Meet Our Leadership Team

Have you ever wondered who the people are in the pictures we’re posting on social media from quarterly leadership summits?

Look no further! It’s our present, knowledgeable, and reachable leadership team that wants to make a difference in the AECO industry by building a better now, and enabling a better future. They work daily to make UNIFI Labs the best platform possible and ensure every customer feels appreciated, heard, and journeyed with. What’s more, the leadership team does their best to make sure that every one of team UNIFI’s employees feels acknowledged and is on the right path to success towards their personal goals in addition to UNIFI’s broader business goals.

Elena Poot, one of UNIFI’s most tenured employees, says it perfectly, “The leadership team works here just like I do. We have different jobs, but we all work towards the same goals. First, they request our input and then acknowledge and act on it. I’ve worked at companies where the bosses hold themselves apart from the workers. At UNIFI, I feel like we’re all working together, rather than leadership giving orders and the rest of us just doing what we’re told.”

The leadership team at UNIFI consists of seven people, all leading their own departments, including the C Suite, Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Product, and Engineering. The department leaders are Dwayne Miller, Virginia Senf, Dan Reid, Chris Porter, Laura Higley, Michelle Porter, and Tucker Cowie. Each leader uses their experience, dedication, and passion for UNIFI to make their department top tier. As you can see below, we go over each leadership team member in detail.

Dwayne Miller is the co-founder and CEO of UNIFI Labs, and as a former designer in the industry, he fully understands the problems of BIM content management. With his vision, passion, and confidence, he inspires the UNIFI team to keep working as hard as possible to “enable a better future by building a better now.”

Virginia Senf has been UNIFI’s essential leader and contributor for over five years. Her relentless drive and pursuit of going out of her way to make UNIFI good and the best has naturally progressed her to become our Chief Operations Officer (COO). As COO, Virginia oversees revenue operations and leads UNIFI’s Sales, Customer Success, and Marketing teams to ensure that UNIFI delivers on its commitment to journeying with its customers. With over ten years of experience, Virginia continues to grow and positively impact all areas of the business to benefit the entire organization.

Dan Reid is UNIFI’s technology guru, knowing everything possible about the technology needed to make UNIFI’s BIM content management the industry’s leading platform that it is. His role as Chief Technology Officer keeps him busy 24/7 as he oversees all the technology and development efforts around our products. In addition, Dan is dedicated to ensuring that UNIFI has top-notch security and is the most technologically advanced platform, making him the perfect fit for his role.

Chris Porter, also known as CP3, kills it in our sales department with his unique mix of confidence, reliability, deep integrity, and love of getting the party started at UNIFI. Being the Vice President of Growth, Chris leads the sales organization at UNIFI and is responsible for working with their customers to understand how UNIFI is the best for journeying with their organizations as they advance their content management adoption.

Laura Higley is a Master of Marketing with her communication skills, creativity, and a sharp eye for detail. As Vice President of Marketing, she ensures the content and campaigns from the marketing department are on point and ready for the sales team to use to obtain new customers. With her passion for marketing and keeping up with the latest industry trends, Laura is a true expert in her position.

Tucker Cowie is a product design genius having over ten years of experience to back him up. Tucker is the Vice President of Product Design, leading the department and its efforts to create a user-friendly platform with a top-tier design. UNIFI is glad to have a product designer like Tucker, who can make anything look ten times better once he and his team finish with it.

Michelle Porter is our VP of Customer Success and Sales Operations. She is an absolute superstar in the role, handling it with ease and precision. The role consists of being accountable for leading the charge of expanding our footprint within our customer base and maximizing revenue and profitability for UNIFI.

UNIFI’s dedicated leadership team is always hard at work, being primarily focused on their customers, and their experiences with UNIFI has driven nothing but positive results. As Virginia Senf, COO, states, “Our leadership team is the most customer-focused one I’ve been a part of, and I see the impact that has on our strategic decisions. Each executive makes time to engage with customers directly every week, ensuring that our customers aren’t an abstraction to us; instead, they’re at the heart of everything we do.” With the customer always on the leadership team’s minds, UNIFI has become “better” every year. They have gone above and beyond their sales goals and have become the 2nd most downloaded app in the Autodesk store.

Are you interested in learning more about UNIFI’s customer-centric leadership team and the industry’s most technologically advanced BIM content management platform? Go to Contact – UNIFI (unifilabs.com) to contact us today.

How to Use Container Files Like a Pro 

 

BIM managers never want finding content to feel like playing 52-card pickup. They don’t want content scattered with everyone wondering if they are using what they are supposed to be using for a particular project. Instead, they want content to be organized and easy for team members to access.  

One method for organizing content is by using container files. These container files allow firms to store system families that Revit doesn’t allow you to save as individual files (for example, fill patterns, drafting views, schedules, system types, etc.).   

