Dura Vermeer saves approximately 5% on costs per project following BIM 360 implementation

by Giso van der Heide, Customer Success Manager, and Val Maass, Copywriter on January 24, 2018


At the end of 2015, Dura Vermeer signed a three-year Enterprise Business Agreement (EBA) with Autodesk. This contract covers full access to tokenized Autodesk products and success services. Even though Dura Vermeer is relatively small (based on employee numbers), the company has become one of Autodesk’s highest adopters of BIM 360. By using 3D model authoring tools in combination with BIM 360 cloud products, approximately 75 percent of its workforce has recognized the value of it.

The Autodesk-enabled implementation of BIM 360, including desktop products and cloud technology, is helping Dura Vermeer manage collaboration around 3D models and streamline the information across the whole project lifecycle. This has not only improved communication, collaboration, and decision-making, but has led to a significant reduction in design errors, drawing rework, and fielded issues (known as failure costs). 

Customer Background and Goals

Dura Vermeer Group NV, is a family-owned Dutch company with more than 160 years of experience in construction, engineering, and services. The company’s core activities are in the residential and non-residential building, infrastructure, industrial construction, renovation, and consultancy areas. The group has approximately 2,500 employees and reported €1.1 billion in revenue in 2016.

Dura Vermeer’s Residential and Non-Residential building division develops, realizes, renovates, and operates projects commissioned by design and construction partners (at their own risk). As a result, project margins are very much dependent on the partners’ performance during various stages of the project lifecycle—from design to construction into maintenance.

One of Dura Vermeer´s goals is to reduce the failure costs by ten percent a year, knowing that this number directly impacts the company’s overall profit margin. Another essential goal is to improve its project win rate, which contributes to overall revenue that is strongly influenced by positive customer journeys and overall client satisfaction (measured by the Net Promoter Score, known as NPS®).

  • The corporate aspiration is to become one of the Netherlands’ “top three highest performing and digitized construction companies by 2020”. This has informed other company goals such as:
  • Improved operational results (increased revenue and margin).
  • An enhanced proposition and intensified marketing (satisfied clients and a bigger sales pipeline).
  • A stronger organization (integrated, agile, and innovative).
  • Establishment of a solid innovation practice (focus on technologies and partnerships).
  • More digitization and breakthrough BIM technologies (data-driven, predictive, VR/AR, etc.)

Success Story

Challenge: To successfully achieve its corporate goals and aspirations, Dura Vermeer first needed to address several key company-wide challenges. To begin with, the customer faced difficulties in managing and connecting project information across the project lifecycle. Secondly, Dura Vermeer had no uniform way of working across regions and partners—leading to broken collaboration processes. Next, the company had some challenges to respond to market opportunities effectively and efficiently. And when Dura Vermeer did win projects, its employees didn’t have the necessary digital competencies to meet client needs. Finally, the customer failed to scale or share new innovations and best practices across the organization.

Combined with Dura Vermeer’s stated goals, these challenges facilitated Dura Vermeer’s interest in working with Autodesk to seek, identify, and implement solutions.

Solution: To address the key challenges, Dura Vermeer acknowledged the power of combining the Autodesk BIM application set, Autodesk’s team, and its own in-house team of BIM experts. Collaborating as a united team on the BIM implementation, Dura Vermeer and Autodesk executed the following activities:

  • Setting up a BIM execution plan with all the common project stakeholders that included:
    • BIM Basic Information Delivery Manual (IDM).
    • Dutch Revit Standard, when working with Revit.
    • Collaboration with open standard format Industry Foundation Classes (IFC).
  • Setting up a hosted BIM 360 environment for the partners to enable collaboration, coordination, and integrated workflows:
    • Design partners (architecture, structural, MEP).
    • Partners (preferred).
    • Suppliers/subcontractors.
  • Developing a standardized 3D model information structure that involves Revit templates and libraries.
  • Using Collaboration for Revit (C4R) to enable dislocated model collaboration.
  • Educating the team in Autodesk® BIM 360® Glue® to enable model aggregation and coordination.
  • Configuring BIM 360 Field: All field issues are captured, registered, communicated with partners, and resolved. Employees and partners are educated in BIM 360 Field and the process.

