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More than 50% of SMEs set to miss out on government contracts

Following analysis of the recent Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) survey on BIM, it stated that 54% of companies with a turnover of less than £1m are not ready for the mandatory use of Level 2 BIM in government contracts next year.

The survey also revealed that 30% of larger businesses, with turnovers between £1m and £20m, were in the same position.

However, with just 11% of companies with a turnover exceeding £20m stating they are not ready for BIM, the remaining 89% say they are very nearly or completely ready.

Next April sees the introduction of the use of Level 2 BIM on all government-procured contracts, leading the ECA to state that over 50% of SMEs run the risk of losing new business.

The survey found further disparity between larger firms and contractors with turnover less than £1m, including the figure that 80% of smaller companies do not have a BIM planning group, compared with 36% of those with turnover above £20m.

A four-point action plan has been established by the ECA:

  1. A “BIM readiness checklist” will be released shortly, to help firms identify the necessary steps to ensure they are prepared for Level 2 BIM.
  2. A “BIM jargon buster” will also be made freely available, to help firms navigate through the maze of BIM terminology and acronyms and work out what it means.
  3. Case studies will be developed to broaden the understanding of what it takes to engage with a BIM project.
  4. The ECA will work with partners over a range of awareness, training and deployment issues, including efforts to develop a common approach towards the use of BIM objects.

Director of business services Paul Reeve said: “Our survey shows that the majority of building services SMEs are not ready for BIM and could find themselves effectively frozen out from central government contracts.

“The ECA has developed a four-point action plan to help building services firms prepare for BIM Level 2, and we will be working with our industry partners to drive this plan forward.”

The association plans to release the full results of its survey later this year.