In this article, we will explore some of the benefits and drawbacks of using container files and will share our BIM experts’ recommendations for efficient content management. 

What is a Container File? 

A container file works as a centralized location for your team to store system families (you may have also heard of it referred to as a “warehouse file” or a “source file”).   

These container files are different from a template file. You might utilize a template file for a new project, but you can think of a container file as a file that’s holding content that you would use for a specific type of project. For example, a container file for Schools could hold school-specific content such as walls, ceilings, stairs, etc. 

Some items that work well in container files include: 

• System types 

•Drafting views  

•Schedules 

•Materials 

•Fill patterns 

By storing this content in a container file, you can ensure that users are always using the most updated content associated with that project type. 

One Time-Consuming Drawback of Container Files…And A Solution 

One of the drawbacks of using a container file is that you must constantly open each container file to see which system families are available. 

But we recommend a more efficient method for using container files. 

You can use UNIFI’s content management platform to export the items from your Revit container file and import them into UNIFI where it is easier for team members to find and insert into their projects. An easy-to-access button will appear in Revit (for UNIFI users) that lets them export content in minutes.

Exporting these container file contents to UNIFI also helps you to manage changes across types quickly and efficiently.  You can easily track edits that are made in the Notes section, thus giving your team a clear history of what changes have been made.

How Exporting a Container File to UNIFI Makes Content Easier to Find

Another drawback of using a container file is that content may not be as easy for team members to find.

But if you export your container file content to UNIFI, you could create saved searches that allow your team members to find what they are looking for in seconds.

To sum it all up, container files save time by allowing you to store system families in one centralized, searchable location. Exporting container files to UNIFI’s content management platform makes it easy for your team to access that content in seconds. Want to learn more about how to streamline your BIM management process using UNIFI? Click here to get started and book your live demo today. 

How To Get Upper Management To Buy In On Your BIM Events

How To Get Upper Management To Buy In On Your BIM Events

As our previous event blog stated, in-person events are back and better than ever! The value you gain attending an event if you are a BIM Manager or Designer is endless. From the knowledge you gain to the face-to-face action you get with clients, vendors, and even the competition, you cannot go wrong with attending BIM events or conferences. But with the fun of events comes the tedious planning before you attend the event, more explicitly creating a budget for it and getting the approval to take time off for it.   

To go along with the theme of events from last week’s blog, we will cover what is essential in event budgeting, how to create your budget, and how to get your boss’s approval of the budget and time off needed to attend it. Even though planning a budget for you to attend a BIM event as a BIM Manager or Designer is not a fun aspect of event planning, it is easily one of its most critical parts. It would be best if you had a thorough understanding of where every dollar spent is going and make sure you add in the potential of overspending. Even after creating the budget, tracking where every penny is going is crucial to your ROI from the event and managing the total cost. But even more important is getting your boss’s approval to attend the event and approve your budget.    

There are a lot of essential aspects that go into creating a successful BIM event attendance budget. Some of the logistics you must look at when making your budget include:  

•Your company’s size 

• Event attendance goal 

•Scope of the event  

•Location 

• Looking at previously attended events and their success and funding 

From there, you can continue doing your research and create a well-thought-out budget.    

Once you have established the price range of your budget, you can go on to the next step, officially creating it. The first step is using an excel sheet or event planning software and making an organized event budget template. You can even use the template we created, if you fill out the form below. Then, you start filling it out with a list of needs for your event. On average, these are the items that you need to research when making your budget: travel, hotel costs, food, labor, marketing, and swag. When you are going through this list and researching the pricing, make sure you are finding options that are good quality but, at the same time, not too pricey. An excellent way to get the best price is always to call and see if they have any promotions or specials. Finally, after conducting all your research on pricing, you add the top candidates for each item on the excel sheet and ensure to include any information or links you have for each one.    

After completing the budget, you go on to the next challenge: creating a list of reasons why you should attend. Especially as a BIM Manager or Designer, you are extremely busy, making it hard for upper management to approve the time off needed to attend an event. But what you gain from attending events is crucial to growing within your role and the company. The top reasons you should attend an event are networking, building brand awareness for your firm, learning about new industry trends, and helping motivate you to become a better Designer or BIM Manager.    

Now that you have found all the information needed for your budget and come up with a list of reasons why you must attend, you go on to the scary part… getting approval from upper management. Even though it is frightening to go up to your boss and ask for a large sum of money and time off from your day-to-day tasks, at the end of the day, if you have been thorough with your research and know what is necessary and not necessary for your event as well as understanding why you must attend, it should be easy. Here are a couple of tips when going over the budget:   

– You let them know why each item is vital to the event.   

– You have multiple options with different prices for them to look over, as they may find some things more important and splurge on them. Then you need to EMPHASIZE why this BIM event is essential to attend and have a booth at and how it will bring value to your organization.   

