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Monday, March 30, 2009

Another one of those slow sales days and a few words about Revit

As I get deeper and deeper into BIM, I've discovered many things. One of them is that some of my previous blog posts that compare AutoCAD to Revit, apparently aren't specifically about AutoCAD, but more about process, workflow, design process, coordination and construction. If you forgive me for not singing the praises of AutoCAD, I'll acknowledge that you've done the best you can with the tools you had available to you.

That was then and this is now. I had several conversations today that really make what we've done at CADD Centers really worthwhile. I talked to the BIM Training Manager at a national firm. Depressing because after two years they are completely self sufficient and don't need a reseller for Revit essentials training. We do have some opportunties to work with them on Revit LEED training, but I guess it's reasonable to assume that since they've adopted Revit so easily, they've got a great handle on the product. It is nice to talk to people about these success stories.

I spoke to the Chief Operations Officer of a national architecture firm. Our conversation blew me away because of her depth of knowledge and embracement of Revit. Top management required 50% project adoption of Revit in the first year and I quote her "no whining or complaining" about the switch. I did tell her to visit BIMcycle.com to at least get her a little more information about some of the peripheral products we offer. They're promoting Revit, BIM, LEED and IPD. How can a 2D firm compete with that in a bid?

I spoke to an Assistant County Manager today about a potential project and how BIM and IPD could make a difference for their government projects. Now he wants more information from me so he can have a discussion with a few of their departments. Oops, another educated project owners emerges.

I had a conversation with a national General Contractor BIM Manager. We discussed their writing new bid and subcontractor agreements requiring Revit shop drawings. Now we get into BIM for Contractors. It's totally differenent than BIM for Architecture and this is my favorite part of BIM. We discussed the AIA IPD contract documents and the Consensus Docs. 4D, 5D and 6D for everyone!

I spoke to the BIM Coordinator of a Florida General Contractor who we trained on Revit Architecture and Revit Structure. They're modeling all projects in Revit for owner presentations and clash detection for preconstruction. I sent him some Integrated Project Delivery documents as they now want to share that with owners and have the entire team work with Revit and BIM. He told me how the owner of the firm asks him to rotate the model, show different camera shots and create renderings that they can use for owner presentations. I remember our first lunch together a year ago. He said "Greg, I think Revit and BIM are great, but how are they going to make me money?" Well, the answer is, winning more projects because showing the owner a 3D model of the building gives them the confidence that the GC knows what he's doing. Converting 2D to 3D and finding clash issues shortens the construction schedule.

Lastly, I had the conversation that started my idea for writing this post in the first place. I had the most amazing conversation with the Director of Production for an 80 person engineering firm who's been using Revit since Release 1.0 in 2005. What are the chances of talking to a person like this? 100% if you're a national distributor of Tools4Revit.com with their amazing Truss + program, which we are. Anyway, I don't want to divulge the entire conversation because of what they're doing with Revit Structure, but he did say that they've gained 20 to 30% in productivity with Revit Structure over AutoCAD. He said it was hard for many to learn Revit because the didn't forget their AutoCAD methodologies so easily. He said the happiest person in his company right now with Revit was the Chief Financial Officer. He loves the productivity increases, higher quality of Construction Documents and that they can get 30% more work now without having to hire any additional designers or drafters. They've maintained the same ratio of drafters to engineers and have redeployed, retrained and made changes to their personnel resources that have really worked out nicely for them.

I wonder what Tuesday will bring.....

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