We recently spoke to Dan Hughes from the Bradley Corporation.
Dan is a prominent speaker, consultant, author, blogger, and expert in the world of Revit/BIM. We chatted about how he has helped grow Bradley's brand by leveraging their Revit/BIM presence among the architectural community.
Dan offers advice on ways that the contract furniture industry could learn from MEP manufacturers, when it comes to marketing BIM.
First, I'd like to hear your thoughts on how contract furniture manufacturers could use their knowledge of BIM and Revit symbols to better reach their customers?
Realize that architects, engineers, contractors and facility owners have or
are evolving to use variations of BIM processes.
The BIM process works best when EVERYONE on the project team is using BIM, including vendors and suppliers.
Federal and state projects had many of the first BIM mandates -- which
meant you couldn't use CAD if your organization was chosen.Those public BIM mandates evolved into private BIM mandates, for projects by the larger design and construction firms.
Basically, CAD content would not be accepted if your firm was chosen for
In December 2012, the global construction firm Balfour Beatty was featured
in a construction magazine article.
Balfour Beatty announced that over the next 12 months, they were going to
reduce their vender supply-chain by 1/3 --from 15,000 to 10,000 vendors.
BIM was going to be the qualifier --to determine whether a vendor
organization would remain in the Balfour Beatty supply chain.
I've seen projects that previously allowed Furniture, Fixture & Equipment
(FFE) suppliers provide their content to the project in 2D CAD -- forced
into a BIM mandate on those suppliers.
Deliver your work in a BIM or risk exclusion on the project.
The facility owners can better manage their assets (FM) in a BIM
format...which demonstrates foresight by the contract furniture
manufacturer to partner into the Owner's BIM workflow for their facilities.
Download the 2012 McGraw-Hill SmartMarket Survey| Business Value of BIM
A big concern that I hear from manufacturers is "Revit
may go away" or "Revit is a fad." What are your thoughts on the staying
power of Revit?
Here are a few points that may dispel those concerns:
Software Standard: AutoCAD 1.x (1984) and Revit 4.0 (2002) were the first
Autodesk software versions I used.
Company Standard: Autodesk has been a solid partner to the AECO industry
since the mid-80s. I've been an Autodesk software user for 30 years. For 15
of those years, I sold, trained and supported their software with my
AutoCAD is still here -and Revit is now being packaged as a complete suite
(architecture, MEP, structure) with a strategy of becoming an all inclusive
cloud based application.
Product Positioning: Strategically, Autodesk setup AutoCAD and Revit as 2 separate "platform" products --which means they could evolve and develop
applications around each software's unique strengths and processes.
Just like AutoCAD, Revit now boasts dozens of 3rd party applications to
support its clients' unique applications.
Revit LT (2013 & 2014), similar to AutoCAD LT success addresses the "Entry-level market". Revit LT will undoubtedly increase the training and use of Revit in the market. Autodesk provided an cross-grade option so users can cross-grade to a full license of Revit at a savings.
In my opinion, the Revit LT user will rely more on "pre-built"
manufacturers Revit models to use their less expensive Revit. They want to
access a model and don't require all the high end features of a full Revit
Higher Ed Programs: More than 100 architectural & engineering colleges \ universities have integrated Revit into their curriculum. Technical & junior colleges have done likewise.
Compare the LinkedIn architect, engineer and contractor "Help Wanted" --CAD vs Revit job postings on --- the majority are looking for Revit experience
as the qualifier for the job.
What are some ways that Bradley has used their Revit symbols and BIM experience to grow the Bradley brand?
Our primary focus has been to deliver "everything Bradley" in a digital
format. That would include Revit files, 3-Part-Specifications, CAD files,
Tech Data sheets, Revit material libraries, and tech support via bradleybim.com blog.
So our BIM Initiative is not an island -but its integrated into Bradley's
manufacturing processes; while serving our clients' Revit-BIM workflow
Our Revit library is available on the web in multiple locations and our
Reps provide flash drives to our clients at the local level.
What has been the reaction you've received from Bradley
customers since you've started providing Revit content?
In 2012, we had 3 million Bradley Revit models downloaded --with 4.5
million downloaded so far in 2013.
Our focus has been; create a reliable Revit model around consistent
standards; that a BIM \ VDC Manager could confidently place in their Revit
I travel with our Bradley Reps on client visits and usually have 12-14
association (ASPE, AIA, CSI, AGC) BIM presentations nationally per year.
These face-to-face client meetings, help us validate and adjust our
modeling - data processes to accommodate our clients needs.
Our BradleyBIM.com blog greets 5,500-6,000 unique visitors per month. It
provides our clients a transparent review of Bradley Revit modeling processes; that they can use for their internal Revit modeling processes.
24/7/365 technical support for common customer service calls and to
contact our BIM Team.
Short tutorials they can use personally or as Lunch & Learn material for
Bradley clients are pleasantly surprised when they review Bradley's level
of technical commitment --to serve as a partner in their Revit project
You have a great blog post where you've broken down the
value of having manufacturer supplied Revit symbols for an A+D firm, in cost
Could you explain briefly how you came to this
breakdown in cost savings for A+D firms?
We've outlined Bradley's significant processes for correctly constructing a
Revit family on our Bradley BIM FAQs page.
We've created a 1,000 Revit models and I've trained more than 130
professionals to assume the role of BIM \ VDC Manager within their
We can validate the time + labor costs using the timeline to perform Revit Family Creation tasks, the salary calculations survey that Autodesk User Group International annually posts for a trained BIM \ VDC Manager. An assumption that most BIM\VDC Managers already have pre-built, time-saving templates and standards
From that we can calculate the hourly costs to properly build a Revit
We've had clients share with us; that our cost number is a bit conservative
--their time + labor costs are much higher.
Dan Hughes joined the Bradley BIM Team in March 2010 as a part-time Revit BIM Consultant; to oversee the Revit family creation & quality control processes for the Bradley Revit Family Library. The library currently includes more than 1000 plumbing and specialty equipment Revit families representing tens of thousands of Bradley commercial toilet room products. In May 2012, he joined Bradley Corporation full-time as the BIM Strategist serving Bradley Sales, Engineering, Marketing and Client Care departments.