Blog Published: 16/04/2019

Blogger - Daryn Fitz

Life of an Excitech Consultant

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word Consultant as ‘A person who provides expert advice professionally’ (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Today we have consultants in every sector and just about every field of work. For example, once we only met a hairdresser or barber when we needed a haircut, today in some salons we are also introduced to a hair or styling consultant who can provide us with professional advice based on years of experience and current industry knowledge and insight before making a styling choice. At Excitech we can’t advise you on the latest hair style or next colour trend, but we do have a team of Consultants and this blog is a brief overview of the type of specialist work we engage in and a little bit about the lifestyle.

I joined Excitech five and half years ago as a Principal Consultant after over thirty years of working within multi-disciplinary design, main contractor and developer organisations. The first point I would like to make is that many of the Consultants at Excitech also provide a wealth of experience based on long standing careers within the Construction sector, but not only in design and contractor project delivery roles. The Consultancy specialism extends to include IT and Infrastructure, Document Management, Facility Management (FM), Change Management, Software Development and Implementation. The benefit to Excitech customers is that more often than not their projects or requirements are being supported by a multi-faceted team in the background, ensuring best practice is being applied based on an extensive knowledge bank and a combination of skillsets. This also brings benefits to Excitech Consultants as we can explore and develop workflows with internal peer and specialist advice and support. For example, BIM to FM workflows can be developed through every project stage including migration to Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) or Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) with support from design, construction, technology and FM specialists, providing that joined up approach. 

Excitech customers will often be introduced initially to a Principal Consultant who will seek to understand the customer’s needs or challenges and provide recommendations to solve or deliver required outcomes. The second point I would like to make is that no two customers are ever the same. We are all unique as individuals and organisations are the same with their own strengths, weaknesses and often unique culture. As a result, a Principal Consultant will start with a `blank piece of paper` and make no assumptions to ensure tailored recommendations and solutions are proposed. This ethos also extends to technology solutions, for example, a particular Document Management Solution may be perfect for one organisation, but not right for a similar organisation, and this is where the Principal Consultant will provide advice to a customer, not in isolation, but with the support of Technical Consultants. Excitech have a team of Technical Consultants who understand the technologies in micro detail, from design technologies such as Revit, to the latest construction management solutions such as Autodesk’s 360 platform, CAFM solutions like ARCHIBUS, to online training platforms such as Pinnacle Series. These technical experts provide the knowledge and detail required to support the Principal Consultants and validate that the right solution has been proposed. I personally get embarrassed when I am introduced by Customers to their staff as a BIM expert, as I do not believe you can know absolutely everything in areas such as BIM. BIM is far too big a subject, but with the help and network provided by our specialist Technical Consultants, any gaps in knowledge are fully supported to enable that expert delivery.

This leads onto my third point, I strongly believe as a Consultant you must be a proactive learner, open to new ideas and love the industry you support. If we take BIM as an example, this is a big change for the whole industry, from working standards, methods and procedures that are extended by new contractual arrangements, new roles and duties, to rapidly developing technologies, both in functionality and number. For many organisations this is a period of industry disruption, old working methods being challenged and a move to increased digital delivery and often project risks. Excitech Consultants need to maintain their knowledge and skill-sets, and this requires dedication and a will to go that extra mile to ensure the advice provided is industry leading, the work and extra effort that goes into that personal development in such a fast-changing industry cannot and should not be underestimated as it is relentless.                
The life of a Consultant at Excitech is not as simple as the definition at the top of this page sounds, ‘A person who provides expert advice professionally’. The actual work extends to project delivery, providing training and education programmes, auditing projects, acting as Employer’s representatives, evaluating tender returns, public speaking, implementing technology solutions, etc. It is this variety of work that I believe appeals to many Consultants, but on the flip side there is a lot of travelling, living in hotels and no fixed daily routine at work or at home. So if anyone was reading this thinking a Consultancy job is just for them, as long as you do not want a set daily routine, love living in hotels, have an understanding family, or no family, and are very self-motivated every day, then maybe this is the job for you? 

The work we deliver as Consultants for customers is often in the background or under non-disclosure agreements, telling the world all about our successes is often not an option available to us. So when we do get an opportunity to promote our endeavours, we all celebrate. At the end of last year one of our Consultants Steve Rudge, Head of Construction, with our customer Balfour Beatty won the Best Use of IT in a Construction Project at the 2018 Construction Computing Awards. This recognition highlighted the strength of the Excitech Consultancy team and how combined expertise can be leveraged and maximised to deliver award winning outcomes. However the majority of or work remains hidden behind closed doors and often our strategies and consequent implementation becomes business as usual for many of our customers. 

In summary, the life of a Consultant at Excitech is very varied and challenging with a heavy reliance on wider industry experience, it is not a job for everyone but for those that embrace it. Providing tailored solutions and outcomes specifically aligned to customers’ needs is rewarding. Having internal Consultants and Experts that cover a wide range of technologies that support the life of a built asset from concept, design, construction, in-use, to final demolition, including the all-important IT infrastructure, provides unequalled support and knowledge. And finally, more often than not we support customers in the background, this for me was the most significant observation when I joined Excitech as a Principal Consultant. After being a customer for nearly thirty years I knew the Excitech customer base was extensive but not to the level I found. From Central Government Departments and Local Authorities, to Airports, Hospitals, Universities, Banks, Main Contractors, Designers and Manufacturers, Excitech Consultants are there supporting our customers but remain what feels sometimes like one of industries best kept secrets.

What our Consultants say is the best thing about the job

“I like helping people and having access to the latest technology and trends”
Rob Clarke, Consultant

“Being challenged by customers to solve immediate or long-term project or business challenges”  
Daryn Fitz, Principal Consultant

“My job supports companies who want to make transformational improvements to their business, and it’s highly satisfying to drive that process with them.”
Charles Whiteman, DMS Consultant

About the author

  • Daryn Fitz

Daryn Fitz

Principal Consultant

Daryn has worked within the construction sector for over 35 years, providing extensive experience in the management, application and integration of Digital Information Technologies within Design Consultant, Main Contractor, Developer and Employer Organisations. Today, Daryn is predominantly an advisor to Employer Organisations, provides Information Management services directly, leads the Lloyds Register BIM Accreditation scheme on behalf of Excitech, is an Associate Lecturer at Middlesex University supporting its MSc BIM Management programme, guest lecturers at other Universities and is currently researching a PhD in Data Quality within the Construction Sector. As an educator Daryn is known for his pragmatic and impartial approach, building on and reinforcing concepts by using real-world application and examples. 

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