Visual Collaboration at Volker Wessels

Volker Wessels is a leading Dutch construction group with more than 100 operating companies, having branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, the US and Canada. With around 15000 employees, Volker Wessels is generating an annual turnover of 4.5 billion EUR.

Building Information Modeling
Effective collaboration of project teams is a key success factor in the area of building information modeling (BIM). The construction industry puts significant efforts into optimizing asynchronous collaboration, e.g. by standardizing file formats for data exchange. But that is just one aspect of supporting teams to work together.

Synchronous vs. asynchronous collaboration
Volker Wessels took their collaboration to the next level by also supporting synchronous collaboration­­­­­­­­ of team members who are in the same room, e.g. during design review or coordination meetings. The starting point was a situation where paper was still one of the core tools to exchange and work with visual content. For a single project, up to 30000 documents needed to be managed.

Integrated concurrent engineering
As part of their newly introduced “concurrent engineering” approach, team members now work with BIM models instead of paper, using SMART Visual Collaboration Solutions. The direct and intuitive interaction with “one single source of truth” makes communication and collaboration much more efficient. As team members can be located anywhere in the world, the company is also using tools to enable real-time collaboration over distance.

Ease-of-use is key
Supporting technologies can only achieve their ROI if they are being used. Therefore, ease-of-use was a key decision factor to select solutions from SMART. Employees can simply pick a pen and write or sketch, as they were used to do on paper. This intuitive and natural interaction with software and 3D models increases adoption significantly, and with it, the ROI.

Increased quality and execution speed
Today, Volker Wessels is using the solutions from SMART on a daily basis, increasing the quality and execution speed of their projects. René de Groot, BIM Program manager at Volker Wessels: “BIM is all about communication and collaboration. We constantly improve and innovate how we do things. This is where SMART comes in.”

Tobias Windbrake
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About Tobias Windbrake

Tobias works as Collaboration Consultant in the EMEA & APAC region. He joined SMART seven years ago, initially managing SMART’s training business. Based on this experience, he strongly believes in ease-of-use and simplicity as an essential factor for technology adoption - the core requirement for ROI. Tobias holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science, and was running his own software company before joining SMART.

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