people-readable to machine-readable. In the Bridging the Gap podcast Shared Pains…, featuring Nathan Wood, he explained that “digital transformation” means changing the way you do your job because of technology.

Every week, the Bridging the Gap podcast, voted the Best Construction Podcast of 2020 by Construction Junkie readers, looks at technology disruptions that can ease the shared pains in the AEC, MEP and manufacturing industries.

Once they are educated on the why of technology, more and more people climb aboard the technology train every day. At that point, they can be taught how to use it. When leaders embrace technology, the people on their teams are likely to embrace it as well. Everyone fits somewhere on the technology adoption curve.  

person in business shirt typing on laptop computer, digital icons floating in air above it

So much effort goes into producing data on a job, it was an ideal transformation to capture it and use it through building information modeling (BIM) collaboration. The BIM coordination process requires that we exchange data from one team to another to solve our shared misery.

Now we’re at the point where solving that shared misery would be more efficient by exchanging data from one system to another. Wood makes the point that data interoperability is becoming more critical as projects become more complicated and schedules are shortened. Shared interoperability allows data insights and new ways of doing things.  

Efforts are being made in the industries to develop open standards. Examples are the recent partnerships forged among eVolve MEP, GTP/Stratus, Autodesk, ENGWorks Global, and others. In addition, Wood said that the Construction “PDF” Coalition has become the Construction “Progress” Coalition, with general contractors, architects, software providers, and engineers all working toward data interoperability and maintaining a respectful perspective. As Wood has said, “Everyone is an expert in something, but no one is an expert in everything.” We can all learn from each other.

No matter our generation, disruption has been a constant throughout history. Nothing changes for worse or better without it. Different views on disruption can still result in respect for other people’s perspectives. And that’s important when riding the ups and downs on the technology train in industries that have been forged upon relationships.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you through your company’s digital transformation, contact Applied Software today. The Applied technology experts can help you choose the right technology – whether it’s BIM coordination software, BIM 360 products or Revit cloud collaboration – to move your company forward toward its strategic goals.



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