September 2019 Newsletter
In the April 2019 newsletter we focused on "What is Your Marketing Strategy?" We proposed that there were three basic strategies for "specified product" marketing:
- Basis of Design
- Comparable Product [changed from Specified Acceptable]
Recently the 4specs Forum had discussions related to these topics:
- Question regarding incorrect use of "Basis of Design"
- "Basis of Design Product: Drawings and specifications are based on the following product. Subject to compliance with requirements, provide the following or equivalent product from acceptable manufacturer."
- Substitution Requests Prior to Bid
- "My question isn't about whether substitutions should be accepted or not, or whether they are permitted (they are), but rather, whether it is acceptable for the manufacturer to submit them directly to the Architect."
- "Yes, manufacturers often circumvent the bidders and submit (publicly available) substitution request forms directly to the architect. I got tired of trying to justify to the poor architect reasons why a rejection was best course of action. And so I developed a couple of spec sections to address substitutions during bidding (which is separate and different from substitutions AFTER bidding - but very few Project Manuals or instructions to bidders address this at all!!!)."
- Ethics of Rejecting a Substitution
- "Our hypothetical specifier "George" is inclined to reject the substitution based on his firm’s recent history with the rep’s lack of responsiveness. What do you think professional ethics demand in this situation? Can your opinion of the representative’s responsiveness be the sole reason for rejecting a substitution, or must you base your rejection only on the salient qualities of the product itself?
- Definitions: Substitution and Comparable Product
- "The use of "comparable product" is a better substitution for the "or equal" statement used in many specifications. When you get right down to it, not many products are equal; however, they may be very similiar, or "comparable," which makes it easier for the architect to evaluate and compare products (how much information do you need to make sure a product is "equal"?).
"If a specification lists specific products, then any product not listed must be submitted first as a substitution request, provided the request complies with the conditions in which they will be accepted, or if substitutions are even permitted.
"If a specification uses a basis-of-design product, or lists available products/manufacturers, then the use of comparable products submitted through the submittal process is permitted."
There are lots more discussions on substitutions. Use the search link at the top right of the discussion forum - search for substitution .
I limit registration in the forum to specifiers and other design-side professionals. Otherwise it is just too tempting for others to do product promotion.
Questions and suggestions are always appreciated.
Publisher - 4specs