Construction Business Management


Building Product Manufacturers: How Understanding Architects Can Help Your Business

Building Product Manufacturers: How much do you really know about the job of an architect? And why should you care?

You have challenges to overcome…
As a building product manufacturer, you incur a number of expenses not common to most businesses. These can include R&D, heavy equipment, product testing and hazardous waste removal, to name just a few. However, fluctuating material prices, rising fuel costs and a maze of federal, state and local regulations can complicate your ability to meet your bottom line and remain competitive in a global economy.

In order for your company to be profitable and grow, you need to be visible and credible, and you need to ensure that the ability to find, specify and purchase your products is as easy as possible. More than ever, this requires understanding the needs of architects and specifiers - your target audience - so that you can help solve their problems.

A day in the life of an architect…
Although many may still envision the workday of a typical architect as one in which hours are spent in a spacious, light-filled high-rise office crafting elaborate drawings of visionary futuristic structures, the reality tends to be somewhat less glamorous. A considerable amount of an architect’s time is spent on work other than design – primarily, on detail-oriented tasks such as product research and preparing bid documents, specifications and contracts.

Why does it matter?
First and foremost, architects want to create something in a way that hasn’t been done before. This is not always possible, but it is the desire to design works that are unique and lasting that attracts most architects into their professions. However, a number of constraints can limit the time architects spend doing the creative design work that inspires them.

Consider, for example, that hundreds or even thousands of products will ultimately be used on any given building project. Unless a product has been used for a specific application in the past and it has worked well, the architect and/or specifier must conduct extensive research to identify products that will meet budget, performance and aesthetic requirements, all of which will vary according to owner demands, site conditions, climate, geology and countless other factors.

In a recent internal study commissioned by Reed Construction Data’s SmartBuilding Index, architects surveyed cited product costs and technical information as the two most critical types of information they need but have the most difficulty obtaining.

What does this mean to you as the BPM?
You may offer an entire line of building products to meet a very specific use, but no matter how necessary and valuable your product line may be, it represents but one piece of the overall project puzzle. With this in mind, think about ways you might simplify your marketing information to make product research faster and easier for those you hope to influence. You will be doing architects a favor by helping them to save one of their most valuable resources – their time.


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