March 2008 Newsletter

Is Your Website Up-to-date?

**** The 4specs Perspective

Is your website up to date, reflecting all of your current products and model numbers?

Following is an email from a specifier to a manufacturer that may open your eyes. (Emphasis added, and email broken into paragraphs for easier reading. "


Here is my experience with one of your advertisers. Perhaps you can use this to make some points to all your advertisers. Have fun with this one.

I contacted your customer support today because one of my staff told me that we needed to update our guide specs to include a different model for access doors smaller than 30 x 30. The model suggested by your staff is not listed on your website. The currently specified door is shown on your website in sizes 14 x 14 through 30 x 30. Your staff tells me this door is now offered only in sizes 30 x 30 and larger.

I was told your website is not up to date. The last update was done in 2005. I find it unacceptable that our 11 specifiers must call your office every time we write a spec to determine what current products and sizes are available. We do not have the luxury of time to make these phone calls. If we cannot access your website and find current information, we must remove your company from our specifications.

Please realize that our firm is the largest independent specifications consulting firm in the US. We write specs for 300 projects valued at $4 billion annually. There are other access door manufacturers we can use, and we will unless we know that we can rely on your website data.

If you want us to continue to specify your product I suggest you update your website and tell us when you have done so. Then you must also assure us that you are committed to keeping your website current.

Name Omitted

Follow up email: After 3 weeks I wanted to let you know, I never heard from the manufacturer after submitting this message through their website. Apparently, they don't care.

This is not the first complaint I have received about web sites that do not work for the specifier. Recently, I was working with an ad agency on a client's showcase listings and they asked for additional sections - not on their client's website. While I would be delighted to include their client in these additional sections, I am not willing to send 4specs users on a chase to find that information. So, as soon as the client has the product information on-line, 4specs will add those listings.

(May 2008 Newsletter) Another problem are websites that requires registration and a password to access design information, specifications and CAD details. Some specifiers work weekends and will not wait until Monday to get approved, or will just supply a false name and a throwaway Yahoo Hotmail account to get access.

Here is a copy of an email I recently received from a specifier with a 750 person design firm. This was sent to the manufacturer with the password restricted data:

I regret to inform you that I will not be able to use your products in our specs. If you want specifiers to include your products, don't make us waste our times registering and remembering the password for next time. Other competitors, such as XXX and XXX provide unrestricted access to their design information. They have been included in the project specs and added to our master specification.

Not keeping your website up-to-date and using password restricted areas will cost specifications and follow-on sales.


Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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