Selling it

Introducing an innovation in one’s firm is a little bit like the role of a salesperson(vendor/Rep/etc.) I would argue a very important role if you intend to be successful. Innovations seldomly sell themselves. There’s always someone in the line of approvals who doesn’t see the value. In a past life I was a salesman for a short period.

In the mid-90’s I was an account executive at a routing logistics software company, and I was responsible for the Northeast USA. I made “sales calls” and introduced value justifications for purchasing the innovative system of ours to trucking and delivery companies. The technology was so new that few people had even heard of computer routing, let alone had a computer doing anything for them in this regard. I wasn’t very good at selling the system but I learned a lot about sales and the drivers that lead to them. Now that the tables are turned, and I am typically on the purchasing side of things, I feel I have some very useful insight to help negotiate and get the best deals for my firm. On the other hand I am also in “sales” to some degree. I’m selling the partners on why we should spend gobs of money on something that they’ve never hear of or understand fully. I do this because I take ownership of the technological path of the company and see the “big picture” as it were.

Techniques with which to introduce and “sell” within our firms might be a good topic of discussion. DTS is a week away and we’ll be discussing Innovation and aspects surrounding it, among other things.  Bring your own questions, challenges, ideas, and conundrums!

Questioning the Current Reality – Making it Better

The Design Technology Summit has posed questions like “Is BIM Better” and “Where does this BIM path lead [the industry]” and do we have a “BIM Hangover?” We have discussed topics such as design technology Management, Collaboration, Innovation, Training, Content & it’s management, Challenges, Standards, Productivity, Virtual Reality, Project Management, BIM Project Budgeting, and many more. Some attendees argue that although the in-session discussions are quite pertinent to modern day challenges and highly valuable, the conversations in-between sessions and at the social events are also just as valuable if not more-so. No-where else does one see 40 design technology leaders of large firms get together to discuss the industry challenges and solutions. This year we tackle the topic of “innovation” in and outside of the AEC and the Summit agenda is fantastic! If you’ve never attended, I encourage you to request an invitation below.

Design Technology Leaders is an independent & agnostic collective of design technology leaders and directors of over 250 large firms internationally, with over 300 participating members and maintains unique insight into challenges of AEC collaboration. DTS brings together professionals from large firms in the building Architecture and Engineering (AE) design industry who have a responsibility for managing and implementing design technology. DTS is a forum, a venue to discuss ideas – to share, to challenge, and to refine our thinking. The design world is a constantly evolving landscape driven by the adoption of BIM tools, availability of increased computing power, the ubiquity of mobile solutions and “always on” data access. These new paradigms challenge the traditional operations of AE firms and have resulted in a new domain of expertise at the intersection of technology and practice.
Attendance at DTS is by invitation only and limited to 40 registrants. We feel that his number will better foster an atmosphere of active and meaningful discussions between everyone.

  • If you received an invitation, we are hopeful that you are able to join your fellow invitees.
  • If you have questions feel free to contact secretary@rtcevents.com

• If you think you belong at this event, but did not receive an invitation, please email secretary@rtcevents.com to sign-up for future follow-up and communication (Please include your name, e-mail, title, company, company size, address (optional), and a brief response on “why you belong at DTS”?).

Innovation is usually a bumpy road

Recently we printed our first multi-material, 1/8th scale model of our high-rise urban habitat we call “Falcon Tower”. We ran into some issues with material fusion such that the structural analysis model didn’t match with the data we were getting from the printed sensors. The sensors were reporting a striated mix of concrete and steel in the core that was compromising the structure and that would not meet the safety requirements when printed at full-scale. Being such a new technology, it’s understandable that serious issues like this will arise and this is the reason that we went to the expense of printing a scale model. From the perspective of the design-technology leader, I feel the weight of this initial failure bearing down on me. Clearly though, there’s an issue with the translation and scaling of the BIM to the current build of the MMP software because the hardware checked-out fine and the model passed both an automated quality check and a visual quality check done by yours-truly. Still, there’s a lot riding on this for our company as well as a risk of great expense for our client so there can be no question as to the reliability of the delivery process. Luckily, through my participation in the Deign Technology Summit over the years, I’ve forged some great relationships with my peers, most of which are venturing down the same path with multi-material building printing, and I can reach out to them to see if they are experiencing the same issues at scale and discuss solutions that I may have overlooked. Innovation can be a double-edge sword but I believe that without great risk there is seldom great reward.

This is fiction. One day in the near future I may be having this issue and I’m certain that I’ll still be relying on the colleagues I’ve met at DTS to help solve the issues quickly. Join this community of Design Technology Leaders this summer in Toronto to talk about innovation and other topics, and take a step towards a greater future for your company through a knowledge network that’s unmatched in this industry.

Our attendance is capped at 40, so please apply early. If you’d like to attend but did not receive an invitation, please email us at: secretary@rtcevents.com and include your name, e-mail, title, company, approximate number of employees, company website and a brief response on “why you belong at DTS”. I look forward to seeing you there!

DTS Registration Opens This Week!

Ok, so a month later, this is it!  Registration for the 2017 Design Technology Summit opens this week.  For those who may have missed my last post about the upcoming event, you can check it out here.

The application to attend DTS is now part of the overall BILT NA registration process.  You can select ‘DTS Only’ or, if you will be attending multiple events, select one of the BILT NA options and you will be asked which additional events you would like to attend later in the process.

More information on the event and pricing can also be found on our webpage www.designtechnologyleaders.com.

Our attendance is capped at 40, so please apply early.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Reality changes… you’ve got to keep up

Virtual reality has entered the main stream. Clients are asking for it. After decades of being the odd stepchild of rendering and the world wide web, virtual reality has come into its own thanks to developments in mobile and supporting technologies.  Some of you may remember the introduction of VRML in 1994 and the promise of Web3d a few years later. Prior to that, Morton Helig devised a multimodal stereoscopic machine called Sensorama, immersing the user into a virtual world for entertainment. Today, Design industries are seeing much value in virtual and augmented reality. For the healthcare industry, VR has proven to be invaluable and generally a real crowd pleaser. For instance our staff walk around existing Hospital Emergency Departments with our clients and their staff, displaying the virtualized renovations on iPads and Cardboard viewers. Decisions to design questions are quickly provided and feedback is ample. Miscommunication is minimized with these tools and attendees leave with a clear understanding of the designs presented. Value.
I look forward to discussing VR and AR with colleagues at the Design Technology Summit this summer in Toronto. Being a forum of leaders of large firms, DTS has got the answers you are looking for and the experience to tap as you venture into new avenues of design technologies.

The upcoming Summit looks to cross-pollinate with individuals and expertise outside of our industry, to inspire ideas and solutions to challenges you face. Discussion of your firm’s design-technology challenges is part of every Summit. Join the community of Design Technology Leaders this summer in Toronto and take a step towards driving increased value, new client opportunities or better quality in your firm.