Digital workflows are necessary in today’s business climate. Building information modeling (BIM) is here to stay. Data should be used in the most optimal ways, and BIM enables that.

A digital workflow can optimize the job, and it’s faster, with fewer errors and lower operational costs. Software tools can look up data instantly, they can keep track of a variety of processes and tasks, and they can streamline those processes for optimal productivity. Digital workflows allow you to make the best use of your employees’ time. It is the next level of efficiency.

When you’re looking to implement a digital workflow, your first step should be to analyze your current workflow. Determine what’s working well and what can be improved or conducted in a more disciplined way. If you’re going to make a change, you need to be thoughtful and committed to doing so. I am a firm believer in the power of intentionality. By taking some time up front to be thoughtful you can make a dramatic impact on the process.

As you investigate the options for improving your workflows, consult with an expert about best practices. Unless you’ve got someone on staff who has been through the process, you won’t know what you don’t know. Even then, you are limited to that perspective. If you can “crowd source” by getting input, you can move much faster in your decision making and more quickly get the information you need for your decisions. You will always learn something when you tap into a fresh perspective from new people. Don’t be afraid to reach out and have open and honest conversations.

There are many benefits to a digital workflow. Perhaps the most important is to standardize the way you work on a project. You’ll also benefit from having a single source of truth for project data. Integrate innovation as you need it. You may not need everything the next guy needs. On the other hand, if you don’t implement technology, your business will be standing still.

If you want someone to catch your vision for a digital workflow, it helps to talk about the benefits. The more people who understand your intentionality, the more interest you’ll have in the process. Have discussions before you start.

For companies who have implemented digital workflows, transparency and collaboration are keys to successful projects. When you enhance collaboration between the designers and contractors, you’ll be collectively using their resources to the fullest extent.

If there’s one trend in the construction industry that seems to be growing, it’s sharing information among peers and with project partners. I, for one, am all for this trend. It just makes sense – you’re all working in similar fashion. You have a design, you have a construction site, you have someone who wants to buy or rent the building when your project is complete. Do there really need to be so many ways to build a building? People are good at making things overly complex.


Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 56 with guest Frank Schuyer of Xinaps. "The Power of a Digital Workflow"

Join me on Bridging the Gap Podcast episode 56 with Frank Schuyer, the founder and CEO of Xinaps. An innovator at heart, Frank takes a different look at using software for processes, interfaces and people. He shares his lean, pragmatic and simple approach to complex business and wants to contribute for the better.


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