Integration with the ability to report, slice-dice, and review project information using BIM 360 data source and enterprise systems integration. Business Intelligence enables correlation between financial project data, project members’ BIM skills, and 3D model management—all aimed at gathering information for re-use and avoiding risk on future projects.

Governing BIM 360 adoption across the organization by setting up a Key User structure, conducting knowledge sharing sessions, and providing project coaching.

In addition to collaborating on these activities, Autodesk provided Dura Vermeer with best practice support for C4R. Autodesk also managed the process of addressing and implementing critical fixes to IFC, which is crucial for the supply chain communication.

Success: The full BIM transformation resulted in positive project outcomes, including reduced design re-work and reduced failure costs across the project stages. By aligning people, process, standards, and Autodesk technology, Dura Vermeer experienced significant cost savings of approximately five percent per project. As a result, all projects will contribute to the increased company margin of three percent or more by 2020.

It is important to start with the end in mind and understand the essence of a solid project information model to be able to use and re-use the digital information across the enterprise (cost avoidance and minimizing risk). Solid 3D information models are the answer. By implementing and using BIM 360, we have seen an enormous increase in information consistency and quality across the supply chain. Rework and cost of failure have been significantly reduced across all project stages.”
 Gert-Jan Ditsel, BIM Manager, Dura Vermeer

While Dura Vermeer’s BIM implementation resulted in—and will lead to—valuable cost savings, the customer also came away from the engagement with some key learnings. First and foremost, the customer discovered that BIM is as much about organizational transformation and change management as it is about technology. Following its engagement with Autodesk, Dura Vermeer’s most meaningful takeaways included:    

“When you aim for ‘highly satisfied customers,’ it brings a lot of change to the organization.”

Putting the customer first requires transforming the organization, its processes, and its technology around that. BIM plays a significant role in improving customer journeys; configuration management, advanced visualization, and fully transparent delivery planning are examples. Dura Vermeer has since launched an NPS across all aspects of the project lifecycle.  

“We put a lot of effort into the digital transformation, with the BIM model as one of the primary information sources.”

Dura Vermeer is working closely with more than 600 partners to onboard them early in the projects. From the perspective of understanding customer needs and what is commercially offered, a full definition of a BIM engineering model is derived. Partners upload production models via BIM 360, which are then checked against engineering models during model coordination sessions. When called upon, partners need to produce and install the components on the construction site. BIM 360 Field captures and traces all identified issues against the engineering model.

“We are mandating Dutch standards within our supply chain, which is crucial to succeeding with BIM.”

Dura Vermeer improves communication of models via the open standard IFC. Together with 14 peer companies, the customer has initiated the BIM Basic Information Delivery Manual (IDM). These standards are recognized as a Dutch standard. More than a 250 Dutch architects, constructors, and suppliers have now signed the standardized information exchange agreement—a great achievement for the Dutch construction industry—initiated by Dura Vermeer.

“A BIM implementation won’t succeed without organizational change and adoption; a focus on the human aspect is the key to success.”

To establish governance around BIM adoption, Dura Vermeer took a bottom-up approach that involved setting up Key User groups (three weekly meetings), BIM Managers, and a steering board. This helped create a more integrated workflow that improved knowledge-sharing across the four different Dutch regions. To support the adoption cycle, the customer also implemented a Train-the-Trainer program, lectures, workshops, and board presentations as integral components—an approach that led to a standard way of working. The Residential and Non-Residential building divisions have accelerated their BIM adoptions, while other divisions are set to replicate the adoption model soon.

"BIM 360 and the tablet have become part of my life. This way, I can always see which points are still open at the construction site and, if something is not okay, I can capture it immediately. And the paper shop? That's history."
Ben Farla,Construction Site Manager, Dura Vermeer

In 2017, 3D modeling products had 65 percent penetration across the whole organization. The intention is to adopt and drive 3D model usage higher than 80 percent by 2020.

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