Implementing BIM to Streamline a Design, Manufacture, and Fitting Workflow: A Case Study on A Fit-Out SME in the UK

Implementing BIM to Streamline a Design, Manufacture, and Fitting Workflow: A Case Study on A Fit-Out SME in the UK

Marina Machado (University of Salford, Salford, UK), Jason Underwood (School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK) and Andrew Fleming (University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJ3DIM.2016070103
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Abstract

This paper presents a case study of BIM implementation for Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA). The project is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Salford and Links FF&E, a design, manufacture and fit-out SME based in the UK. The project aims to implement BIM as a catalyst for a Lean transformation, streamlining process and operations. Initially, organisational process are reviewed, which is followed by implementing appropriate technologies to enable subsequent people and process transformation. The 30 month project is organized in 6 key stages. This paper presents findings from the first four stages that have been completed to date of 1. Establishing best practice knowledge in BIM; 2. Conducting a review and analysis of the organisation's current situation, 3. Developing a BIM-based collaborative strategy, and the fourth, which is currently progressing, 4. Pilot implementation of BIM collaborative strategy for DfMA. The remaining stages will conduct a project evaluation, before finally implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
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1. Introduction

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are predominant in most economy structures. In the United Kingdom (UK) construction industry SMEs represent 90% of the whole industry (Statistics, 2015). To respond to the competitive pressures from low cost international nations, increasing concerns with health and safety, and the sustainability agenda, the UK Government is encouraging innovation for SMEs (Adegoke, Gerard, & Andrew, 2007; Wolstenholme et al., 2009). While the focus tends to be more on product innovation than process innovation, several studies show that the use of business approaches, such as process improvements and knowledge management, can incrementally reduce costs and increase competiveness for SMEs (Hoffman, Parejo, Bessant, & Perren, 1998; McAdam, Moffett, Hazlett, & Shevlin, 2010).

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is one of the promising approaches to improving processes and efficiencies in the construction industry (Eastman, Teicholz, Sacks, & Liston, 2011). In 2011, the UK Government launched its Construction Strategy which mandated that by 2016, all centrally procured projects should be utilising BIM; driven by deriving full value from public sector construction and the failings to exploit the potential for public procurement of construction and infrastructure projects to drive growth.

This paper presents a BIM implementation at Links FF&E, a UK based company that offers the design, manufacture, supply and installation of quality fittings and furnishings for student accommodation. The aim of the project is to ensure that the company has the expertise and capability needed to operate in a BIM environment and to comply with the BIM Level 2 mandate. The project is being delivered through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Salford and Links FF&E. The KTP is a program partly funded by InnovateUK (a UK government-funded initiative) with the objective of supporting businesses that want to incrementally improve their performance and competitiveness with innovative solutions by accessing and transferring the knowledge and expertise of academia. Through the project, Links FF&E expect that the implementation of BIM will streamline their processes and operations thereby facilitating the transformation of the organisation to becoming BIM-enabled through the development of a business wide BIM strategy, and ultimately improving their business performance.

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