– Anticipate that questions will be asked, and make sure that you are knowledgeable about your budget and can answer any questions that come your way.   

– When you are organized and proactive and set concrete goals for your BIM event attendance budget, it will be significantly easier to approve your funding.    

It may seem like a lot of work to carry out a budget plan, create a list of why you need to attend, and get upper management’s approval. But it will be easier if you take your time making it and have confidence. And once it is approved, do not drop the ball; continue your hard work until the event has finished!    

Would you like to stay involved with team UNIFI and even get the chance to meet us at upcoming events! Here are the subsequent two events that UNIFI will be attending. First, we will be at Autodesk University in New Orleans, LA, from September 27th-29th to learn from the best in the business, with thought leaders and innovators in each industry sharing experience, insight, and vision. Then the BIM Coordinators Summit in Ireland on September 8th to see UNIFI’s Virginia Senf speak on “How to increase your influence and technology budget by talking to management in their language.”

Need help budgeting your events? Access our budget template by filling out the form below! Better yet, are you interested in UNIFI? Follow the link to start your free trial! Get Started with UNIFI – UNIFI (unifilabs.com) 

Breaking Bad…BIM Habits Webinar Recap

Breaking Bad…BIM Habits Webinar Recap

UNIFI Labs is the industry leader not only for their BIM content management platform but for the number of attendees they get for each webinar they host.   

The most recent webinar on July 26th covered bad BIM habits and how they can affect your team’s efficiency, velocity, and collaboration. UNIFI had chosen this topic because many designers do not realize they have these BIM problems within their organization. Therefore, it is best to solve them immediately or before they occur.   

They had UNIFI’s own Karen Pierce, and Adam Simmons create a presentation going over the top 6 bad BIM habits, then discussed the solutions for these problems.  

The top bad BIM habits the audience learned about were:  

Treating Revit Like AutoCad – Revit is a brilliant program; it is data rich and can schedule almost everything. With that in mind, many people will still insist on writing the information manually, tagging things with a text note, etc., which creates extra work that does not need to be completed. The solution to the problem is to take full advantage of BIM. Make sure you use Revit’s tools rather than writing the data manually.  

Improper Modeling Techniques In Place Families – In-place families are executed within the project and can reference the existing elements. They are generally used to represent elements unique to a specific project. That being said, many still find it challenging to decide when to use an in-place family.  

 You should avoid using an In-Place Family if:   

 -You use it more than once (even if it is just twice)   

 -You can reuse it with a few parameters   

 -You need to schedule something more than “1 unit.”  

 If the list above does not apply, do not be afraid to make the extra click and make it into a family. You should directly model in context to the model and create system category content with modeling tools while creating your family.   

View Specific Element Overrides – Applying overrides by element should be used only sparingly and as a last resource. When changing the appearance of elements, it should only be when all other options are not available or not worth the time to set up. To avoid this bad BIM habit, make sure you take the time to know how to edit visibility and ALWAYS use temporary hide, not permanent.  

 Not Using View Templates – This biggest issue we see with Revit users, even though they use view templates, is that they change the settings of a template defined by the BIM coordinator. Did you know that the setting change is effective on the view you are working with and on all the views to which this template is assigned? If you forget to restore the changed settings, all views assigned to this template will be modified according to your changes without being approved by the BIM Manager. A way to solve this problem is always to use a temporary view template.  

Duplicating Family Types And Not Naming Properly – Everyone has all seen the term “Naming Convention” used in relation to BIM, and everyone has also all seen people talking about what one is, but when it comes down to the “Why,” it goes relatively quiet. And the “why” is something that gets asked a lot. Not naming family types or families properly leads to the user’s inability to find the content and not understanding it. You must follow project standards, differentiators, and descriptions to ensure you do not have this bad BIM habit.  

Not Paying Attention To Model Or Content Health – The two main issues with not paying attention to model health or content health are the issues that come with CAD links and imports and issues ignoring Revit warnings. Warnings protect the integrity of the model and your data. Not all warnings affect performance; less serious ones are only there to inform the user. When confronted with thousands of warnings in a file, you need a timely resolution strategy. This is why UNIFI’s project analytics is the perfect solution; it gives you the necessary visibility to detect and correct model issues before they cause significant problems.  

To learn why these bad BIM habits are the worst and to go into more detail about them, you must access the recording of the “Breaking Bad…BIM Habits” webinar in the form below. UNIFI Labs hopes you enjoy the webinar and pat yourself on the back for getting ahead of bad BIM habits; you’re one step closer to making your organization the best you can be. The next step would be implementing UNIFI Labs, the industry-leading content management platform that can save each of your designers an hour a day and save your firm thousands of dollars annually. Start your free trial today at Get Started with UNIFI – UNIFI (unifilabs.com).