Legrand: A Manufacturer Translates BIM into a Competitive Advantage

ven amidst the expansion of its electric and IT businesses – Legrand heard the buzz about BIM.  As a world leader in electrical wiring solutions, Legrand knew that its customers across the building industry were moving towards 3D models.  Legrand recognized that they would need more than just the traditional resources that provided product visibility for customers in today’s connected world.

Legrand needed a BIM offering to help its customers make informed product decisions, yet they weren’t ready to invest in developing the internal expertise necessary to create BIM renderings and content creation.  At first, they turned to an outside vendor who created models for other manufacturers, but Legrand experienced a myriad of issues including missed deadlines, improperly sized models and even worse, models that could not meet MEP performance compliance or Autodesk Seek quality standards.  The vendor took a cookie cutter approach to BIM creation without truly understanding Legrand’s products and customers’ needs. Legrand needed to look elsewhere and was introduced to UNIFI and its BIM content creation team.

From the initial visit with UNIFI, things were different.  “UNIFI took the time to learn about our diverse families of products to understand how customers used these products,” says Will Ayers, Specification Marketing Manager for Legrand.  “Then, they leveraged their knowledge of building design and Revit tools to effectively integrate manufacturer content that would better align with user needs.”  The result – UNIFI designed high quality BIM content that actually fits the needs of the customers, not only during the design and constructions phases of the building, but had value throughout the entire lifecycle of the building.  This new content also included custom programming that provided improvements designed to enhance model usability and save time for users. They also developed a standards schema to insure that there would model performance consistency across six Legrand business units and all their diverse product lines.

Today, Legrand uses its BIM assets as a competitive advantage and a way to forge tighter relationships with its customers. On a regular basis, Legrand hosts events to introduce their BIM content and provide training on the use their BIM content.  “Customers are blown away by what they see,” says Will Ayers, Specification Marketing Manager for Legrand.  “Our models not only fit the customer’s needs, they help us to create long lasting relationships across our diverse brands.”  By using BIM effectively, Legrand ensures that its products “fit” the model from the get go, which helps ensure that its products get specified when construction begins.