Spotlight on Impararia: Reducing the Gap Between Aerospace Optimization and AEC Inefficiency

By Akio
Mohamed Ali El Hani, CEO of IMPARARIA Inc.

Mohamed Ali El Hani, CEO of IMPARARIA Inc.

After decades providing IT and product lifecycle management consulting services to the aerospace industry, Mohamed Ali El Hani saw an opportunity to apply his experience in that mature industry to a new sector just beginning to adopt similar processes and tools: the AEC industry.

Interested in exploring how aerospace technologies and a PLM approach could help improve the productivity of the design and construction industries, El Hani founded Impararia Solutions Inc. in 2009.

With Impararia, El Hani set out to become a leader in PLM, helping AEC customers optimize their business processes by looking at IT investments that address the full lifecycle of their projects.

However, the CEO of the Montreal-based company quickly recognized that despite the many similarities between aerospace and AEC, significant gaps still exist.


Impararia is setting out to narrow these gaps through change management, and by helping AEC companies create a vision for their future.

Shifting From Project to Process

While technology providers see the AEC industry at the cusp of an efficiency evolution already completed by the aerospace industry, many architects, engineers, and contractors struggle to change their mindset from “projects” to “products.”

According to El Hani, the shift in thinking about a building as a manufactured product is an important step in optimizing design and construction. It requires a focus on reusable building processes, rather than on seeing each project as a separate entity.

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: “Focus on reusable #building processes,
rather than each #AEC project as separate entity” -@IMPARARIA

With this shift in thinking, more design and construction companies are turning to manufacturing tools, such as simulation and 3D modeling software, and concepts such as PLM.

Impararia describes PLM as a process covering every aspect of a product’s lifecycle, from the first design to the end of the product (or project) life. The PLM concept relies on the control of all product information, processes, roles and information systems involved in the product lifecycle. This broad view is put into place to shorten the overall project duration and reduce costs.

Although many AEC professionals see PLM as interchangeable with building information management, PLM is a much broader concept that encompasses BIM technologies. While BIM focuses on digital mockup creation, the scope of PLM includes total project and supply chain management.

The Shift to a More Collaborative Approach

Helping AEC professionals understand the applicability of PLM is one of the challenges Impararia has faced in moving into the building industries. While the technologies and practices being used in aerospace — such as 2D to 3D migration, and certain business processes — are applicable to AEC, El Hani found they couldn’t be immediately transferred until the industry’s unique challenges were addressed.

One of those challenges is an ill-defined supply chain compared to aerospace.

“In some cases the architect is bidding, in other cases it’s the owner, and in other cases it’s the contractor,” he says. “The result is that we’re seeing each actor in this supply chain think only of its own benefits and scope of work — and the owner at the end pays the cost.”

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: When each party in #AEC supply chain
thinks only of own benefits & scope, Owner pays the price

Another challenge preventing a shift to more optimized construction is the way projects contracts are defined. Current contract structures make it difficult to define ownership of shared BIM data.

Further complicating this optimization, El Hani says, is a gap between the expectations of AEC players and technology providers.

“Our conclusion was that AEC customers were expecting to get technology for better management and collaboration from traditional AEC software providers, but what they were getting was only 3D mockup capabilities,” he says. “This gap in expectations was a big problem.”

It’s one reason Impararia partnered with Dassault Systèmes. Impararia found that the 3DExperience platform better integrated modeling tools with project management capabilities, providing the collaborative approach needed for true PLM on building and infrastructure projects.

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: Collaboration
is required for true PLM in #AEC

El Hani adds that he is seeing a slow shift toward greater collaboration and optimization in regions, such as the United Kingdom, where governments are launching initiatives to help companies reduce construction costs and improve productivity.

Their vision of BIM Level3 overlaps with a PLM philosophy. El Hani is supporting similarly focused research initiatives in Quebec to help define new policies for PLM adoption by AEC building manufacturers.


How Impararia Is Helping This Shift

To narrow these gaps, Impararia first sets out to help clients to develop a vision for their future. By helping define a roadmap of where they want to be in the next 10 to 20 years, Impararia aims to assist clients in better planning their technology investments.

Moreover, Impararia helps companies to implement PLM by first defining why the need for PLM exists and what problems this process will solve for them.

“We help them, based on our experience from other industries, refine their vision for their market and how they need to be structured internally, from business practices to technology, to support that vision. PLM does not exist without vision,” El Hani says.

Once a roadmap is in place, Impararia helps to introduce the processes, best practices and tools that will help clients to achieve their goals over the long term.

Cases in Point

In the beginning, when working with architects and contractors in the Montreal area, this process began not with vision but with convincing companies that manufacturing technologies could truly improve their processes.

The company had to explain how aerospace, and others, used the migration from 2D to 3D, model-based definition simulations, long-term archiving and other tools, to build better projects, more efficiently.

From convincing, Impararia moved to decision-making. For one French engineering company looking to migrate from 2D to 3D, but not sure how to make the move, Impararia helped capture the company’s true needs.

They came up with a solution using a 3D modeling tool with a capability for advanced relational design. With one technology investment, the engineering company found it could create a single advanced model that could be easily adjusted to meet the needs of the majority of its clients.

Increasingly Accessible Technologies

AEC professionals are becoming convinced that the aerospace roadmap can optimize their industry. Meanwhile, the incoming generation of designers and contractors are expecting more from technology.

