Digital collaboration in construction

The construction sector is one with particularly tangible end products. Yet tangible buildings (such as houses, offices, bridges or other non-residential buildings) also need to be supported by virtual foundations. Application, design, planning, cost assessments… any future construction project has already been through an extensive digital process before a single brick is laid.

The biggest challenge faced with construction projects is the fact that there are various parties involved, meaning it is all too easy for them to get their wires crossed at any stage. Architects, contractors, builders and developers typically work with different IT systems. And if those IT systems aren’t compatible with each other, the likelihood of confusion arises. Wouldn’t it be useful if every change could be automatically applied to each system, so everyone always has access to the latest information?

A clear communication model

The ‘BIM’ (Building Information Modelling) ensures that everyone is working to the same definitions in terms of the digital description of a building project. The model takes design, construction and maintenance into consideration, so there are no nasty surprises from the plan to the final product. From the design phase, through execution, to utilisation… everyone will be on the same page throughout the entire life cycle.

BIM has actually been around for thirty years, but only in the last two years has it really taken off. The idea behind BIM is to adopt an integral approach to prevent any misunderstandings between the wide array of parties involved. In this digital day and age, a sound collaboration strategy is more vital than ever.

The key to success… digital collaboration. Start with yourself!

Successful construction companies manage to make data from different IT systems – such as ERP, CRM, DMS and CAD – available to all employees and external partners alike, thanks to an integrated collaboration platform. Consultation with architects is easier and contractors receive a digital update in real time. Everyone always has the latest plans to hand, so there is no longer any doubt as to whether the information you have is up to date or not.

Sound a bit utopian? Digital collaboration is the logical extension of the BIM concept. Construction firms without a sound digital strategy are dead in the water.

Working with IT systems needs to form part of the business strategy, instead of being yet another minor project where the IT manager does the dirty work”, said our CEO Filip Bossuyt at our most recent client day. Preparing your CRM, ERP, CAD and SharePoint for this kind of collaboration right now means you won’t be faced with any more unwanted surprises.

We’re ready to lay the digital foundations for your next project. Read more about our services for building and construction.