The push to collaborate and change construction methods have never been more significant. There have been huge changes to the industry, especially since 2011 when the UK government mandated that all government-funded building projects use BIM. This has been a catalyst in accelerating the importance of information management in the AEC.
As a BIM leader, I’m sure you can relate to feeling bombarded by a constant influx of information. Whether this information is stored in documents, internal or external email correspondence or in project management tools, this information is the lifeblood of project work. But only if it’s well-organised, accessible, up-to-date and secure.
There’s no doubt about it: filing, storing, managing, and protecting millions of documents and data files – created and shared by thousands of people – is no easy task. Unmanaged files like emails and Microsoft Teams chats can quickly fall into disarray and become a risky burden on your organisation.
The key to turning scattered information into a Single Source of Truth while protecting your most sensitive information is implementing robust information management processes, such as automated filing and a Document Management platform.
Introducing the Single Source of Truth
The Single Source of Truth is a concept based around ensuring everyone in an organisation has access to all information they need before making any business decisions. The term 'Golden Thread of Information' was coined in the wake of the Grenfell Tragedy by Dame Judith Hackitt, which is essentially a digital record of securely created, updated and accessible information covering the entirety of a building’s lifecycle.
In your BIM role, the Golden Thread has no doubt already provided you with clear benefits in the way you and your team operate. Particularly when it comes to tracking amendments, scope changes and ensuring any revisions are well documented and easily accessible by everyone on a project.
The need for a Single Source of Truth in the AEC
Managing information and having a Single Source of Truth is critical for BIM leaders and the wider project team. When done right, it allows you to use your time, resources, and knowledge to make the right decisions at the right time to fulfil your role effectively. But something we've found is that there is usually one critical piece of the information management puzzle missing... email.
Regulatory requirements are fast becoming more stringent, and there is a growing need for companies to mitigate risks by quickly finding sensitive information. Poor information management should no longer be an excuse.
Ask yourself, do you have the right tools in place to carry out a proper audit trail to pass the latest regulatory requirements in your industry? When good information management practices are adopted, you can stay compliant, reduce risks of mediation, and future-proof your project delivery, even if your entire project team have moved on to new roles.
In fact, a new report published by the Centre for Digital Built Britain found that for every £1 invested in information management, firms can potentially secure up to £6 of labour time savings. For construction firms, this could mean cost savings between 1.6-18% on a project.
BIM is about working smarter and challenging what the industry has always done, so it’s time to consider where your key project information is stored that you may need to rely on in the future, including documents, datasheets, common data environments, contracts, inboxes and more.
If you'd like to see Mail Manager in action, book a demo with our team today.