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News I published 15 June 2023

The growing need for BIM support from installers is a great opportunity for installation brands

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is steadily gaining importance in the overall value chain of the construction sector. It initially started with architects, and over the past decade, we have seen significant growth in the use of BIM among architects, albeit at a slow pace. In the Netherlands, where eight out of ten architects now use BIM, it has become the norm among architects.

Over time, the use of BIM has spread throughout the construction value chain. More and more main contractors, especially larger ones, have adopted BIM. From our ongoing research for the European Electrical Installation Monitor, we know that the adoption of BIM among installation companies has been developing very slowly. However, electrical installers are feeling the pressure to start using BIM, which presents an opportunity for manufacturers of installation products to differentiate themselves.

Installation companies show a growing demand for BIM support

As more construction projects are carried out using BIM, the pressure on installers to use BIM is increasing. However, starting with BIM requires an investment in money, time, and capacity. Therefore, initially, it was mainly the larger installation companies that adopted BIM. Besides having the capacity, these larger companies have more incentives to embrace BIM because it is more commonly used in larger projects.

For medium-sized and small installation companies, BIM is still relatively new in general. However, as projects utilizing BIM become more common, more of these companies feel the pressure to adopt BIM as well. Since BIM knowledge and capacity are often lacking, they could benefit from BIM assistance. This is evident from the growing interest of installers in BIM support from manufacturers.

A great opportunity for manufacturers to support BIM users

Among the 17 potential services offered by manufacturers that we have measured, the interest of installers in BIM support has grown the most over the past two years. This presents a tremendous opportunity for manufacturers to add value and differentiate their brands by assisting these installation companies with BIM projects.

Many manufacturers of electrical installation products have already taken steps in this direction by offering BIM services. However, these services primarily revolve around providing access to BIM objects. Manufacturers provide installers with BIM views of their products, making it easy to integrate them into the BIM model of a specific project. To truly stand out, it could be an option to support installers with more comprehensive BIM services.

Learn from other sectors

As interest among installers grows, manufacturers of installation products can explore more extensive ways to support their customers working with BIM. The question is, what are those ways? Since there are limited examples of comprehensive BIM support in the electrical installation sector, it may be worth looking at other sectors of the construction industry where the use of BIM and BIM support from manufacturers is more common.

A good example is Schüco, a manufacturer of windows, doors, and facade systems. Schüco goes beyond just providing a library of BIM objects by developing and offering their own planning modules and interfaces to their BIM-using customers. Examples like this can help manufacturers of electrical installation products develop their own ways to support electrical installers using BIM and win their loyalty. For more information on sector developments and experiences of electrical installers, we refer you to the European Electrical Installation Monitor by USP Marketing Consultancy.

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