“I often ask myself ‘why is there a gap between Aerospace and AEC?’” El Hani says. “In truth, I think it’s in large part due to technology accessibility.”

“Today, I see students born with technology in their hands. Advanced design using new equipment and collaborative technologies is already second nature to them,” El Hani says. “Mobile technology deployment took well less than a decade. PLM adoption in the AEC industry could accelerate in the next few years.”

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: Tech accessibility & #PLM adoption
in #AEC is rapidly increasing

He predicts software manufacturers like Dassault Systèmes will offer more collaborative solutions at a more rapid rate than ever, it will be up to AEC companies to put those tools to work to improve their projects.

Related Resources

Collaborative and Industrialized Construction – Dassault Systèmes

End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3 White Paper

Impararia Website

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: Spotlight on @IMPARARIA: Reducing the Gap
Between Aerospace Optimization & AEC Inefficiency

3 Simple Words: Innovation, Technology and Business

By Matthew

Get ready to join ENOVIA at PLM Innovation Forum September 24-25, 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden.


This conference focuses on the whole spectrum of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) from a business, process, and functional  perspective. It brings together customers, partners, and leaders from across the industry to network, gain insight into new PLM trends, and experiences.

Join our team of ENOVIA experts:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

  • Innovate More, Manage Less: the Future of Customer Experience – a Keynote presentation by Andy KALALMBI, CEO ENOVIA
  • Technifair – Meet with, and learn from ENOVIA experts at the ENOVIA booths
  • Schedule your private 1:1 meeting with members of our attending team

Friday, September 25, 2015 (parallel meetings)

  • ENOVIA Keys to 3DEXPERIENCE Day – Hear the latest, most accurate information from ENOVIA; share your feedback,questions, and be inspired
  • ENOVIA Materials Compliance Management Advisory Board Meeting – Drive growth for the future


Register to secure your seats today and be sure to select all desired ENOVIA sessions during this single, fee-free registration process.

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew Hall is the ENOVIA User Advocacy & Social EXPERIENCE Specialist.  You can find him on Twitter at @mjhall. Connect with ENOVIA at @3DSENOVIA

Earned Value Management: Reducing Risk and Empowering Program Managers

By Matthew

product-planning-programs-enovia-540x355It is no secret that we live in a dynamic world, where new technologies are driving us towards achievements that were once thought to be impossible. When developing these disruptive innovations, program managers need to be adaptable to ever-changing circumstances, but due to frequent, unforeseen alterations to the program, deliverables often vary from their original concept. Perhaps the only consistencies of the program development process are the tight budgets and high expectations associated with it. Therefore, program managers who can delegate task responsibility, allocate a budget effectively, and maintain an accurate perspective as to the completion of the project are valuable assets to any company. In fact, we believe program managers are the Super Heroes of the workplace. They keep a watchful eye and apply their skills to make order out of the chaos surrounding them.

But what are Super Heroes without their powers? They are simply individuals with good intentions who lack the proper resources to do amazing work. This is the unfortunate reality for many program management organizations, as their heroes struggle to work around budget constraints to complete high risk, time-sensitive programs. However, the tools to achieve company program goals are within reach, and with them come new methods for analysis and reporting. Earned Value Management (EVM) is a management process that offers individuals strong visibility to program data as well as a means to organize that data so they can present their progress quantifiably to stakeholders. The EVM process enables organizations to be more organized, plan programs more effectively, and create accurate progress reports. To do so, one must simply integrate an EVM System (EVMS), which can be adapted from current systems.

EVM is particularly effective because of the centralization and visibility of information it offers to workers involved with a program. Collecting data from multiple sources and presenting it in a single, intuitive interface not only saves time, but also ensures that no information goes missing or forgotten. To reach this level of organization, a company’s s EVMS must interact easily with legacy systems to access the necessary data. Fortunately, if your organization has already implemented a strong Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) structure, this can hold as the single source of truth needed for optimal organization and visibility.

Planning, Scheduling, and Budgeting
To ensure that program goals are being met it is crucial to first set clear, agreed-upon plans. Doing so will ultimately result in a baseline of the program, which can be referenced often for comparative analysis. This is one of the many fundamentals of EVM, and based on the initial plan, tasks can be disbursed to contributors in a coherent timeline. Planning the program before executing it also improves the accuracy of budget distribution and reduces risk. In order to be successful program planners using EVM processes, there must be a synced relationship with all of the necessary data, as well as a Program Task Management solution in the EVMS.

Analysis and Management Reports
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of integrating an EVM approach to program management is the empowerment it gives our heroic program managers to make objective conclusions about the performance of a project. Key performance indicators can be accessed through their PLM system, and can be compared to the declarations made in the baseline plan. Doing so will allow them to say with factual certainty how far along the team is with the program, how well they are using the budget, and when completion should be expected. Because all information is updated real-time through an EVMS, this analysis can be conducted at any point in time, and the baseline can be adjusted accordingly.

Overall, the integration of an Earned Value Management process for program management will do so much more than organize project data. It will provide program managers with new levels of control and visibility, which enables the team to put forward its best work. Shifting gears to an EVM approach is easier than you think, and can be achieved by leveraging current systems the company already has in place. If you would like to learn more you can register for a free EBook where you will learn Tech-Clarity’s recommendations for EVM, and how you can provide your Super Heroes with the tools for success.

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew Hall is the ENOVIA User Advocacy & Social EXPERIENCE Specialist.  You can find him on Twitter at @mjhall. Connect with ENOVIA at @3DSENOVIA

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