The Department for Business Innovation and Skills suggest that over 98% of UK construction contracting businesses are SMEs, so clearly the AEC industry and the UK Government have a responsibility to ensure that the benefits of BIM are clearly seen for small and medium practices.
Not just for the larger players
There is a misconception that BIM is only for large practices, aligned to the view that it is useful for larger, more complex projects but not for less complex ones. This is evidenced in the NBS National BIM Report 2017 which surveyed BIM adoption by practice size. It uncovered that small practices (with 15 or fewer staff) were less likely, at 48%, to have adopted BIM than larger ones.
BIM adoption barriers that SMEs face
Whilst Tier 2 contractors are generally ahead with their adoption (having to align with Tier 1 contractors), it’s the Tier 3 level who can face challenges in adopting BIM which can impact winning-work on larger projects, particularly in the public sector. Challenges for SMEs include:
Cost. Smaller firms see greater cost barriers, such as investment in BIM-enabling software, replacing hardware, and purchasing data infrastructure storage and security.
Raising the barriers for SMEs
There have been strides made by industry, software developers and central Government to make BIM more appealing and realistic for SMEs such as:
At The BIMstitute (bimstitute.com), dedicated BIM specialists are able to work with your SME (although size is no barrier).
The team is passionate about raising awareness of BIM within the SME marketplace, and helping companies to move into new and bigger markets by unlocking new, more efficient ways of working and articulating the value proposition and business benefits.
Get in touch today with bimstitute.com to have a conversation about BIM adoption, implementation and delivery support.
Meet the team
Come see us on Stand 232 at the National Infrastructure Forum on Tuesday 13th of June 2017. Get your free ticket at http://www.infrastructure.co.uk