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Oleg Shilovitsky
2 min for reading

Construction project distribution makes an interesting set of scenarios that can be played between companies included in the AEC value chain. I want to identify three main entities – (1) General Contractor; (2) Trade contractors; (3) Manufacturer / Suppliers. All these entities are connected into a single process, but at the same time, they operate independently. Each of these entities runs its own management software and databases to store information.

Similar to manufacturing verticals the communication process between companies in the AEC value chain is fragile and distributed. While the “project” is a core information element in the construction process, the data granularity is very high. It includes, but not limited to Drawings and possible BIM models, Specifications, RFIs, Change orders, and POs. Estimations, Submittals, and Approvals.  The information is flowing between multiple databases and often multiple pieces of software need to be connected together to achieve the goal.

General Contractor can be using one software, while a trade contractor is using another software set. The specific software to manage construction projects can include multiple pieces – 3D Design, BIM software, Project Management, Financial, and others. What is missed in this model if I compare it to PLM software is the ability to connect silos. The obvious question is what information will become a bridge for construction companies, manufacturers, trade contractors, and everyone in between.

So, bringing the analogy of manufacturing technologies and PLM – a single source of truth with regards to the data in the AEC Value Chain is somewhat similar to what manufacturing companies have when creating vertical integrations in product development.

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