The Cost of Information Loss


Merrick & Company recently had the opportunity to calculate the predicted return on investment (ROI) for a long term asset lifecycle management implementation of a new facility design, construction, and management using High Definition Surveying (HDS) and Building Information Modeling (BIM).  This Scan to BIM approach was to be used on a facility planned to be about 375,000 square feet in size.

It is often very difficult to measure the effect of changes to a system that improve tasks and/or prevent problems that are difficult to quantify.  ROI calculations involving intangibles are often based on educated guesses at best.  We set out to focus solely on areas of measureable costs savings recognizing that there would be many more benefits from the extensive and long duration use of Scan to BIM.  After much searching for existing ROI studies on this, we found little to no applicable resources to reference.

This led us to develop a Facility Asset Information Cost Model founded on a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report addressing the cost of inaccessible or lost information in the capital facilities industry.  This report titled Cost Analysis of Inadequate Interoperability in the U.S. Capital Facilities Industry stated that approximately 40% of engineering time is inefficiently spent locating & validating information.  It also included that poor inter-systems communication wastes approximately 30% of project costs.  The NIST report found that poor communication and information loss tend to be particularly severe during Asset Lifecycle phase transitions.

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