Blog Published: 03/06/2020

Blogger - Daryn Fitz

BIM Consulting - The Power of the Customer

“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” John Russell, President at Harley Davidson.

As a long-standing customer of Excitech of over 20 years, customer engagement was always a key deciding factor to select Excitech as our preferred technology, training, and consultancy partner. Did I ever imagine I would eventually end up working at Excitech as a consultant and enjoy the experience so much? I can confidently say no, but life is often like that.

One thing I never fully realised as a customer was the power and influence I had over the services and support Excitech provided.

At Excitech we recently migrated many of our consultancy services to a virtual delivery, and as part of this process we defined the services we offer. My focus was of course on the BIM Consulting services. During this process it was evident how many had been introduced directly because of, or influenced by, customer requests and conversations. We of course continually monitor industry trends, software development and industry requirements, but I firmly believe customer engagement is equally if not more important.  

As an example, we have introduced BIM Management Consultancy as a new service, where customers can get direct access to subject matter experts to review and provide guidance on any aspect of BIM management that requires improvement or attention. This service was heavily influenced by customers directly who were making increasing numbers of requests for help and confirmation that the procedures they were planning to implement within their organisation or on projects were appropriate. 

The challenge for BIM leads in many organisations is they are often working in isolation and sometimes they are the only ones that have a good understanding of BIM within their workplace. What they often require is that ‘Phone a Friend’ facility to assist and sometimes help build confidence in their own abilities, and that’s where BIM Consulting comes into play. What was important for these services during development was to empower the customer so they have full control and flexibility to select their focus areas, whether it is the development of BIM documentation, current project challenges and concerns, how to complete a PQQ in the best way, aligning to ISO 19650 or developing a BIM strategy. We felt compelled to ensure there were no BIM Management topics that could not be explored.

Personally, I believe these services work best virtually. We have found if conversations move into software specifics rather than management process, we can pause the session and reconvene with an application specialist. We can source reference material from our knowledge banks and pass these directly to customers within the session to continue conversations. We can also split sessions to allow multiple consultants with specific industry experience to support a customer who may have different design disciplines such as MEP and Civils or is working in a specialist sector such as aviation. This flexibility was often difficult to provide so easily or in such a cost-effective way via full day on-site engagements, and the convenience that conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams and equivalents provide continue to challenge and change the way we all work. It seems our industry has rapidly moved from ‘that frustrating technology’ mindset to ‘I am completely reliant on Teams, BIM 360, Virtual Meetings, etc.` it is of course unfortunate that a global crisis was the catalyst that drove such a rapid and significant cultural change.   

I started this blog with the title `The Power of the Customer` I want to end by asking you to continue to influence the services and support we provide to you. Every time you attend one of our training courses, a BIM Workshop, or any other engagement, we ask you to complete a feedback form. It is part of our quality assurance and improvement process and does influence how we provide future support to you. So please ensure you provide us with your feedback.

If there are any services you think we should consider or want us to provide, let your Excitech Account Manager know or get in contact directly with your suggestions. It may be a service we already provide, or you could be that customer who directly shapes the way we provide future support to the industry.

Explore our current range of BIM Consulting services HERE.

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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