Special Guest
Jacobs Engineering team
Scott MacKenzie

What’s in this episode?

In this conversation with Industrial Talk’s Scott MacKenzie, the Jacobs Engineering team discuss:  

  • BIM modeling and how to use BIM modeling to take your organization to the next step
  • The difference between BIM and digital twin
  • The concept of “garbage in, garbage out” and the importance of making sure you know your data needs before you start cleaning up your systems
  • The importance of maintaining your data and how to enable your team accordingly so you can save time, effort, and cost
  • Staying up-to-date with current practices and making sure you update your environment and processes regularly
  • Future trends that will stick and how to get them right with baseline functional data

Join the conversation!

Full Transcript


Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting-edge, industry-focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's get going.  


Once again, thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk and thank you for your continued support. We are building a platform, a platform that celebrates industry professionals all around the world because you are bold, you are brave, you dare greatly. You are changing lives and you are changing the world. And that's why we celebrate you on this platform, Industrial Talk. Now we are on site right now. Accruent Insights is the user community conference. And it is here at Opryland to the Gaylord Opryland and it's a big doggone building if you've ever you got to put that on your bucket list, because it's pretty spectacular building. And I'm sure that John, Jim and Matt have gotten lost because I know I have so they're in the house. Jacobs is ready to roll. Let's get cracking.  

Yeah, it took me about an hour to find my room, to find the pillow I want to lay my head on. Yeah. Did you guys have that same problem?  


little bit? Yeah, basically. Yeah,


it's you.


It has a boat. Inside.  


It has a boat inside. And all I could think about is the the electric utilities because you go out into the atrium, which is sort of a big greenhouse, and it's cool and cold. And it's it's cold. Gosh. It's pretty cool. Yeah,


Not many times I check into a hotel and I get a map along with my keychain and you need it.


Yeah, absolutely. And we kept on trying to we're, we're over in Delta, wherever that is, Delta.


Good luck finding it.


Really was alright. For the listeners out there. Let's get us a little background start with you, Matt, give us a little background on who you are.


Hi, I'm Matt McAlister. I'm the account manager of document management with Jacobs Engineering. And my main my main goal is I tried to help our clients with figuring out what their highest value metadata and document types are, as we help transition that from legacy systems into new EDMS for now and their future use.  


Highest value, that means you've got to go in there and you've got to determine what the highest value is. I


It’s more about what the industry has right? What did they look for when they are trying to determine what is high value to that high value could be a drawing or a report or schedules?  


Sounds like ultra ditch digging? Well, well you know, if I had a nickel every time I had it coming, okay, we're gonna have to do some data cleaning. Oh, I got a little scratchy throat I'm, I'm gonna be sick on those days, you know. But anyway, God bless you and then what you do. All right, your next


Hey, Jim case, you're here with Jacobs as well. And been in the industry for 30 years. Not always by design, but both in construction and engineering. And I lead the team with Matt of our document management specialists. And my goal is to work with our clients to help them, at the beginning, to figure out what their priorities and goals are.


key. Keep. If there's one thing you walk away from this conversation is the fact that you do it at the beginning. You have those conversations at the beginning. Don't come to me six months down the road and say, whatever. Doesn't work well that way does it?


It's pretty tough to get out of it what you want if you don't know what you want when you start. garbage in, garbage out.  


Yeah, John Londo, I'm with Jacobs as well. Been with the company about eight years, and been in the industry about 16 years. And I’m actually, on the other side of the business from Jim and Matt. I’m with the OMFS group, its operations, maintenance and facility services. And I work with a tech group that manages taking all that technology it takes to run waterways, water faciliteis, and public works facilities and take that technology and tie it into, you know, I think the real workers that are, you know, boots on the ground, doing the work, turning the wrenches every day. 05:41

That's why you have that shirt that says integrated utilities? Yes, yeah. All right. So we're here. We're at the Accruent user community. Why is this important?


So it's important for us to be here, yeah, to communicate our message to our clients and to really, what we see at the forefront of the business right now, is that all the AE firms for over a decade have been designing in 3D. It really brings a lot of value to how they design, it's a design tool, and it's available. At the end of a project, they have not been turning that over to the clients, because the clients didn't know what to do with it.  

