Researching BIM outsourcing service providers: 7 questions you should ask
Outsourcing BIM services has been an effective solution for many companies. However, the expertise and competency of the BIM provider could be a decisive factor for your project’s success. Choosing the right BIM company assists you to avoid project hassles at a later stage. So make sure that your expectations align with what the BIM partner offers.
To help you, we’ve sorted out a list of 7 questions to ask BIM outsourcing service providers about their BIM capability. Absolutely, these questions will assist you to decide if a BIM outsourcing provider fits your needs.
- Question 1: How do you protect client data and NDA?
- Question 2: What type of projects do you execute?
- Question 3: Can you provide me a price range for your services?
- Question 4: How is your Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC) process?
- Question 5: How will you communicate with the client?
- Question 6: What software do you specialize in?
- Question 7: Do you provide a pilot project so that we can check your capabilities?
1. Question 1: How do you protect client data and NDA?
You should put your data security first and verify that your project data is safe with your BIM provider. Also, you can ask them to explain how they protect your project data. Commitment is an important factor so a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) should be signed. This ensures that all data and information you provided will be confidential. No one will disclose any information about the project to any third party without your prior consent.
What’s more, it’s essential to check its IT infrastructure system to guarantee your project data from destruction. Let’s take a look at some specifications relating to the server system, computer performance, or data client delivery.
2. Question 2: What type of projects do you execute?
A great way to evaluate BIM providers’ capabilities is to take a look at the real-life projects they implemented for their clients. You might get to know the different types of projects they are doing well. Some often focus on infrastructural projects whereas others specialize in building industries such as Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Healthcare, Educational, etc.
In this way, you can check if they are able to meet the industry requirements and current trends. As normal, most BIM companies often show off several executed projects on the website. Taking a look at their successful projects is also a great way so that you can explore their BIM services.
3. Question 3: Can you provide me a price range for your services?
Normally, BIM providers will not publish their pricing plans on their website. Thus, you will need to find out more about the price when reaching out to them. A note that low costs are not always the best deal. A trustworthy company will always quote an affordable price with the efforts.
In reality, some of our clients share that they are offered low prices by some BIM companies. Then when having already deployed several real-life projects, they are charged at a higher cost with the poor quality of the deliverables. This can tell you that low cost does not always guarantee the quality of the final models. Companies offering lower costs may lack the expertise or professional skill to create BIM models.
The price of a BIM project often varies depending on the scope of work, level of detail (LOD), tolerance, parameter, building technical components, etc. So if you want to define the exact cost, the best way is to send them a data file with a very clear BIM scope of work. You can do the same way to all BIM providers you’re considering. A comparison in cost and quality will assist you to make informed decisions.
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Question 4: How is your Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC) process?
Quality is a vital part of any outsourced BIM projects. It is derived from all the steps of creating the BIM model to the deliverables of the project. This can affect the result of the final deliverables. So checking quality assurance and quality control should be considered in mind. You should ask BIM providers about how they have been conducting their Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC) process. If the process is good, you can rest assured that you could get a high-quality BIM model. To help you get an understanding of the QA/QC process, we crafted the article Quality Assurance / Quality Control for Scan to BIM projects. Hope this will help you to know better.
Bonus: Quality Assurance/Quality Control process for Scan to BIM projects
Question 5: How will you communicate with the client?
Communication is another vital factor in any outsourced BIM projects. Let’s say, you’re working with a BIM provider. You send them the project requirements but there is always a delay to respond to your requests. What’s going to happen? It’s more likely that the project progress will not be on track. Thus, it’s necessary to clarify how the BIM provider communicates with you and how long they respond to your request.
Keeping a connection during the project is essential to ensure that you stay updated with your project. A BIM provider with prompt communication can be a good choice for you.
Question 6: What software do you specialize in?
There is much software that supports BIM modeling, so you can check what software the BIM provider often uses to create BIM models. Some are working with Autodesk platforms such as Revit, Naviswork, 360 BIM, Recap, or AutoCAD.
Besides, there is also some other BIM software including ArchiCAD, Vectorworks Architect, AllPlan, BIM Track, and more.
Question 7: Do you provide a pilot project so that we can check your capabilities?
A real-life experience is worth a thousand words. This also holds true when you are evaluating the capability of a BIM company. Most BIM providers commit to high-quality BIM services. But whether you should take their word for it. The best way is that you should have a first-hand experience of their capability. This allows you to assess their professionals’ skills, knowledge, strengths, a record of accomplishment, and technical expertise.
Let’s ask them for a small pilot project in order to check how they communicate with, commitment, and most importantly, the quality of BIM models.
Before you make a final decision, make sure what the BIM provider offers is suitable for your expectations. We hope the 7 questions above will assist you to find the best-fit BIM provider for your needs.
If you want to ask these questions, feel free to let us know. We will send you the official introductions that help you get an understanding of ViBIM services.
ViBIM is a global provider of Building Information Modeling (BIM) services. We’ve had more than 5 years of experience and expertise in Scan to BIM services, 3D BIM coordination, BIM design, and Dynamo BIM services for clients in the UK, US.
Contact us today to get a quotation for your Scan to BIM projects