MEP Force 2020 Takeaways Part 2 LinkedIn

Our partners at Applied Software put on the 3rd Annual MEP Force 2020 conference virtual-style, this year. More than 1,300 mechanical, electrical, and plumbing pros, plus BIM specialists and other construction industry experts attended.

We’re sharing some of our team’s key takeaways from some of the sessions. You can also listen to recaps of the conference on the award winning Bridging the Gap podcast hosted by Todd Weyandt. Day 1 recap here, Day 2 recap here and Day 3 recap here.

During the conference's Virtual Happy Hour, BIM Designs' Head of Sales, Steve Couch, demonstrated how to prepare a delicious barbecue sauce to use in all sorts of dishes. To see how he did it, check out the video in our blog, and for more key takeaways from MEP Force 2020, continue reading the rest of our blog.


David Francis, Chief Technology Officer at Innovative Construction Technology presented in a session titled BIM Manager 101 and focused on people, internal customers, technology, and operations. It's the information we all need to know and incorporate into our organization.


People are our biggest assets in every company.  You’ve got to invest in them to get the results you desire. David Francis reminded us of the importance of getting to know our workers. This takes effort. It’s not enough to just have a good working relationship but taking the time to get to know them and learn what’s going on in their lives outside of work can help forge that bond.

You’ve got to cultivate your people and invest in the ones with potential. This means helping team members grow and training your replacement. Doing this can help identify the right people.  It also lets you assess whether people are on the right seat in the bus.  If they’re in the right seat, great!

Internal Customers

We also need to remember to treat our people as internal customers. Make sure to knock down any silos that can separate people and ensure everyone has access to the information they need.  There’s great power in synergy when a team works together, Francis said.

Getting the most out of your people takes a goal-oriented workspace. In another session of management tips for BIM managers, James Simpson, Product Manager for eVolve MEP, said he likes a three-step approach:

  • Assign
  • Trust
  • Measure

It’s also important, he said, to have the right measurements. Are we tracking things just to track them or will the metrics translate into actionable items?  When everybody knows the goal and can measure their progress against their goals, they're more likely to respond positively to coaching. This builds a foundation for trust within an organization while still providing accountability.


People think about the cost of software but it’s really the cheapest investment you’re making, David Francis said.  It serves as the underpinning for your projects. Hardware is more expensive, but costs are amortized across projects and can often be offset through leasing back to projects.

The highest cost of all, according to Francis, is training. If people aren't using your assets to the fullest, you're not getting the performance you need and getting your money's worth.


One of the reasons conferences like MEP Force 2020 is important is that you can pick the brains of other people in your industry and learn from external sources. If you’re struggling with something, there’s a pretty good chance others are, too, and they may have found a solution that will help you.

You should look at mistakes as opportunities to discover whether it’s a one-time thing or whether you’ve got other issues. Francis said you’ve got to learn from your mistakes.

  • Why did it happen?
  • What are we doing wrong and what can we do to fix it?
  • Does the person responsible for the mistake need more training or are they the wrong person for the job?

Empathize when mistakes are made but don’t bury them.  It’s important to take the time to better understand how it happened so you don’t repeat them in the future.

Look for every opportunity to improve processes.  Try to squeeze out every efficiency.  If it’s not cost-effective or you don’t have the specific expertise, outsource when needed.

A Big Shout Out

If you take care of your people and meet their professional needs, your people will take care of your customers and meet their professional needs. Thanks to Richard Burroughs (President and Founder of Applied Software) and his team at Applied Software for inviting our team to join the conference and for making the virtual MEP Force 2020 conference actually happen. We look forward to the 2021 MEP Force event and hope we will all be able to meet in person by then!

About BIM Designs, Inc.

BIM Designs Inc. is an agile BIM detailing, modeling, consulting, and coordination service provider. We work closely with architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) contractors and developers that require experienced journeymen detailers and engineers for Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection (MEPF) modeling, Laser Scanning, and Virtual Design Construction (VDC) services. BIM Designs, Inc. is a signatory with 18 UA and SMART unions in multiple states.

Mark Oden

About the Author

Mark, CEO, joined the BIM Designs team with over 10 years of experience working with Silicon Valley tech companies in product management, business development, mergers and acquisitions, and CxO roles. Mark leads the growth, strategy and execution of the company; his acute ability to develop and implement strategic processes that scale the company's capabilities drives efficient service delivery, increases client satisfaction, and builds cross-functional teams.