How to empower any business with an information model
Mario Wiedl
December 1, 2021

The construction industry has experienced a small revolution over the past few years - with the introduction of the building information model (BIM). Some call it the 4th industrial revolution, because a functional interaction of various technologies changes the way business is being done in this industry. In the end, the construction industry is an early adopter of several technologies of the web 3.0, as in use by the BIM. Learning from its application in construction, we can use this set of technologies to change processes in other industries similarly.While there is no commonly accepted global standard for BIM yet, it all comes down to one concept: a very advanced, intelligent 3D-model of a building that can largely facilitate the planning and the construction process of the actual project.

Blockchain technology and its unique database structure is being used to power a BIM, alongside advanced data analytics, IoT-implementation, AI with machine learning, and the latest in 3D-modelling software (i.e. CAD systems). This allows planners to create a model that not only shows the design of the project, but all micro and macro factors along the project timeline. Every step of the construction can be planned ahead which will decrease costs and allows for more efficient allocation of resources.

BIM supports the construction process in three steps:

1. Plan the project assessing internal and external factors. A complete simulation of the building is being created in advance for more detailed visualization and a thorough risk assessment. The capabilities of advanced data analytic sallow for various data inputs that may later affect the project in some way. Think of traffic data to precisely calculate the delivery of resources to the construction site or the analysis of weather data to avoid interruptions due to adverse weather-conditions.

2. Monitor ongoing processes of the construction site. Data input along the construction allows planners to constantly align the actual data with the data of the model and recognize deviations in real-time. Faster identification of mistakes and agility in adjusting of inefficiencies within the construction process are the result.

3. After finishing the production process there will be a complete database at hand. Including data about the entire production process and the execution of all steps of the production plan. This data can be used as a proof of work, a proof of sustainability, or to feed the BIM-systems for future projects.

The concept of an information model doesn’t only apply to the construction industry. The innovation it brought into this field can be used in practically any industry. Similar to a construction site in the BIM, a simulation of any business process can be displayed in a blockchain-based application. Just like the BIM works in three steps, an information model supports organizations in three steps to collect data and use the data to enhance their operations:

1. Operational planning, risk management and establishing new business processes

This allows decision makers to assess potential risks and increase the efficiency of the process before executing the process in practice. Data from previous operations can be implemented to identify past mistakes and plan ahead better. External data can be used as necessary for the planned operation: this can be weather data, virus spreads, real-time data from transport providers, or the average number of days per year on which employees call-in sick. A model of all these data inputs and their implications on the execution of the business process enables companies to build more robust business processes and plan new projects in a more informed way.2.

2. Monitoring of ongoing processes, data-based decision-making and streamlining of processes

While running the actual business operation, the model can be used to monitor the execution using IoT-enabled sensors and devices. If deviations from the model are identified, smart contracts can be used to run predefined actions. This allows decision makers to identify inefficiencies along the process and react faster in case the operation deviates from the plan in any way.

3. Making collected data available to stakeholders along the supply chain

All product-related data is stored in a blockchain database after the production process is finished. This allows organizations to give relevant information out to stakeholders as needed: simple buy-sell-verifications where the buyer receives a data-based proof (origin, quality, production timeline, etc.), complex verifications process towards a regulator (e.g. customs agency, NGO), product traceability for consumers.

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