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The fifth of our series of nine BIM roundtable events was held on Tuesday 5th March and saw a group of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the construction sector discuss the advantages of being small when delivering BIM, along with some of the challenges.

The conversation covered many aspects of the participant’s BIM capability, including how it could make them more productive and de-risk their delivery. They stated that they felt more agile and able to deploy BIM throughout their organisations, rather than a thin ‘veneer’ they said they experienced when working with larger organisations. SMEs also felt they were well positioned to support delivery of increased diversity in the workplace, given their flexibility and ability to provide new opportunities and ways of working digitally, which they felt helped to attract new potential starters and offered attractive employment prospects, as demonstrated by their high employee retention rates. 

One of the challenges discussed was the cost and complexity of post-purchase modifications to ensure project and ISO 19650 compliance of Common Data Environment (CDE) software. Whilst the roundtable participants felt capable of delivering BIM, others, especially clients, were not in a position to receive outputs or support the process; as a result, they have developed a pragmatic more inward-looking approach to digital deployment. Meanwhile, they would not only welcome improvements in client maturity, but also changes in procurement that resulted in a more SME friendly approach, with complete design teams being formed earlier in the project, working together on collaborative digital designs that could be agreed early, so that all parties benefited. It was also felt that it would help if the benefits of BIM delivery were evidenced more widely, with members of the group being willing to support ongoing case-study production.

For the full write up from this event visit the BIM Plus article.

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