Data Day Speaker Chat #3

As we draw nearer to the week of RTC NA 2016, our Data Day speaker profiles are completed via this week’s post. Our third speaker is John Mack, Best Practices Leader at XL Construction. We asked him to share with us a little of his views on Data in the AECO/FM industry and how we would contribute to Data Day.

RTC: How can you contribute?

John: Sharing my 20 years of experience dealing with 3D models and using data for automated CNC prefabrication in the MEP industry. Also trying to figure out what the owner’s needs are by engaging them in conversation to understand their desire and pain points.

RTC: What can you offer to the AECO/FM industry that will support growth and reform with respect to its capability and maturity of dealing with data?

John: To me there are two parts to this answer. First: educating the owner on what they can do with the data. Second: educating the software companies supplying the tools in what is value to the owner, realizing that what is value to one owner may not be value to another.

RTC: What lessons have you learned that would benefit the AECO/FM industry?

John: ‘At first if you do not succeed, try again’ comes to mind. To applying the Lean Pull Planning system would be of great value for the AECO/FM industry. Start at the end, the owner, and ask them what is of value to them with data. What do they want to track, control, schedule, etc. with data and pull back through the process until you get to the software. Then build the software and educate the users to build what the owner wants.

RTC: How have you learned/what have you learnt to effectively manage data toward some greater return, and could that be further applied by others?

John: On the FM side it seems to keep coming up short. Some of the greater returns with data I have seen in my work are CNC controlled equipment, control of building maintenance systems, understanding what utilities are in a wall before you open it for tenant improvement work and starting with a well-defined model of existing buildings. We need education of the supply chain to drive a similar outcome.

RTC: What challenges have you faced that you have overcome or are still wrestling with?

John: I can give you a list!:

  • Owners asking for something they do not understand – that’s a common one. I find as a result they cannot answer specific questions, and this is ultimately set up for failure from day one.
  • Everyone thinking they have the way to do it.
  • What format do I use to track this stuff; Omniclass, COBie, Master Format, Uniformat, English
  • If in one format how do I translate to another?
  • Software for FM still not fully developed for what you are trying to do.
  • Changes to the software to get fixes and features take too long, so we are chasing our tails.
  • Who pays for the software, training and time to input the data? The time and learning it takes to input the data is a cost that most owners don’t want to pay for. They want the data, but they want it for free or minimal cost.

So that’s a bit of an insight into John’s background and experience, and what to expect from him come Data Day. Stay tuned for more Data Day updates and insights from our other speakers! July 13 is just around the corner!

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