My firm is (skeptically) moving to BIM

My firm just lost a project. I should say another project, because we do not always receive the contract (or commission) on all of our proposals. This one was more abrasive. The reason? Revit does not find a Home at my firm. At least not yet.


We have been holding off from the BIM movement for years. There are a few key reasons for this. One, cost. Two, our projects – custom residences and remodels/additions – don’t seem to demand it. Three, why fix what isn’t broken?


I know all three reasons have been diminished by the CADD gurus of our time in every blog on this topic. Still, we are not alone at our firm … but we’ll be making the move very soon now that we did not receive this large commission based upon this sole fact.


I guess in the back of my head, I knew some day we would have to grow up. I knew we would have to pony-up. I knew some day I’d be shut up by losing a commission that I thought we had in the bag.


Looking squarely at 2013, I believe we will be fully functional with the new software by this time next year. I believe we will probably be elbowing ourselves with a tongue-in-cheek comment about how antiquated we once were. I believe we will be providing the same services we do now, however.


While our tools may be changing, our level of professionalism, our ability to listen to our clients, our talent to synthesize the multitude of limitations and restrictions into a feasible home for our clients and our business will remain unaltered. Yes, it appears we will now have the ability to create drawings that may be better coordinated, and schedules and cost take-offs for our contractors with less effort than we do now. Based upon my reflections and two decades of experience, however, I believe we will be completing projects in the same amount of time and making the same profit while keeping the same staff as busy as always.


I have heard that some of these things may change but I am skeptical. Yes, a firm in Salt Lake City with whom I’m familiar ditched their staff of six, and the two principals ran the office and all the projects without losing a beat. I like my staff and hope I never find myself thinking the way of that Utah firm. To me, while it doesn’t seem to be bad business, I do not see it as good business.


Right now, I am staring into this brand new world of Revit with some skepticism, some fear, a little disgust, and with vigor and excitement at the same time. All this while knowing the key to my firm’s success is maintaining and improving upon our customer service, our client satisfaction and perhaps making a little more profit in 2013, not simply expecting a CADD-related software will make or break me.


I will follow this month’s writing with a Part II and perhaps Part III in 2013 and we will see how all this plays out. Wish me luck!