Specialties

This page is a jumping off point to some of our more in-depth articles on specialized practice areas. We’ll introduce them here, and you can read more about each area by following the links, and, for some areas, even more by downloading the white paper to which you will find a link on the topical web page.

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Can We Help You?

As a manager or chief executive, what are the five key things you need to know every morning to know if your business is achieving its objectives? Does your technology provide those to you in real-time?

We believe you should be able to see immediately, on the network, the status of all aspects of your business systems. You should be able to verify at a glance that resources are being allocated according to the correct priorities. And you should be able to see and verify without running voluminous reports in SQL from an historical database which is obsolete by the time the information becomes available. If that's not happening in your business today, call us for new IDEAS.

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Business Technology Integration and Business Process Improvement
Yes, it’s our company tag line, but what does it mean? A lot of companies say they are in “the technology business.” They have technology, you have a business, and they will sell you technology. We say, you have a business, and if you integrate the right technology into the processes that drive your business, your business will work better. We’re in the business of helping you make your business work better — and if that includes integrating new technology, we’re very good at that. Business Technology Integration is one step — often the most critical one, but not the first step — in a total program of Business Process Improvement. First you have to understand your business processes and how they need to work, then you can start to think about optimizing them by integrating the appropriate technology tools.
Parametric Modeling
Spend a little time on our site, and you will see the term parametric modeling all over the place. Elsewhere, we've defined it as a dynamic engineering and design technology that interfaces a set of rules with a virtual 3D representation of structures or environments. Rules make activities easily replicable, which means they can be easily made more efficient, which means you save money. Rules also tend to make outputs more consistent, which means better quality. Apply them to a 3D model, and you can see and understand them really easily. Better quality for less money, in a way that's easy to understand — what’s not to like about that? Read more here ...
Integrated 6-Dimensional Virtual Modeling
Parametric modeling can incorporate a virtually unlimited number of dimensions. We’ve settled on six as the minimum for a truly “smart” model. Typically, the three dimensions beyond the physical are time, money and workflow or information. We talk about the workflow dimension here. An integrated 6-dimensional virtual model simply integrates data from sources outside the model and makes it accessible from within the model. i6dVCM™: A New Approach to Strategic Planning for Cities describes how an integrated 6-dimensional Virtual City Model might be used for city management. In truth, we tripped ourselves up with our acronyms, because i6dVCM™ could also be an integrated 6-dimensional Virtual Construction Model, such as the one we built for the project described in this case study.
Working Logic™
Working Logic™is what we call our integrated approach to project management. It’s based on the premise that you cannot manage what you do not measure, and you cannot measure what you do not see. That seems very straight-forward to us, but so often we come across projects that are being managed from behind brick walls. Paper reports thrown over the wall are supposed to keep management apprised of progress, but most of the time they are not only woefully out of date, they don’t show anywhere near the whole picture. How can you really keep all stakeholders informed? Break down the walls between the design, the real world and the management of the project by using parametric information models accessible through a web-based interface. Read more here ...
The Power Industry
Parametric technology has been in use in the power industry for decades, and that’s where we first began to see its potential. Peter Baston has been involved in power plant construction and maintenance for over 30 years. In response to the dilemma of a power plant boiler being similar to a Chevy with its hood welded shut, he patented a very successful type of plant boiler maintenance platform to facilitate manual inspection and (if necessary) repair of the furnace and its parts. Pete continues to remain involved in the industry and has written numerous articles on the subject, including A Conversation on the US Power Industry: The State of The Onion.
Education
Education is a passion for this company. Both the principal partners of IDEAS have volunteered countless hours to support public education at all levels, and indeed Lilli began her professional life as a university professor. Pete has been educated on three continents, and has his own theories about education. However, as taxpayers, we have to say that from everything we have seen, our money could go a lot further than it does in delivering education. Our experience in construction says that we could build better schools for less money if we used technologies that IDEAS promotes such as parametric modeling for 21st century construction project management, integrated 6-dimensional modeling for building information management and off-site construction. Our experience in quality assurance says that administrative costs could be trimmed substantially so that more of our tax dollars could be directed to the classroom. And joining the two together, why are the majority of schools built with public money not designed to facilitate the delivery of educational excellence? What does a school building have to do with educational excellence, you ask? We answer: a lot, and here’s why! On a lighter note, a little semi-serious reading: what if school teachers were to design schools?