Guest Blogs

Drowning in data. Technology and systems are driving new and innovative ways of working, yet operating margins remain under pressure. Why the disconnect?

Our Industry is Changing

You’re a contractor, you build things.
You’re a consultant, you manage project outcomes.

Actually, in today’s digital world, you’re expected to be an information broker as well; interpreting client requirements – creating, receiving, reviewing, approving and distributing reports and design information up and down the chain.

Megabytes, gigabytes, up to terabytes of project information being produced – information that is the trading currency of this digital construction world we now inhabit – information that you are custodian of.

The explosion in electronic working over the past decade has enriched the way that we work, delivering time-saving efficiencies and deeper insights to the projects and assets we design, build and operate.

However, managed incorrectly, this exponential growth in systems use, data, documents, model files and more, can significantly impact productivity and introduce organisational risk.

When was the last time you stopped to think about that?

So how do you solve this information management conundrum?

You might consider storing all your primary records of project information in the client’s project system. It’s free and saves double handling of data that way, right?


Client systems are designed to support their business processes and needs, not yours. In the case of a claim or dispute, with the project complete or your access revoked, the chances are that your business will be left under pressure and exposed.

Consider the potential implications of that!

The CDE for AEC – Next level project working

The implementation of a Common Data Environment (CDE) that you own is a game changer. It’s a vital tool for progressive consultants and contractors to drive competitive edge and deliver a differentiated service.

A CDE enables quicker, smarter, faster working for you, and better project outcomes for your clients.

Each and every project you undertake has thousands of interactions, transactions and instructions -fizzing between project parties, through email and file sharing sites, before being archived (and often lost) in personal inboxes, shared network drives or client systems.

Managed well, your projects will benefit from improved design, reduced waste, better quality data for more informed decision making for you, your partners and clients. Not to mention a long-term searchable archive of all project information and knowledge to enable your team to be more responsive and effective when bidding or working on future projects.

Managed poorly, this daily deluge of information can glue up project processes, slow down decisions and put significant burden on project teams and IT infrastructure. Best case is that you’re slow at responding to client and project queries. Worst case is your e-discovery capabilities are poor, exposing you financially in the case of a dispute or claim.

Either way, poor information management impacts the bottom-line.


Rather than cloud rental, companies now have the option to buy their own CDE. Why is this a good idea?

The return to a perpetual licence approach provides designers, consultants, contractors and subcontractors with;

  • Cost certainty over their licence investment. A licence that can be depreciated to deliver very low cost of ownership in future years.
  • Perpetual access to a collaborative environment for managing all project and programme documents, data and geometry.
  • BIM level 2 workflow support ‘out-of-the-box’, but with the flex for the system to be configured to support their specific process needs.
  • An insurance policy against the threat of future claim with access to a live repository and preserved audit trail of all project interactions, instructions and communications,
  • A consistent method of working across all projects in their business so they need only be concerned about how to carry out data drops in other systems
  • A robust, reliable and secure cloud-based environment that delivers 99.99% uptime complete with the levels of data governance that leading public sector and commercial clients demand
  • Increasingly, clients want delivery of not only the physical asset, but delivery of its ‘digital twin’ as well.

Whether it’s a building or infrastructure project for a public or private sector client, it’s clear that we must adapt and adopt new ways of digital working to improve the bottom-line and differentiate our service in the complex and competitive landscape in which we operate.

Delivering on digital for results-focused leaders in construction

We’d like to invite you to join us at our upcoming seminars which combine informative key note talks and client case studies highlighting key improvements for your business. Directed at results-focused business leaders and operational managers, this series delivers a refreshing and informative perspective on digital construction, providing practical insight to how your organisation can drive bottom-line benefits and develop competitive advantage with our market leading Common Data Environment.

You will also learn how to increase operational efficiencies, improve the quality of project deliverables and mitigate risks of poor collaboration and uncontrolled information exchange.

London Seminar: 24 October 2017 9am – 1.30pm

Manchester Seminar: 25 October 2017 9am – 1.30pm

Click here to find out more about our free to attend* AEC Information Management seminars

*free for AEC professionals only.


About GroupBC

You will know our clients, and understand why they are committed to BC.

For 20 years, GroupBC (formerly Business Collaborator) have helped contractors, consultants and designers in their move from paper to data, analogue to digital. Companies like Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Costain and Jacobs all use the BC platform to work smarter, take control and deliver digital projects effectively.

That’s not all, we work with lots of asset owning clients – in infrastructure, utilities, retail, finance, government and defence as well. So perhaps you’ve worked with Thames Water, Southern Water, Sainsbury’s, JD Sports, or Nationwide Building Society?

The configurable CDE and project information management platform you can own.

Following an MBO in 2014, the new BC CDE delivers a fresh perspective on the traditional project collaboration conundrum. Our latest release packs two decades of industry knowledge into an intuitive and scalable solution – suitable to the 20-person consultant through to 20,000 strong enterprise.

BC is an information management solution delivering;

  • Project information management and control, including email, document, 2D/3D design management and collaboration
  • BIM Level 2 workflow support and compliance, including online model federation, interrogation and review
  • Flexible contract management support to support common workflows like RFI’s, NCR’s, EWN’s, Project risk registers
  • Programme wide quality assurance and control, ensuring project information deliverables targets are met
  • Intuitive and clean interface with multi-browser and multi-device access supporting all levels of office, home and field based worker
  • UK hosted and supported, scalable and highly secure cloud based solution
  • SaaS or Perpetual licence options to suit your needs

In addition to the capabilities above, the BC CDE includes 3 optional routes for investment and deployment suited to single project adoption, enterprise-wide turnkey delivery, and a more extensible solution for ambitious businesses wanting to benefit from application development and integration.