Why Small AEC firms MUST stay on top of technology
- on December 07, 2020
- Categories: Civil Infrastructure Articles and Discussions
Size Should Not be a Deterrent to Technology Investment & Advancement
In the context of today’s digital evolution and the subsequent efficiency/productivity benefits that can be derived, the size of an AEC firm—or lack of—should not be a deterrent to adoption and continuous learning.
Whether 1-10 employees or more than 500 employees, every firm needs the tools and educational opportunities to perform tasks in a competitive, timely and profitable manner.
And while most organizations understand the importance of technology, translating that theoretical awareness into practice can be a challenge. Even during the current pandemic, most AEC firms are very busy and finding a few hours to educate, train and advance its employees knowledge is almost impossible.
Another common justification for not moving to new products and platforms is that current customers are not requiring the investment. Project design and collaboration tools such as BIM negate that mindset very quickly. BIM has been trending in the AEC industry for years, though it has taken some time to reach all levels of the AEC continuum. Now many, if not all, projects require some sort of collaboration or BIM, forcing all AEC firms to get on board or get left behind.
The lesson learned from BIM is that no matter the size of the AEC firm, the adoption of and continuous learning about technology solutions is vital to success and should be an integral part of every organization’s short and long term investment plan—and you don’t have to do it alone.
Here’s a few ideas to help drive your firm’s digital technology evolution.
- Partner with an experienced technology consultant that has a suite of opportunities for training and education. Resources should include on-demand classes, individual mentoring and workflow assessments.
- Use a current project as part of a training session. This allows the AEC firm to train its employees without a lot of down time. Most of the time during these types of training scenarios, the trainees leverage the knowledge learned to facilitate other projects as well. Our customers consistently tell us, “That is a great tool, I can’t wait to use it on my other projects” or “That would have saved me so much time on my previous projects”.
- Try project mentoring. Pairing team members with a mentor following training ensures the transition and application of new skills.
When it comes to being efficient and productive in this competitive era, digital technology is a must and the size of your company should not matter.
Take for example the Cloud—many AEC firms are still reluctant to take advantage of the technology. It’s well documented that Autodesk’s Cloud technology enables collaboration between AEC firms by allowing real-time viewing, updating and sharing projects from anywhere at any time. From the office or remote locations a project can be uploaded, downloaded, viewed or marked up, creating seamless collaboration for an AEC team. Is the Cloud part of your digital investment? If not, it should at least be on your radar.
We at U.S. CAD understand that time is money. There is only so much time in a day, but adopting digital technology and associated continuous learning practices will help make those few hours more productive and efficient.