They couldn't accept it, manage it, but all this amazing information that the client paid for, by the way, and deserves, they weren't turning it over. Because, you know, maybe the client didn't give them the expectations. We're talking about what you need to do at the beginning, what what are they supposed to turn over to you? Yeah, and then what do I do with it after I get it? So we've been working a lot with Accruent and the Meridian to really enhance their BIM modeling that Building Information Model Management, to take it to the next step.


Well, how does that differ from the term digital twin?


Oh, that's a great question. Somebody give him credit for that.  


So BIM models actually are part of digital twin, right. So you firstly build the model. And the idea with digital twin is to copy that model. So in other words, if especially with like a Greenfield, you're building something from scratch, you can design it so that it could be used in the future, if you put that extra bit of work in upfront to say, “Alright, I don't want to just build it here. What if I build it in Thailand or in Ireland or something like that? What would it need?” And then when you're done that project, you take all that information, and that's what you start with it the next spot. That's digital twin, but that's the difference. You take a model and you're copying it.


How does that help from a maintenance perspective? So there's so many other questions that have to be asked - first off, you're reestablishing sort of this expectation I got, I got this firm, I've got Jacobs, and they're designing this particular Greenfield location. And they're creating all of this wonderful, wonderful information. Great, fantastic. They're putting it into a computer, and they're making it all wonderful. Because I've never really received it in the past, I don't really I don't know what to do. So there's an education component. Yeah. But why is it important for that to be a part of maintenance too?


I mean, so I'll say, you know, my early days, were taking what we would call like the engineering firms and the architectural firms and the construction companies and the red lines. And my job early days was, you know, going through a flat stack room, taking all that data, scanning it getting into a PDF, and then taking it go back and re-digitize it into the CAD world. So we could have that that record, right. And, you know, that was on the federal government side. And so they had the money to spend on that. But a lot of municipalities, state agencies, things like that, they don't have the money to do that. And so rather than me have to call up the engineering firm, see if they have it, which depending on how long it's been, they throw a lot of that stuff out out after seven years. Or you got to, you know, you got to find some kind of document that might be with the client, I might be with somebody else. And so having I think, this industry standard, and I think this is the key for anything we do is having some kind of a standard of hey, when we do an engineering project, we do a BIM model, when we turn it over part of that deliverable is this BIM model. And then we have a set of tools, whether it's Meridian, whether it's any other I don't know any of the other tools out there because Meridian’s new for me, but having some kind of a standard tool that can receive that BIM data that can set us up for that future success of being able to maintain those assets is going to be huge, and a game changer. And I think it's gonna be huge from my perspective of a lot of our municipalities. Now, they're coming up on the aging infrastructure. The cost of maintaining a facility is becoming a big question a lot of people's minds going forward. So


There's a lot of inefficiencies bad that I see just from this particular conversation. And I would I would suspect that it's a situation where using the technology using the innovation that exists, or within Jacobs allows that, that efficiency gain, right? Because you still have to, you still have to, to your point, I've got to, I've got to do that hard work, I've got to do that. What is important, what's not important. And to John's point, you don't want it to throw away, you need to have a way of being able to evaluate. So take us into the mind of the client, where, you know, I've got this, what do I do? I see the value, what do I do?  


So, it's it goes, I guess back to the old adage of garbage in, garbage out, right? If you don't put a good product ahead, to start, you're going to always fall flat on your face in the end. So it's making sure that you develop those standards, that you understand what the high value to you, your client, the people you're working with, so that you're able to bring that back to the forefront and really help create a more robust environment for you, as well as the clients that you're working with.


Jim, that's all great. That's all wonderful. Got it. And in it. And there's a lot of heavy, detailed lifting with this stuff, right? I just get it, I get it. But the reality is, is that, once you hand it over to the client, doesn't that information - garbage in garbage out - Does it have sort of that static environment or sort of quality to it, where it's like, today, we've just changed out a pump, and we just don't even know it, it's not on those documents, and the PN IDs? Well, I don't where they’re at.  


Where they're at, you hit the nail on the head, right. So that's the big thing is, first of all getting quality stuff in, but you got to change, it's always changing, you got to maintain that change. And you need people with skill sets, if you're in the 3D environment now, you need people that have Revit experience, Navisworks, the ability to tie those pieces of information together, and even put in more information so that you can do maintenance, asset management, those things, if you put all that together and you continue that change, then not only will you save time and money on your maintenance, but you're also going to save time and money on your next project. Because you can hand that model over to the next day AE firm, or you do it in house. But it's all about saving time, schedule, and cost.


