4Projects

You’ve heard the buzz, but are you in the know? Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been discussed, analyzed and debated in the construction industry for years now. The analysis and discussion are turning into action and the adoption of BIM is growing. First architects and engineers, and now increasingly contractors, are adopting BIM to reduce risk and increase margins. There are signs that owners are also realizing benefits from BIM and that operations and maintenance, which are responsible for about 80 percent of a building’s lifetime cost, may be the part of the lifecycle of a building where BIM provides the largest benefits.

As you know during the construction process there are a series of complicated processes that involve considerable input from multiple parties. If there isn’t a standard process or tool that can be used by everyone, workflow cycle times increase, significant re-work may be necessary and project costs can escalate. Common issues all contractors may face any given day include, “Am I working from the latest model?”, “No one told me I was supposed to fix that,” “I can’t send it by email, the file is too big” or “my computer can’t open that file format.”

Clearly, the successful completion of construction projects relies on clear communication and having everyone bring the necessary project data together quickly and accurately. To do that tools are needed to foster and support multiple channels of communication, open collaboration, and provide easy access to a platform that makes data available to the right people, at the right time.

Viewpoint continues to be at the forefront of offering technologies that provide increased value and the tools contractors need to remain competitive. And we recognize the power of BIM and that is why we now offer BIM Manager to the North American market. BIM Manager helps address the questions and concerns listed above, by offering a collaborative environment and a single place where everyone can access the data they need without significant training or specialized software. To learn more about how BIM can help your organization, please click here.

IFC models can be federated, explored and collaborated around in the BIM Manager web viewer.  The model remains segregated so that each object can be traced back to its origin. IFC models can be federated, explored and collaborated around in the BIM Manager web viewer. The model remains segregated so that each object can be traced back to its origin.

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Viewpoint booth at World of Concrete, 2014I was recently reading the 2014 Market Survey completed by FMI Corporation and while a lot of the survey confirmed most of what we already knew, aging population is driving healthcare cost and in 2014 we will see a rise in the economy with cautious optimism, it also emphasized the need for contractors to strategize more than ever on how they can build a competitive edge. That is more than just looking at how to win bids, but rather how the business is going to drive profitability with each project, often by looking at organic growth through joint ventures, P3s and acquisitions.

With many of the industry’s largest tradeshow events like World of Concrete and ConExpo, taking place during the first part of the year, these events become a mecca for new products and technologies built specifically to help contractors stay competitive and increase profits among other initiatives. In fact, many of the exhibiting organizations use these events to launch new products and services for contractors. We were no different, as we launched our BIM Manager App for the Viewpoint For Project Collaboration solution at World of Concrete this past week. It was exciting to discover that this exceptional collaboration product was of great interest to most of the contractors that visited our booth.

World of Concrete 2014I was fortunate to attend World of Concrete despite the speculation going into this year’s event , that it would be sparsely attended compared to years past due to the fact that ConExpo, an event that only occurs every three years, is approaching in March and contractors may choose to attend that event instead. To add to the possible attendance woes, the eastern part of the country was experiencing a snow storm impeding travel all over the country. Speculations were valid, but glad to see that this ended up not being the case! After all, who wouldn’t want to get away from the cold weather and head to sunny and somewhat warm Vegas for the week! One area of the world that really seems to get the concept of organic growth through P3 partnership is Canada and we were excited to see so many of our Canadian contractors at the show. The major trend that we saw is that contractors are really looking at best of breed technology that can solve their specific needs, while having the ability to integrate to other best of breed technology already in place. World of Concrete 2014This means looking at standalone applications like Enterprise Content Management, Mobile Field Applications and Project Collaboration. As contractors look at their business and determine their initiatives for the year, they begin to evaluate whether core technology, such as accounting, will get them where they ultimately want to go. A lot of the contractors that I had the opportunity to speak with were less concerned about today, but rather more concerned about tomorrow and how their systems are going to be able to handle serving their long term needs. I’m noticing that as more contractors heed the advice of organizations like FMI and strive to stay competitive through joint ventures and partnerships, technologies like project collaboration become even more important.

Overall, it was a great show and exemplifies that 2014 will be a year where contractors will be working smarter to gain profitability.
Learn more on how Viewpoint can help at www.viewpointcs.com/solutions.

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I’d like to begin by wishing you a successful New Year. As we recover from the cold snap across much of the U.S., I see the hot trend with contractors is to continue to leverage technology to gain even greater productivity on jobs and improve their bottom line.

An article in ENR caught my attention in December that took a high level inventory of the technology landscape in our industry. We now have 4G networks to ferry project data around a jobsite, the advance of cloud computing networks to store and process data in the field, and the ubiquity of smarter mobile devices on jobsites. Another trend is having web-friendly project collaboration software that allows project stakeholders to better manage project documents between stakeholders.

