Revit Implementation to Stay Competitive
A few years ago, Limbach leadership began seeing an increasing demand for Revit-only projects on the East Coast of the US and the Midwest. National VDC Manager Mark Lamberson became aware of customer comments like, "Why aren’t you in Revit yet?" “We were a leading firm,” he said, “but were not the preferred company because of something as simple as that in some instances.” That spawned the decision to support the switch to Autodesk Revit and create a team to implement it. “We had to do it.” People with 30 years of AutoCAD experience had to completely change the way they did things. The company took the transition slowly, with some branches transitioning earlier than others. Lamberson monitored how groups were doing in their adoption. When Limbach began its Revit implementation, it was involved in mega-projects around the country, so the company wasn’t able to adopt Revit completely on a massive project. Implementation began in bits and pieces, and large jobs lagged behind.
There are more and more Revit-only projects coming online, and many companies are feeling increasing pressure to switch from Autodesk AutoCAD to Autodesk Revit now. Companies involved in the transition to building information modeling processes (BIM) – from CAD to Revit – can confirm that it involves a big learning curve. The longer a company’s users have been using AutoCAD, the bigger the impact will be to processes. Limbach, Inc – an integrated building systems solution firm with 18 branches offering expertise in design, installation, management, service and maintenance of HVAC, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and control systems – recently went through this transition.
In adding Revit to the Limbach workflow, Lamberson made sure Limbach had a process in place to build out the functionality of Revit and make sure it worked properly. “It’s going to take some time to get that tool and its workflows to function for what you want to accomplish,” he said. As is the case of many tools, Revit did not fill every specific need Limbach had. Lamberson’s team researched third-party applications so they could optimize specialized workflows; they reached out to Autodesk Solution Provider Applied Software to help with that evaluation and implementation. “Where we really found it could be an issue was in our pipe fab shops and sheet metal fab shops,” he explained. “We pared it down to one main modeling tool added on to Revit.” The team was mindful that add-ons need to communicate with each other without time-consuming workarounds. “Make sure the tech you’re using is making things better for the people around you,” Lamberson advised.
Teamwork was crucial to the Limbach transition, especially an implementation support team. Lamberson described the best implementation team as one that is a good cross section of the company, from high to low. Implementation is a journey. The company studied the way people learn and worked to make meetings and training engaging. They also monitored deliverables to determine how they affected the company as a whole. As the company worked through issues, the implementation efforts gained momentum and significance. Seeing the benefits made the entire process more comfortable. It took about a year for Limbach employees to learn to think differently and really see the benefits of implementing Revit. As Lamberson summed up the transition, “It's worked out very well.”
Lamberson advises companies considering the Revit transition, “Do your due diligence, but don’t overinvest time. At some point, you need to pull the trigger then follow through.” Limbach found it was critical to continuously evaluate the implementation, make changes and move forward. Lamberson also felt it was important to listen to other people and get input from everybody in the company. “You’ll learn something from everyone,” he advised.
- Configuration & Deployment
- System Integration
- MEP Engineering