Dropbox is used very frequently amongst companies within the construction industry as a mechanism to share information. Its cheap, easy to use and available to synchronise files across many hardware platforms. It is easy to see why it has been taken up by many small, medium and even large organisations to help them manage BIM (Building Information Modeling) information on building projects.
However, it doesn’t manage information – it stores files – and that is all it does. So, within any building project, which can have many different file formats, you have the challenge of organising directory structures, communicating that to all the participants and hoping that they follow the rules. So many times, I have seen colleagues open Windows Explorer and start scrolling up and down a directory tree with Project Numbers, then clicking through sub directories and then repeatedly opening and closing files searching for what they want. It is estimated that designers can spend up to 8 hours every week looking for information.
There is a better way and that is to move to a data driven organisation. Forget giving information a file name and placing into a directory structure. Certainly, give the document a name that helps you understand what it is but let the IT infrastructure store it in one place, know where it is, give others access rights, control revisions and then help you find it again through simple search.
This is the data driven world, and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform from Dassault Systems delivers that. Anything can be stored, from Revit BIM files through to Office documents and even emails, which are then accessed in much the same way as you would find something on Amazon – simple search and filtering. By having the single repository for data, the “single source of truth”, then information is controlled.
Take back a day a week and perhaps see if your boss will let you go fishing!
(first published on LinkedIn)