3 Time and Money Saving Tools That Will Improve Your BIM Content Management

By Laura McIntyre

As the new year approaches, it’s time to think about how we can improve ourselves personally and professionally to make next year better than the last. If you’re a BIM Manager, stepping up your BIM content management strategy is a must have on your list of New Year’s resolutions. Last week on our webinar, we walked you through three common BIM content management workflows with and without the help of UNIFI. Keep reading to discover what we found and the many ways UNIFI can help you achieve your BIM content management goals and save you time and money in upcoming year.

Reviewing Contents of a Revit Model

Before

If you have non-Revit-savvy team members, they will sometimes use the number of sheets in a model as way for a quick status on the progress of a project. The conventional way is a multistep process which can be time-consuming:

1.Launch Revit 

2.Open the Revit model

3. Navigate to the Sheet Schedule

4. Export the file to CSV

5. Format the file in Excel

6.Send to the appropriate parties

Improve your BIM Content Management

While this process isn’t overly complicated and seems pretty straightforward, it is important to note that as soon as you export anything from BIM, the data has the potential to be outdated.

When it comes to viewing room data in Revit with a typical workflow, you need to export a similar schedule to a text file. Just like the process of reviewing sheets or any model content outside of the native Revit model, you’re running a risk of sharing outdated information by using this method. 

Improve your BIM Content Management

AFTER

The UNIFI Project Analytics feature collects and displays your Revit project data automatically and in real time. Project Analytics can be accessed from a web browser and you can view the content in your model without ever accessing the Revit platform. 

All that’s required to get Project Analytics going is a one time opt-in per model from users in your company. UNIFI Project Analytics will do the rest and gather the data from any user that has UNIFI Core installed and collect data in the background of your project, completely undetectable to the end user. Everytime a Revit user syncs to central, the data is collected. No scripts or scheduled tasks need to be run to collect this data, UNIFI does the work for you. With Project Analytics, the data is always up to date and current so you are never looking at outdated information as you would in the aforementioned workflow without UNIFI.

 

Improve Your BIM content management

The room data that lives within your model can also be viewed instantly without the Revit model being open or any exportation of schedules with UNIFI’s Project Analytics. This is especially useful for your team member who don’t want to open and navigate Revit, but need to be able to review the rooms within the project.

Additionally, Project Analytics gives you insight into revisions, drafting views, and families in real time. In the single, intuitive dashboard, you can see the progress of a project and the details inserted into Revit models. The time and money saving features Project Analytics offers doesn’t end here, and you can learn about all of the awesome features in the video below or click here for more information.

Content Requests

BEFORE

The typical workflow of content requests without UNIFI usually goes something like this: 

Improve your BIM content Management Workflow

A member of your team may send a content request via email, send a message on SLACK or SKYPE, or even make a verbal request by giving you a call or stopping by your desk. While this initial step may work to get the ball rolling, it’s very difficult to track to keep the team up to date on the status on their content request.

Improve your BIM Content Management

A spreadsheet or a task management tool like the one shown above can be a solution to manage content requests. There is nothing technically wrong with this process and it works. However, if you’ve ever attempted to manage content requests within one of these platforms you know first hand managing your content request tasks, is a task within itself. This process also makes it difficult to figure out how previous content came to be. Backtracking the history of where content came from is incredibly time consuming and difficult.

After

The UNIFI Core application has a built in form where content requests can be made, tracked, and collaborated on across team members from start to finish.

The content request form also has optional fields like project name and number that make it easy to keep track of your time spent building the model to bill to a specific project. The UNIFI core tool also gives you the option to specify the library which saves time because once the content has been created on this request, it automatically gets added to the specified library. In other words, UNIFI eliminates the guesswork for the content creator to figure out where to upload the content because it’s added to these libraries automatically upon upload.

Improve Your BIM Content Management

UNIFI’s built in content request workflow helps you keep all relevant information in one place. It has the functionality to attach documents relevant to the request. There is also a discussion section directly on each content request to maintain historical reference of the conversations leading up to decisions revolving around creating this content. Once the content requested is created and complete, you simply mark it as such and it is automatically added to your library in UNIFI.

Unlike in the conventional workflow of content request without UNIFI wherein there is dispute, searching, guessing, and backtracking to understand why a piece of content is the way it is, the request, collaboration, discussion and supporting documents all live in one place with UNIFI which makes things incredibly quick and easy to review and track. 

With the implementation of this tool, there will never be a discussion in your firm again as to why a decision was made or a content piece was created within certain parameters. Instead, the answers to all of these questions is easily accessible right within the UNIFI platform.

Organizing, viewing, and finding Revit families

Before

Prior to loading Revit families into a Revit model, users need to find the content they’re looking for. Without a content management software, this can be time consuming because windows doesn’t have visibility into the BIM data in these families requiring you to navigate through several folders and subfolders to find the content you’re looking for.

Improve Your BIM Content Management

Don’t take our word for it, try this process yourself to see just exactly how complicated and time consuming it is. You will find that using this method to search and find the content you’re looking for has several pitfalls and no intuitive search functionality. As for the windows search function, this only works is if you know the EXACT name of the family you’re looking for. Otherwise, you can plan to be on a time consuming, wild goose chase to find the Revit family you need to add to your model.

After

The search functionality to find the Revit family you need to add to your model will make this process incredibly quick and simple. Unlike in the file/folder system, UNIFI allows the same family to live in multiple libraries. You can also add tags for grouping your content by CSI Codes, custom subcategories, or project names.

Improve your BIM Content Management

This function has the power to find very specific and unique search terms by family type name. For example, an item that is parametric in nature like a queen bed or air handling unit can be found with a single search in UNIFI. Once the family is found, your user can load the family into your project and begin placing it with a single click.

Think about it this way; if you do 20 searches for Revit families per day with the conventional windows file folder method that doesn’t involve UNIFI, you spend about two extra minutes on each search. That’s forty minutes wasted daily, which adds up to over a week a year! These seven plus valuable extra days can be used to complete other tasks when you are using the UNIFI platform. These 173 hours for searching alone per year costs your firm the time of your BIM Specialist at least, funds that could otherwise to used to buy a couple of UNIFI licenses.In other words, the search functionality that UNIFI offers alone means the platform saves enough time and money to pay for itself.

These are just three of the many UNIFI features that will help you step your BIM content management game in the new year. For a deeper look into our products and services, feel free to contact us or start your free trial  today.

 Now that you know just how much time and money you can save on BIM Content Management in 2019 with UNIFI, let us know in the comments below, what are you going to do with all of your extra time and money you’ll save?