“From vendors to partners” - BIM from a building product manufacturer’s perspective
Scott Staedter is the Director of Global Projects at Hufcor, a company that designs, manufactures and sells moveable wall systems for public and commercial spaces. Having been in the industry for 26 years, he observes that with BIM, the role of building product manufacturers is changing.
Transfer of knowledge through BIM
Being in charge of large, international projects where he collaborates with developers, contractors and governments, Scott Staedter is noticing an important change in the way the market functions. He says the rapid digitalisation of the industry means that the role of building product manufacturers is changing, creating new business opportunities and stronger relations between suppliers and clients.
“Building components are growing increasingly complex and intelligent. This means that the expertise of manufacturers is becoming more important for designers and architects, at an early stage in the design process.”
Before, a manufacturer was typically contacted rather late in the process, when drawings and plans were already fix. Today, since they can provide valuable data on everything from environmental standards to energy requirements through BIM, manufacturers are included in the process at a much earlier stage.
“As soon as we realised the immense benefits and added value we can offer architects through BIM, we started digitalising our product catalogue”, says Scott.
“We become partners instead of vendors”
Before taking on his current role as Director of Global Projects, Scott Staedter was the Director of Global Marketing at Hufcor. That was where he first started to realise the full potential of BIM for building product manufacturers.
“This new, digital landscape has altered our role in a very positive way. Today, our clients see us as a reliable partner that they turn to for advice and inspiration, rather than just another product pusher. From a sales perspective, this is invaluable.”
For Hufcor, their presence with digital objects in the BIMobject Cloud has led to dramatic increases in lead generation and sales.
“We’re getting ridiculous amounts of views and downloads from all over the world. Our content is highly coveted by architects since it helps them in their day-to-day work. And once our objects are inserted in a BIM model, they are rarely replaced or removed.”
BIM and facility management
Scott notes that contractors, owners and governments are only just beginning to realise the full potential of BIM, and its value through the whole lifecycle of a building.
“Typically, my work consists in coordinating a global team, from the ideation stage through negotiations and all the way to the completion of a project. But the benefits of BIM do not end when a building is finished.”
Once a building is complete, the operational stage sets in. This is an important phase not only for facility managers, but for manufacturers as well. BIM allows them to maintain communication and sharing of information with clients, even years after the building is finished and put in to use.
“With BIM, it becomes so much easier to manage a facility. BIM provides us with a living model that shows how every little detail needs to be maintained, driving facility management in a much more cost-efficient direction.”