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Friday, July 12, 2013

Personal BIM Job Update and Progress Report

I've been trying to sit down and write this post for the last 8 weeks and I finally have a minute to give you an update.  I needed a job a little closer to home so I decided to go back to work for a company I worked at in 1990 and 1995.  

The company is called Pro Sound and Video and we're the second largest Audio, Video  systems integrator in the US.  There are 100 employees in 5 offices from Florida to California and we have jobs all over the country.



Harnessing the power of electronic technology for the purpose of creating quality audio/video experiences has always taken a specialized skill and understanding. When we founded our company in 1975, many technologies were in their infancy… some still had yet to be invented. Even in those early days, Pro Sound and Video was known for its unparalleled expertise, creative thinking, and tireless energy for getting the job done right.
That reputation stands today, with a proven track record of project excellence in coordinating entire shows of light, sound, entrances, transitions, exits, integrated control systems, broadcast, TV, and newly emerging performance technology. 
At Pro Sound, we provide customized solutions - from design and procurement, to installation and service- all tailored to meet the exact needs of our clients. Our team goes beyond the basics in each of our service categories to provide leading-edge solutions that exceed expectations and stand the test of time. When a vision becomes a reality it is not by chance, there is a successful team of people behind it. So take a look at what we do and who we are. We look forward to making your project a success story as well.
Some of the projects include, 
Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles)
Disney's Animal Kingdom (WDW, FL)
Bellagio Spa Tower (Las Vegas, NV)
Wynn Resort and Casino (Las Vegas, NV)
Le Cirque du Soleil Zummanity (Las Vegas, NV),  
Splash Mountain at Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) , 
King Kong 360 at Universal Studios(Universal City, CA) 
Caesars Palace (Las Vegas)
Disney’s Dolphin Hotel & Convention Center
Miami International Airport
Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport
Orlando International Airport 
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
Splash Mountain at Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) 
American Airlines Arena Miami, FL (Miami Heat)
Dodger Stadium Los Angeles, CA (LA Dodgers)
Amway Center Orlando, FL (Orlando Magic)
AT&T Center San Antonia, TX (San Antonio Spurs)

 Philips Arena Atlanta, GA (Atlanta Hawks)
American Automobile Association Headquarters
 Burger King Headquarters
Sahara Hotel Convention Center (Las Vegas)
Buzz Lightyear at Magic Kingdom (WDW, FL)

This is just a small list of some really cool projects our company works on.  There's so much technology here and really cool toys and software.  I've spent the last two months getting educated about all of the different departments and divisions and figuring out the workflow and process between everyone and where the hiccups are in the system.

One of the biggest things I've been doing is coming up with a system that information gets typed in only once.  I've discovered that from the time we estimate a project through delivery and facility management turnover, the same bits of information can be typed or written 10 times.  In order to solve this little problem of wasted productivity, I've implemented Google Docs as the easiest and cheapest solution in the world to manage our projects.  So far, I've estimated that I've saved the company about $104,000. How?  Easy.  Just to use round numbers, if you take 100 people X 2080 hours/year at $50k/salary/person and divided all that up, each minute of productivity is worth $10,416 for the whole company (40 cents/person/minute).  I figure I've saved each person 10 minutes a day and that really adds up.  It also equates to having 2 extra people in the company.  10 minutes X 100 people X 260 days is 4333 hours cumulatively.

In the process of taking estimates and making them Google Spreadsheets, I've turned our whole process into one of collaboration, coordination, communication and COBIEification. All I had to do was add some columns to the estimate and allow everyone to view and edit information about the various components of the projects.  Instead of everyone retyping information, they can do a quick filtering of what they need and add things like Purchase Order number, Sheet Number, Serial Number and Warranty Expiration Date.  I'm amazed at how simple it was to do.  Of course, I added some really fancy formulas which I invented when I spoke at the BSA COBie conference in January, but it's all from things I've picked up playing with spreadsheets over the last 31 years.

My coolest invention so far is a way to enter time sheet information via text messages that automatically populate people's time sheets with time, project numbers and descriptions.  That's what really kept me from blogging for a while.  That alone has saved everyone 10 minutes a day, but now saves our account 6 hours every time she does payroll because she can now automatically import everyone's time data into our accounting program.  I've also tied in each line item of a project into this time system so project managers can track what someone was working on and that all gets done automatically via QR codes placed on plans, documents and equipment.  Oh yeah, I even use Siri to make it even easier to dictate the messaging system.

I don't want to bore you with too much more of this, but I'm amazed at how inefficient BIM is not because of the modeling, but because of all of the other people involved in the process and how poorly people manage all of their day to day information.  I'm seeing that the 3D modeling is important for that initial design, but when it comes to construction, it's the management of the paperwork that is critical.  Just by using a few simple tools like Google Docs, Evernote, QR codes and a few other secret ingredients, I'm having the time of my life automating the flow of information in our company and I've hardly scratched the surface.

I want to tell you more, but I'm planning on selling these systems to others, very cheaply of course, because it's so easy to dump Microsoft Office and Outlook and save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted time looking for information.  In the meantime, I'll try to blog more and show you how the most important part of BIM is failing at every level outside of that initial modeling and clash detection phase.

Until next time....
  



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