October 2019 Newsletter

**** The 4specs Perspective

Updating An Architect's Specifications

An architect or specifier asked your local rep to review their specification. What should you do?

I consider this to be the best marketing opportunity that exists. Our specifier discussion forum shows many manufacturers fail to take advantage of the opportunity.

[link moved]

Several comments from the forum - do read the complete postings at the link above:

My recommendations:

1. Use this opportunity to provide the architect with a spec that is better than he can write and better regionalized than the standard master specs.

2. Include your best competitors (most difficult competitors) so the architect is less likely to add others less qualified. Your goal is to be in the spec as an acceptable alternate. It is foolish to try to get a lock-out exclusive specification.

3. If you are not competitive, look to update your product offering. The goal is to have a clean bidding condition.

4. Keep the spec short so it is not edited down. Look over other project specifications and keep it on the shorter side of what you see. Some sections are long - such as concrete. Do not provide an 8 page spec when the average spec in that section is only 3 or 4 pages.

4. If your local rep is not familiar with specifications, use your regional or office staff to update specs. Do not miss this marketing opportunity.

Another opportunity is to start with a spec you are bidding that has serious problems. Several weeks after bidding - not during bidding:

  1. Contact the design firm and find who wrote the spec - project architect, inhouse specifier or outside consultant specifier (SCIP member).
  2. Send them their marked up spec with SERIOUS problems identified. Problems such as manufacturers no longer in business or making that product and any overly restrictive clauses. Some lock-out clauses can be very subtle - one company listed regional companies they had licensed to make the products that were not permitted to sell in other regions, making it effectively a lock-out spec.
  3. Offer to do a complete review with suggestions if asked - do not send a overwhelming update or your master spec until asked. Offer to have your regional person meet and discuss the spec suggestions if your local rep is not familiar with specifications. Have your reps take the CDT course.

Questions and suggestions are always appreciated.



Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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