Is that a part of the the actual, if I engage with Jacobs, that whole change management, it's like, okay, I get it. Look at all this great stuff. Somebody's backing it up in a truck, right? It's all good. But is that also a part of the deliverable on your part where you have to do that education and change management?


Yeah, in fact, that's actually where our partnership with Meridian started, is because being the largest provider in the Life Sciences industry and many others, many of our clients were already using Meridian. And we were actually managing it for them. We were the people that were working in 2D making their drawing changes, we were the document managers that took the standards, communicated them to that AE firm and said, “This is what we expect you to deliver at the end.” Well, here we are now in the 3d environment, and we're doing with our customers even more. And now we have those skills that allow our clients don't have the license for Naviswork and Revit. They don't have skills. I mean, that's a whole other level of families and data.


To me, it just sounds like a lot of money. Tell me, tell me why this is important to the bottom line.


Yeah, I mean, so I was just about to touch on that. I think the point about, you know, the difference between a CAD drawing and a Revit drawing is all the data that comes with it. And like I said, I come from the GIS side of things, and that I call that, you know, BIM for the whole world, before BIM became a thing where you have your drawings, your 2D representation of that asset. And when I first got into GIS was I came from an architectural background, and it was CAD. And I learned that like, GIS is just a CAD drawing with the database attached to it. And so when you can take, I mean, we used to get those CAD drawings to go put in stuff and it was great. It was like, okay, but now, even with the electronic file, I have to go in there, I gotta find the pump in this room, I gotta find the switch in this room, I gotta find this. And I gotta put that into a spreadsheet, or I gotta put that into some kind of documentation. And nobody's got the time to do that. And so with I think the upbringing of Revit as we have some platform but I think Bentley has some platforms as well with...I forget their tool. But having that database attached to that CAD environment or to that graphic side of it, makes it easy, just Push and Pull. If we you know, we follow the proper standards around it, it's it's just about saving time.  


It's time, safety. Because the reality is, is that whatever is out there in the field is reflected in the documentation, which is really important. But it gets back down to, how are we keeping up with it and all that stuff. That that to me is that to me is important, Matt. How do we - is it difficult once I say yes, Jacob solution, great team, I trust you, you're my Sherpas, is all of that great stuff. Is it difficult in a very dynamic industrial environment? To keep current to keep it up to date? Because if, if there's any friction, if there's any friction from me saying, oh, man, I gotta go over here. I'm gonna I'm gonna eventually pencil whip with the damn thing. So is it easy?


Well, there's an inherent easiness to it. But it's also hard, right? I guess I didn't really answer the question. But the best way I can really, I can really say is, it's it's easy enough to stay up with current practices, but it's about making sure that you put them into reality, right? So it's about not only following your own standards, but able to adapt to how the environment is ever-shifting. A lot, a lot of great ways to do that, as far as, make sure you lean on your team, if you lean on staff and make sure that you're able to keep up pushing the envelope forward in that ever-changing field.


Yeah, I just think that it's, it's because once you invest that time, energy and effort, right, Jim, yeah, and it's all there, and it looks great. And it's pristine, and it's all buttoned up, it's incumbent upon the client to make sure that that in place, or the proper change management, or it's just, well, I'm going to call Matt again. And Matt's gonna have to come and scrub it and do it again. And it just becomes this source of frustration, and you're really trying to create a solution that solves a problem, creates a safe work environment, improves maintenance, in a way that Ara has, I have visibility. So is that is that part of the drivers?


It is. And I mean, you mentioned safety, right? So, one of the biggest things that you have to worry about when you're doing some of these projects is shutdowns, right. And when you have all these people that are going in to do a shutdown, if they don't have the right information, not only are they going to possibly be in an unsafe environment, but just as importantly, they have a very short window. And if they don't get the project done in that Friday night till you know, Sunday night, then they have to shut it all down. And they might be six months later. And that's because they didn't know what they were going into. Holy smokes.


How many times have you had that conversation? Oh, hey, guy, we gotta get this thing up and run out three hours. And they just sort of ramble on by. Okay. I'm gonna John, put your future hat on. Sure. Where do you see it going? What do you see this big next, like, this is all great. This is all wonderful. And, and but I see, like, AI? How that that might have and what you think.  


