By 2025, the global construction is forecasted to grow by approximately 70%. To manage this growth, the most important growth indicators are those that are central to and should guide changes such as; sustainable building design, lean construction, improved collaboration across the supply chain and decision-making based on complete information. Gaps must be bridged between building projects and technology. The heart of the matter is information and the different ways in which this information can be disseminated to the various disciplines via the appropriate channels. Therefore, it is important to integrate BIM (Building Information Modeling) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).
BIM and ERP: the Missing Link
The construction sector greatly relies on information and the processes are accelerated by the accurate exchange of information. In the past, these data were exchanged by various documents, drawings, designs, blueprints et cetera followed by 2D CAD designs. With the introduction of BIM, the exchange of information has become extremely efficient and by maintaining the intelligent 3D BIM models throughout the asset life cycle significant cost savings can be realized. BIM models are not just 3D design, but BIM adds time (so-called 4D) and cost information (5D) to the equation.
ERP is a fully-integrated process covering all the business processes and functions involved in building or maintaining assets such as procurement, project management, project cost control, sales and sub-contract management, variation control, estimating, bid management, material control, plant and equipment hire, construction management, asset and facilities management.
Integration BIM and ERP
In our opinion, it is clear that the integration of BIM and ERP is of great importance to the construction industry. BIM stands for design and construction planning and ERP stands for planning and financial management. BIM constructs buildings virtually in a computer and ERP provides information regarding the insight and control of costs and how they are accounted for. A BIM model consists of elements with geometric and parametric information which provides an accurate quantity of materials and takes the guesswork out of cost estimating. ERP on the other hand starts from there and allows for the management of stock, invoices and financial reporting. By integrating ERP cost information in BIM information models the visibility of the cost of results and streamlining the cost-related information flows up and down the supply chain improves.
The supply chain partners involved in the realization of a project often work with several specialized BIM applications. For example, for architecture, engineering of electrical and mechanical installations, steel structures or structural calculations. Each application has its own data silo. In practice, it is impossible to collect all that data in one BIM model. In order to integrate BIM with 4PS Construct a “bridge” has been built from 4PS Construct to the various applications to optimally access the data in 4PS construct. This is based on open BIM standards such as IFC. The 4PS BIM Bridge has made it possible to open up and exchange data silos from different BIM parties with the main results:
- Lower failure costs;
- Optimal cooperation between the parties involved;
- More efficient logistics;
- Time savings;
- Optimal building control through predictable maintenance.
The 4PS BIM Bridge is the result of the integration achieved between BIM and ERP meeting the needs of the construction industry. BIM models can be read in within the ERP system Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4PS Construct. All data obtained can then be used in the processes within a project.
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