AEC Best Practices: Six Strategies to Combat Industry Disruption

April 8, 2024 IMAGINiT Technologies

AEC leaders encounter industry disruption every day from sources like human resources, technology, and various external factors that are out of their control. In many regions, there aren’t enough people to fill open positions which is driving up the cost of labor. Technology can help give organizations a competitive edge, but only if they integrate those tools with existing systems and train staff to use them effectively. Unpredictable and uncontrollable events like the COVID-19 pandemic or economic trends further complicate the situation. 

Based on our experience working with a wide range of AEC firms, we’ve found six strategies that can help combat the effects of industry disruption:

1. Analyze workflows and processes. Consider where bottlenecks exist that increase costs and reduce competitiveness. It may be possible to streamline workflows through application consolidation and automation. IMAGINiT’s assessment and recommendation services flag workflow and process issues and identify ways to achieve better results and greater productivity. In many cases, the question isn’t whether organizations have the right technology solutions, bur rather how they can leverage those to generate the greatest benefits. 

2. Implement CAD and BIM standards. These standards help ensure that workers perform tasks in the same way, reducing errors and omissions in AEC work. CAD and BIM standards are helpful guides for new hires. They are also essential for firms that decide to outsource project work or that embark on a merger or acquisition with another organization. 

3. Outsource CAD management. There are multiple benefits to outsourcing this work – resources are often available immediately, they aren’t counted in your payroll, and they don’t have to work full time. An outsourced CAD manager position can often be less costly than hiring a new employee or reassigning an existing staff member to handle this work. IMAGINiT has a bench of professionals who can handle all the tasks of a CAD manager. Our team has a wide range of experience across firms and has insights into industry best practices. 

4. Reevaluate your employee training. Many organizations view training as an expense that’s hard to justify. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind, however. If you have technology applications and no employees are subject matter experts, productivity will suffer. In addition, a common complaint people who leave a job is that they feel their employer didn’t invest in them. Training and education both play important roles in employee professional development. IMAGINiT has tools to help AEC firms conduct knowledge gap assessments among their employees. Based on that information, it’s possible to create a tailored education plan based on e-Learning, classroom training, or a mix of both. 

5. Create a cloud strategy. Key questions include where your organization will store data, what cloud-based applications employees will use, and whether the cloud can replace hardware and software purchases. Autodesk Docs, for example, is a valuable cloud-based solution that enables organizations to store all their documents in the cloud, forming one single source of truth. This improves organizational resilience in many ways. Consider if a firm is the target of a ransomware attack, for example. With Autodesk Docs, the team will be down for an hour or two, rather than a week or more if they relied on on-premise software and storage solutions.

6. Leverage data to create competitive advantage. AEC firms can create new customer offerings based on data, such as digital twins, data-based visualizations, augmented reality, and more. If you’re uncertain where to start, IMAGINiT can help you navigate these waters and identify potential new business opportunities. We recently worked with a client to create a digital twin system using technology and legacy data.

Partner with IMAGINiT to conquer AEC disruption. With our industry expertise and tailored strategies, we can equip your team to navigate staffing challenges, harness technology effectively, and thrive amidst uncertainty.  Contact us to start the conversation

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