Construction company Vrolijk is based in Breda, the Netherlands. They plan, design and build for the logistics, leisure and housing sector in the country. Over the last few years, Vrolijk has grown at pace resulting in challenges when it comes to collaboration and standardised processes.
Vrolijk’s growing presence in the distribution centre market, and in addition to their expansion into the housing market, means the company must adhere to rigorous procedures whilst maintaining high levels of quality and safety. Collaborating and communicating efficiently across the supply chain with clients, partners and suppliers was identified as an area the team needed to improve.
BIM Manager, Rob van den Berg, explains: “We needed to establish one single source of truth for all projects so that communication flowed better between our team members.” Better communication as well as access to up-to-date and accurate project data supports the team at Vrolijk to streamline their operations. “We made a decision to move to a cloud environment with the goal of saving time and minimising risk on our projects,” says Rob.
With rapid expansion and the need to improve information flow on their projects, Vrolijk worked with NTI CAD & Company, an Autodesk Construction Cloud ™ partner, to identify the best solution to fit their needs. “To continue to facilitate future growth in a flexible way, we began using Autodesk Construction Cloud’s BIM 360 platform to make all available project information accessible anytime, anywhere,” says Rob.
For project team members, this way of working was much more efficient than relying on only emails and phone calls. Previously, the team struggled to locate one central area for shared project documentation and were sending large files over non-secure data exchange methods. “Our team have worked with AutoCAD and Revit for a long time, and our discovery process with NTI CAD & Company helped us to identify BIM 360 as the right solution for us,” remarks Rob.
As the construction teams became more familiar with working in a cloud environment, they began to explore the functionality available to them. “We began using the issues functionality to assign and track issues during the build process,” says Rob. But when new government legislation affecting building quality was announced in the Netherlands, Vrolijk decided they wanted to prepare at an early stage. “We know the important role that technology will play in enabling us to comply with the highest building quality laws and increasing our digital workflows in the design and build process are integral to this,” reflects Rob.
Vrolijk is now moving their first projects onto Autodesk Build, an Autodesk Construction Cloud platform, which unites the best of BIM 360 with additional new functionality to create a comprehensive field and project management solution. With transitioning projects onto this one platform to manage the end-to-end construction process, from the planning phase all the way through to design and operations phase, allows the company to manage their data in a smarter way than previously. “We not only use our project data to track the progress and quality of our projects, but in the future it will give us needed information about our project partners. We’ll be able to monitor subcontractors’ performance better which will help us ensure we keep working with the best-in-class partners on our projects,” says Rob.
For Vrolijk, approaching their technology rollout through a step-by-step approach means they can ensure that their teams are confident using new workflows. NTI CAD & Company support their team with training and onboarding through face-to-face training workshops as well as change management support. “NTI CAD & Company are our trusted advisor and technology partner; they support our multidisciplinary project teams understand how to use the solution on their individual projects,” says Rob.
With different levels of digital competency in the company, Rob understands adoption across the supply chain is a key factor in ensuring the team are maximising the benefits of using construction technology. And for Vrolijk, adopting and using new technology is an evolving process. As an example, the team identified that a technology solution to support model coordination would deliver significant time savings in the pre-construction phase of their projects as well as reduce the number of mistakes made on site. Working with NTI CAD & Company, they have been trialling using BIM Collaborate Pro as part of their account-based subscription to Autodesk Docs.
“We’ve been using BIM Collaborate Pro to complete clash detections as we move from the design to build phase of our projects. Already, we’re able to detect clashes quicker with our subcontractors during BIM and engineering meetings. Previously, communicating about this activity would have been done over email which was time consuming but now we do it collaboratively in real-time during the meeting using the solution,” reflects Rob.
Using Autodesk’s Construction Cloud, Vrolijk enables their people to focus on value-adding activities and reduce the number of onerous and manual tasks they complete. Rob explains: "We capture everything digitally now. This means the data is time and date stamped as well as our 3D models. Our own drawings and documents are correctly formatted using the ISO 19650 naming conventions that we comply with. For us this radically reduces the chance of errors on our projects. The value this brings is immense.”
Looking to the future, Vrolijk plans to adopt more and more digital workflows on their construction projects. Automating folder structures and ensuring every single project complies with ISO 19650 – an international standard for managing information over the whole life cycle of a built asset using building information modelling, is a key priority for Rob. The team also want to ensure they are using document approval workflows with their subcontractors which will help the extended team to prepare for the building quality law as well as establish a standardised approach to document management conventions on all projects.
“There is so much functionality in Autodesk’s Construction Cloud so embedding its use with subcontractors and clients is the logical next step for us on our technology adoption journey,” shares Rob. “Eventually we’ll be able to integrate the solution with other software and I’m confident this is the right direction for us to move towards, not just for Vrolijk but for the industry in the Netherlands as a whole.”
And, as the company grows, Vrolijk can optimise more and more processes to guarantee smooth collaboration between an increasing number of stakeholders.