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17 August 2020
Manoj Singh

Business Continuity for CAD/BIM Companies during the Time of Covid- 19

Whatever happens, the show must go on. And some businesses around the world are putting on quite the show. Determined to ensure business continuity during the time of Covid-19 and its resulting lockdowns, CAD/BIM (Building Information Modelling) companies are planning, adapting, innovating and persevering with their business models to continue to provide D BIM services and architectural BIM services, without compromising on quality.

How do the more successful CAD/BIM firms manage to do this?

Well, it seems there are a number of factors that facilitate the seamless delivery of architectural design services even within the constraints of lockdown conditions. They are:

Video-conferencing

Modern technology has helped businesses adapt to a number of constraints, such as people not being able to commute to offices or meetings in different cities. Video-conferencing has quickly become the backbone for business continuity for many CAD/BIM firms. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Regular office meetings can be conducted online, so that employees can collaborate as usual.
  • Video-conferencing and audio conferencing helps employees share documents during meetings and discuss them.
  • Employees can see and assess body language, helping make productive decisions.
  • Video-conferencing can be easy to learn and use.
  • Some video-conferencing options are browser-based, saving the need to download a separate app for it.
  • Employees can join meetings almost immediately from anywhere and add new users.
  • Any device (PC, tablet, phone) can be used to start or join a meeting.
Improved Internal Communication

Communication is key within an organization, and it is important to use a central communication platform to share business continuity planning strategies through contact lists, company and government updates and protocol files. It is also important to improve internal communication because:

  • In-house teams can send alerts and updates in real time, helping streamline processes.
  • Employees should have access to all company updates.
  • Employees should be encouraged to ask questions about work and procedures and to share their thoughts and ideas.
  • Employers should encourage employees to share concerns and suggest reprieves to bolster unity and find innovative solutions to complex business continuity challenges.
Cloud-based Management Systems

Cloud service providers have become affordable today, backing up data in the cloud is almost a routine process for business continuity, even for smaller CAD/BIM firms. Some of the reasons why cloud-based management systems are useful are:

  • Easy access – A cloud-based system can be accessed even in remote areas.
  • Cost-effective – Companies can subscribe only to the cloud-based services they need, making it affordable. Services can be added or modified on demand, and this availability of cloud-based services helps save investments on production facilities.
  • Back-ups – Data can be backed up in real time or at regular intervals, which can be an automated process, with servers configured accordingly.
  • Restoration – Recovery and restoration during emergency situations are easily performed with minimum or no data corruption.
  • Access – With an Internet-connected device, cloud-based data can be accessed from anywhere following strict authentication procedures.
Work Overlap during Different Time Zones

Outsourced CAD/BIM firms may be working across time zones to continue business services by hiring people from around the world. This overlap of time zones can be beneficial for business continuity in the following ways:

  • The best people for the job can be hired wherever they are, when working remotely.
  • Productivity can be increased when people have freedom of time and place.
  • This way, there’s always someone online, keeping the business running at all times.
  • Different time zones mean that one team works while another sleeps.
  • Fewer distractions result when people work in different time zones, reduced water cooler chatter and other workplace distractions.
  • It motivates some employees to sit late and complete their tasks, so that others can continue when they finish.
Round-the-clock IT Support

For CAD/BIM firms to sustain their work processes and services, it is imperative that all their systems are go. The slightest hiccup in computer systems, their associated paraphernalia or Internet connections can have a significant domino effect on the firm’s ability to provide services on time and of the same quality.

  • IT support that is available round the clock inspires confidence in employees and thus provides continuity in services.
  • Remote problem solving can be facilitated using the right software tools, so that any unforeseen challenges can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
  • Reliable IT support ensures data security and can be involved in network monitoring.
  • An early warning system can be put in place to recognise small inconsistencies early, so that they don’t develop into more complex problems.
  • Valuable servers can be monitored as part of managed IT support.
Greater Efficiency

With the new normal forced on businesses around the world by Covid-19 and nation-wide lockdowns, most employees no longer travel to work, which means they save time getting ready for work, preparing and packing lunches for themselves and children and the time spent on long commutes to and from offices. This results in increased efficiency from employees of CAD/BIM firms because:

  • Long commutes to work and the preparations required to get to work on time can take a toll on employees even when they set foot in the office, which is now eliminated in most cases.
  • Once in the office environment, employees take time to settle down.
  • In an office space, general chit-chat, impromptu meetings and background chatter can be distracting, which are all things of the past now.
  • Returning home can be stressful in busy traffic, and the general routine of catching up with housework, children, exercise, grocery shopping and other activities after work can mean people go to sleep later and wake up early, resulting in less-than-ideal sleep durations, which can affect the quality and performance of work. In the current situation, this is also at negligible levels, which leads to increased efficiency.

Lower Overheads
Many offices have shut their premises and ended their leases, saving considerable overhead costs. Businesses with their employees operating from home can save power, water and other connected expenses required to keep an office running. Funds saved in this way can be utilised in other areas, helping to continue CAD/BIM project deliveries.

Redundancies and Hiring Others (Outsourcing)
It’s not easy letting hard-working, long-serving employees go, but in the Covid-19 situation, for many construction companies in the West, this may be inevitable. This dark cloud does have a silver lining though. It presents Western firms with the more cost-effective option of investing in offshore CAD/BIM services. Some of the benefits of outsourcing these services are:

  • Coordination
  • Cost Savings
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Reduced Construction Time
  • Reduced RFIs
  • Increased Productivity
  • Visualisation
  • Precise Drawings
  • Logistic Planning
  • Risk Mitigation
Benefits of outsourcing 3D BIM modelling services specifically to India include:
  • Reduced Costs – BIM services costs are considerably less in India than other countries.
  • Expertise – A vast selection of technically qualified staff, especially in BIM technology, is easily available. Certified BIM professionals can provide Revit 3D BIM modelling and CAD drawings.
  • Experience – CAD/BIM firms with years of experience in providing BIM modelling and Revit BIM services overseas have developed improved processes, including providing retained teams for clients.
  • Prompt Delivery – BIM services can be monitored using cloud-based technology and video conferencing to ensure accuracy and prompt delivery.
  • Security – Leading BIM companies in India follow data security laws and can be held liable for any security breaks.
  • Focus on Core Business Competencies – Partnering with top BIM firms in India helps Western firms manage other key business functions effectively.
  • Improve Scale – Human resources are provided according to project size. Large projects can avail of large qualified teams.

Business continuity need not be a pipe dream during this pandemic. Companies providing CAD/BIM services, residential design drawings and residential drafting services can follow these simple guidelines to ensure business continuity with trusted partners that will help see them through this time of Covid-19.

XS CAD has valuable experience providing residential drafting services and 3D BIM modelling services and drawings for global construction firms.  Our range of services for architectural firms, engineering firms, consultants and contractors across the world, include 3D BIM services, residential construction drawings, architectural drafting, architectural modelling, 3D rendering and walk-throughs.  We create these models and drawings by using Revit, AutoCAD and BIM 360 Design for cloud collaboration.