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Saturday, December 3, 2011


ROI = Remain Open Indefinitely

I'm sitting here reading Randy Deutsch's book BIM and Integrated
Design and kept looking at this one paragraph about ROI, which means
return on investment. For the seven years that I was an an Autodesk
reseller, nearly every AutoCAD based architecture firm referred to
AutoCAD as an expense. The fact hat no one remembers hand drafting,
rows and rows of drafters wearing aprons with black soot all over
them, and the countless hours of drawing, erasing, rinsing and
repeating is tellingvofvhownshort our memories are when it comes to
newer technologies becoming commonplace.

At Autodesk University, during the keynote speech, and in every speech
made by Carl Bass, the theme is that the cost of computing is almost
free today. We're not paying for hardware anymore, we're paying for
software, people and ways of connecting and collaborating.

Did you look at your first fax machine as an investment or an expense?
Did it save you courier costs and overnight shipping? Of course it
did. Did FTP and email speed up that electronic delivery process and
quality? Of course it did! Did Dropbox, Box.Net and SugarSync (still
my favorite) sipped up the process and collaboration of your work? Of
course it did.

Are there costs for all of these technologies? Yes. Is the workflow
and process more efficient, and thus cheaper because there's less
labor? Yes. Do you think you'd still be in business if you were
still overnighting hand drawings or floppy discs of DXF files? Would
you still be in business if you still faxed sections of drawings to
the job site?

So, how do you expect to remain open indefinitely (ROI) with your
current 2D software and process, especially when all of your
competitors have already switched to faster delivery methods? It's
just not worth the time or effort to try to convince an architecture
firm to move from AutoCAD to Revit. It's pointless. Don't do it.
Let them become extinct. Let them fail. It's not your problem.
You've got nothing to gain from it. They won't pay for training,
implementation or hardware anyhow and then tell everyone how slow
Revit is and how AutoCAD is faster.

It's a cost of not doing business, but remaining in business that
necessitates the investment in new technologies, methodologies,
workflows and processes. Try to collaborate with a typewriter. It
doesn't work.

I'm at a crossroad here. I have a series of BIM dilemmas that I have
to sort out internally and externally with my new role at an AEC firm
as their BIM Strategist. Do I still plug Revit for Autodesk? Do I
still bad mouth AutoCAD (specifically in its use for design in
architecture and engineering because despite our differences, I still
like Shaan Hurley and we had a little chat Thursday night, so I accept
that there are plenty of uses for AutoCAD in various industries)
because I think drawing lines on a screen to show your intent for the
complexities for today's modern buildings requires more than pretty
colored lines?

I never liked selling software. I've verbalized that on numerous
occasions. Selling Revit was a way for me to help people solve
business problems. The initial sale led to fantastic relationships
and the satisfaction of watching people grow and evolve into something

Investment and profitability or expense and bankruptcy? Remain open
or perish? It's never been about the software no more than buying a
paintbrush doesn't make every person a world famous artist. Just
because you have Revit doesn't mean you are using it to its full
potential (Randy, write a book about that now). People, potential,
proactivity. It's always been about 3P and not 3D, drafting, debt and

Well, that's all for now as I start my new journey. Someone said to
me recently that I'm going down a new path. My immediate response was
that I'm going down the same path, I'm just in a different vehicle.
The journey continues with new places to explore, more people to meet,
more processes to refine and more technology to embrace.

To those who wondered about if my blogging would stop, the answer is
that there is now even much more that I want to say and share with you
and the world. Thank you. Gregory


Anonymous,  August 8, 2012 at 11:44 AM  

I came across your post after googling BIM ROI. I was having a moment of disbelief from continuously trying to explain to executives about the benefits of BIM without being able to correspond a $ value per benefit. Your post helped my spirtits!


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