I think, you know, the digital twin is a good piece of it. But it also begs the question, you can get digital twin unless you got good data going in. Right? And so the first crux of any problem for how do we you know, what's in the future, and what's the next technology bring, like, it doesn't matter what the next technology is, or what you know what the future brings, if we don't have the baseline foundational data, to support whatever that next tool is, we're in, we're in a heap of trouble, we're back to square one. And you know, a lot of times we want to go, Oh, we got this new software, this new software came out. It's got all these cool features, and the marketing department did a great job of selling it to us. And it's like, and then when you finally get it, you're like, oh, yeah, we still gotta do all the legwork that goes into building and setting this up. And so I really do think it's digital twin. I think AI has a place. But I think that the tricky part about AI is interpreting AI and making sure that AI is doing what you want it to do, not what it thinks you want it to do, because it's smarter than we are. And, and so, I mean, so there's a whole, you know, I probably an hour-long conversation just around the troubles around AI.  

But the digital twin side of it is building this model that you can take in a real-world environment, run all the physics and stuff on it in the side piece and say, Well, what if we did this size of five instead of this? Or what if we did this, this and see that? If we get to that point, that's gonna save us a lot of stuff on capital improvements projects, it's gonna be will help us do a lot of predictive maintenance as far as when we should do these things and change things out. But we can't do that until that foundational layer data is in there.  


Yeah, I like the I like the simulation component, to be able to just say, you know, for me personally, if I could just “what-if” the world right? What if I do tweak to this, and then you then you're able to really sort of dial it in? And if they're accurate, right? I mean, again, back to the data conversation, you know,


You've got to put the work in front. Keep talking about that, but then you can create scalability, you can create that optioneering now, and that's where AI probably has its place. It's very in every industry, it's it's in its infancy, right. But they really depend on many, many choices. And that's where their intelligence comes from. So that's why, like, with Jacobs, having done so many designs, that's where we're going to mine into that data field.


He got that challenge of saying, Okay, I gotta put the team together and Jacobs and then I gotta go grab Matt, and we're gonna cipher through all of this, all this stuff and everything. That's a, that's some heavy lifting man. It is. Where do you see it going?  


So it's so especially in what I do, right, helping clients move from one EDMS to another one of the biggest lifts that we have is data migration, right, moving it from that legacy terminal to the new storage device. And this is where something like AI would be beneficial. It's able to comb through those PNIDs, find the metadata that we're looking for, find the asset linkages that we're looking for, and help speed up that process. I'm not saying it's going to be a perfect process, especially to Jim's point, it’s in its infancy. But it should be able to speed up what is always the heaviest lift in moving all this documentation used for you know, government compliance, used for maintenance, and making sure that it is accessible and easy to search for throughout your industry.


Okay, two things to take away from this. One, have the conversation upfront, please have the conversation upfront. It costs less, significantly less. And then all of the, the, that was a mistake about that. I've only done this a gazillion times. The and also data, how critical it is with data. You know, that to me is just amazing. I just get that right. Then it just opens up a bunch of doors. All right.


How did we get a hold of you, John? Yeah, get a hold of me at John.Londo@Jacobs.com sent me an email.


All right, Jim. So Jimbo? Yeah, I've been caught them a number of things. Yeah, right, Jimbo,


Jimbo chinmay. Yes. So James.Cashir@jacobs.com. Best is my cell phone. 267-934-7809.


Finally, the young top right. Are you the youngest one? Yeah, maybe. Hot dog.


But Matt. McAllister@jacobs.com Not to be confused with Home Alone McAllister, of course.  


Here it is. All right. You guys were absolutely wonderful. Thank you for saying yes. And being on the podcast. I really appreciate that. Thank you. All right, listen. Yeah, yeah, it's good. It's gonna be memory. For the rest of it's just like forever that was on this. All right, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. Stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


All right. How about that for a great conversation again, at Accruent Insights, a wonderful, and I mean, a wonderful event that you need to put on your calendar for next year. Also, if you don't see the importance of document management, after that conversation, I can't help you because document management is so important dynamic document management, getting the latest and greatest information about the assets that are that you're running. Right, it makes sense. It is a must reach out to all three of those gents at Jacobs. They know what they're doing. All right. All right. Industrial talk. You need to amplify your voice. Yes. You need to state your, your value proposition. Yes, that's what industrial talk is all about. It's about you, industrial professionals, you companies. Be a part of this ecosystem that is expanding. It's all out there. Go out to industrial talk. Click on collaborate. And and let's have a conversation on how we can work together. All right, be bold, be brave. dare greatly hang out with Jacobs change the world we're gonna have another great conversation shortly.