A/E/C White Paper Surveys Industry Initiatives for Greater Efficiencies

12/21/2006


Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey of leading architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) executives has found that 10 of 11 firms are pursuing software initiatives to raise process productivity without disruptive re-engineering of their work practices. The research is available in a new white paper, Improving AEC Project Execution: Lessons from 11 Industry Leaders.

Newforma, Inc., a New Hampshire-based software developer, commissioned Spar Point Research of Danvers, Mass., to interview North American A/E/C executives in five market segments: architecture, building engineering, civil engineering, design-build and transportation infrastructure. While the executives agreed on the business pressures and project risks their organizations face, no consensus arose over how best to tackle key challenges such as resourcing growth, managing risk, maximizing productivity and implementing efficient project processes to raise profits.

Spar Point Managing Partner Bruce Jenkins attributes the absence of industry-wide best practices to the relative newness of process improvement as a discipline in the AEC industry.

"The industry has built distinct silos of digital information, from CAD to e-mail to business data," Jenkins says. "Some of the least-well managed--email, for example--are nevertheless relied on as a 'primary source of truth,' as one executive put it. The industry is only now starting to think about how to get more value from the information in some of those neglected silos, and how to better connect them all for more efficient, lower-risk project execution."

Among the problems AEC firms face, those mentioned most included scarce human resources, compressed project schedules, culture gaps between companies on the project team, incompatible work processes and fragmented software environments.

"The looming presence of building information modeling—BIM—also ranks high among factors affecting AEC work processes, if not now, then in the near future," Jenkins says.

The scope of the problem hasn't deterred firms from taking action.

"We detected an industry mindset that improving the way projects are executed will require heavy doses of process re-engineering," Jenkins says. "But despite this preconception, we also discovered many firms do have some kind of software initiative either implemented or planned to help team members handle project information better - without major surgery on current work processes.

"The common thread: most are based on, or work with, software already in everyday use: Microsoft Outlook, Windows directory folders, Exchange Server, Microsoft Project, Deltek Vision," Jenkins says. "The emphasis is on minimizing change and disruption for users."

The full research paper, which includes detailed quotations from interviewees on every area of discussion, is available from the Newforma website at www.newforma.com .





Product of the Year
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
40 Under Forty: Get Recognized
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
MEP Giants Program
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
May 2018
40 Under 40 winners, fire and life safety, performance-based designs, and more
April 2018
VRFs, lighting controls, BIM coordination, and more
March 2018
Sizing water pipes, ASHRAE 90.1, recovering waste heat, and more
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me