SMEs struggle to adopt BIM because of the cost, so it’s up to the big industry names to lend a helping hand

Andrew Pryke

As the head of BIM at Bam, I am often asked whether BIM is just for the construction industry’s “big boys”. As it stands there is certainly no question the industry’s big names are leading the way in terms of adoption and implementation of BIM in the UK, driven by the government’s BIM 2016 deadline and a desire to realise the benefits that it can generate for the supply chain, client and end user.

Neither can we deny that the costs of BIM in terms of money and resources are proving prohibitive for some smaller organisations.

Yet it’s only when we have everyone working together – including SMEs – that we can really foster innovation and realise BIM’s benefits.

So how can we achieve this?

Conversely, I believe changing the current state of play will rely heavily on the “big boys” themselves – I think they need to act almost as “BIM ambassadors” to help smaller organisations adopt BIM.

It’s only when we have everyone working together – including SMEs – that we can realise BIM’s benefits

This would mean providing valuable training and mentoring to the supply chain to help them understand the processes required and best practice. For example, at Bam we have been running training sessions and mentoring with our supply chain to enable them to adopt BIM and to help them understand their own roles and responsibilities, while also highlighting the opportunities it can present.

Secondly I think it is vital larger organisations continue to invest the resources available to them in developing BIM exemplars and approaches. These in turn can be fed back into the wider market, to deliver continuous improvement and ensure we provide stakeholders with innovative solutions that meet their aspirations.

So while BIM may be a toy for the big boys at present, if they really want to realise its benefits they are going to have to teach everyone the rules of the game.

Andrew Pryke is Bam’s head of BIM