Using Lean BIM to Mistake-Proof Furniture Procurement
The parametric nature of BIM paired with standardization of work processes could allow a design practice to leverage BIM and lean thinking to enhance a supplemental service line such as furniture specification and procurement. See how Hollywood Remodelers are using this to improve client reworks and overall satisfaction.
In a traditional delivery model, a design firm would use PDF backgrounds to lay out furniture, populate schedules that capture the types and quantities of furniture, create a specification book, and prepare a material board with material finishes and textiles for the specified furniture. The work flow begins with the layout of furniture in plan view and the initial creation of schedules and specifications. Subsequent work is characterized by revisions and constant checking to ensure that all three separate documents remain in alignment. As with any process based on human checking, there lies inherent risk of error while managing three sources of truth.
Smart Remodeling Companies Are Using BIM Drawings For Clients
A lean BIM approach can transform this process by automating the majority of checking, thereby building in quality (BIQ) through mistake proofing, and largely eliminating the potential for counting errors. This is done by unifying the data into a single source of truth hosted within the Revit model. When furniture is placed in the floor plan, its parametric data populates schedules used to manage quantities or to develop the specification. Manual coordination between plan, schedule, and specification are eliminated.
In a lean BIM workflow, the firm would initially invest in creating and collecting furniture families organized around industry standards. As many manufacturers offer models of their products, this would involve customization to the required attributes of the firm, as well as addition of custom parameters as required. Assuming the firm uses Revit, the families would need to be set up so they can be scheduled in a manner that produces a schedule that is suitable for procurement and contains parameters for required specification fields. This allows both schedule and specification to be automatically generated based on room placement in the Revit floor plan views.