As we look to the future – which is today – I’m pleased to share with you we will be featuring Viewpoint For Project Collaboration with BIM (Building Information Management) capabilities at World of Concrete this month. This new solution provides project and BIM collaboration tools, including an easy to use browser-based viewer for 3D BIM models, BIM Manager. BIM Manager’s browser functionality allows any project team member to review and interact with 3D BIM models, ensuring they can access and view current project specifications without the need for significant training or expensive and complicated authoring software.

BIM Manager with 3D BIM Models.

In essence, it provides a single source of information to the project team. And that keeps everyone in the loop at all times – avoiding miscommunication, minimum mistakes and provides a seamless working environment that really works.

We are also planning this year numerous updates in Viewpoint V6 Software, Mobile Field Manager and Construction Imaging that further improves the user experience and provides greater capabilities to increase automation.

Finally, we continually reach out to you to learn how we can better enable you to be successful. One of the many ways we do that is at our User Conference that is held in Portland, OR each fall. I know not everyone is able to attend, however, I thought I’d share a video clip with customers who reflected on what it means to them to partner with us.

Once again, we appreciate serving you and being your partner to enhance current and bring you new products to help improve your bottom line – today.

https://vimeo.com/user8102596/review/79725657/31b731b6b6

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Here at Viewpoint Construction Software we love collaboration. It’s what we do after all. Our Viewpoint For Project Collaboration product for North America and the 4Projects product used around the world, bring together numerous members of a project team, (which when you total up all users of the system can run into the thousands) and gives them one version of the truth at any given time, regardless of amendments or changes to plans. It gives them a truly collaborative environment in which to work where any user can be fully up to speed on what is happening now without having to filter through past emails, drawings or, heaven forbid, paper based documents that may or may not be the most up to date reference.

On this theme of collaboration, and bringing it into a wider context, what does collaboration really mean? And why is it so important to our working environment?

The well-known “No man is an island” quote from ‘Devotions’ by John Donne rings true here. We all rely on each other for mutual benefit and success and those that deal in isolation will be a weaker unit than one that is made up of many parts, with combined knowledge and expertise.

There are some examples in business of great collaborations, some that even changed the way we live today. Think Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.  Would Apple have become the success it is today without the input and collaboration of both of these figures? We’ll never know but all the evidence suggests it required the perfect blend of Wozniak’s technical skill with Jobs’ marketing genius to make it work initially.

We’ve probably all seen examples of the blockers that exist to collaboration too. And these blockers are usually the result of human nature. How many times have you created work that, just when you have finished it, a colleague informs you that he had a template or existing information that would have saved you half the time it took to complete? Thanks for sharing pal! People are instinctively protective of ‘their reports’, ‘their data’, ‘their area of work’ which suggests that collaboration is not a natural trait in us humans. However if we are to truly succeed in our objectives and produce the best work and outcomes it needs to become second nature.

For me, collaboration essentially means sharing. An informed project team armed with accurate knowledge and detail will surely encounter minimal problems compared to the individuals working in silos who, only when they finally do come together, realize they have been working on incorrect information, duplicating work and generally contributing to a highly inefficient team. If you recognize these traits in your workplace then maybe it’s time to embrace collaborative working amongst your teams and make it the norm. Be your organization’s ‘Collaboration Champion’!

The inspiration for this blog came partly from the preparations for the upcoming Viewpoint User Conference. This in itself is a fantastic example of collaboration in every way with knowledge sharing, networking and communication being key themes of the event and it will be great to see this in practice. I look forward to hopefully meeting some of you there and engaging in what will be an informative and highly collaborative few days!/p>

Adam Page is a Marketing Programmes Manager for 4Projects, a Viewpoint Construction Software company.  Based in the UK he has over 10 years’ experience in a variety of marketing roles in both B2C and B2B environments. His current role sees him responsible for marketing 4Projects in the EMEA regions.

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4Projects hosted events for both customers and partners this week at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Attendees experienced interactive and educational sessions on 4Projects including current and future plans for product development, construction market trends and collaborative solution requirements.

4Projects Customer and Partner Summits, Durham, England

Top contractors from the UK were in attendance along with many other clients and consultants. We had a great showing from our partner community, including many coming from as far away as Holland, the Czech Republic, Romania, South Africa and Australia! Our special guest partner Renata Kricnerova with Callida, came to share recent successes and best practices.

4Projects Customer and Partner Summits, Durham, England

The 4Projects team appreciates all the attendees who spent their valuable time to come and we are already looking forward to next year’s events!

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