Manufacturing With BIM: The Cubicle Centre Story
“Some people think a cubicle is just a cubicle, but we take our business seriously” says Craig Sewell, stirring our hot coffees on a freezing morning in West Yorkshire, UK.“I started here straight out of University and thought: toilet cubicles, really? I’ll do it for a summer to pay the bills”.
It’s now 10 years later, and Craig is Brand and Marketing Director.
As The B1M team standing on the other side of the small kitchen, we’re reassured by his candour. Thankfully it’s not just us that feel this is a little unusual.
"I started here straight out of University and thought: toilet cubicles, really? I’ll do it for a summer to pay the bills”
Cubicle Centre have come a long way since 1997 when founder David Thorpe made his first unit by hand in a Dewsbury garage. Formed as a business in 1999, they now employ 25 people and turnover £4M a year. They supplied 2,500 toilet cubicles to the London 2012 Olympic Village and recently became the first cubicle manufacturer in the UK to invest in BIM.
And that is what has brought us here.
Our ambition is to create an engaging documentary about BIM and toilet cubicle manufacturing. We know that sounds amusing. We know it won’t win an Oscar. But bear with us a moment, and look a little deeper.
Cubicle Centre’s BIM journey is an inspirational story locked inside modest people. They’re doing a great job but don’t really realise it. What we shine a light on here is people – normal people like you and I – seeing real benefits to their business and working lives as a direct result of using BIM.
This documentary uncovers the pure honesty of their motives: “BIM was about improving ourselves first and foremost” explains Craig. “It has enabled us to improve lead times and increase productivity, so it was a no-brainer really”.
They’re now projecting a five working week saving as a result of streamlining the design-to-manufacture process. Having created 3D components of their products with specification and attribute data attached, project teams can accurately model, specify and cost washroom spaces. Cubicle Centre then simply generate works orders and cutting lists directly from the Project Information Model. The process is both quicker and more accurate than before.
Could you imagine an extra five working weeks in your own financial year?
If you think the finished film and its participants look highly polished and better than anything you or your team could do, then take a couple of minutes to watch the bloopers video (http://www.theb1m.com/video/b1m-bloopers-cubicle-centre). We interviewed real people in this documentary – not actors – and all they did was speak from the heart. Putting a strong edit together is our part.
Our ambition at The B1M has always been to take BIM to a wider audience with free and engaging video content. So we’re proud to release our first BIM documentary. We want it to showcase Cubicle Centre’s work and inspire others around the world…. enjoy!