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Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 05:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Is there a way compare products side-by-side to aide with preparing proposal summaries for clients.
Steven T. Lawrey, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: lawrey

Post Number: 34
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 10:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A very simple and effective method is to use a matrix. Simply list the products along the left edge and the attributes to be compared along the top. Review product data to fill in the matrix. This can be done as a spreadsheet and distributed electronically. Additionally, if retained they can be used to justify the specification of one product over another. Hope this helps.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 132
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 09:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

It is critical to understand the how this product fits the client's goals and objectives for the project. A product that is concealed may have cost as the primary consideration. On the other hand, some aspect of physical performance may be more important that cost. A product that is exposed in a very public part of the building may have a visual quality component that outweights most cost consideration. It is also important to understand how the building code constrains product choice--the client may not be able to select the cheapest product (or perhaps the most expensive product) if the product is not permitted by code.

Use of a matrix is an excellent idea, but I would also structure any presentation so that it presents a recommendation that is weighted toward the most important considerations.
Steven T. Lawrey, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: lawrey

Post Number: 35
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 03:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The idea of the matrix is to compare only the most important attributes based on project perameters and goals, not an exhaustive list. A statement listing code, client, design, cost or other important product attributes would be helpful at a later date when questions arise as to why a certain product was specified.
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 70
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 03:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

CSI Form 13.1A "Substitution Request" is an excellent check-listing of the essentials for a successful substitution. One of the checks is “Point-by-point comparative data attached” (the matrix discussed above), but don’t forget other important issues beyond merely comparing the salient features of two products, such as:

"Reason for not providing specified item."
"Proposed substitution affects other parts of Work. (if Yes, explain)"
"Savings to Owner for accepting substitution."
"Proposed substitution changes Contract Time."

I like using the 13.1A because it requires the proposer of the substitution to research and certify to all of the relevant issues affecting the entire project, and not just the face value of one component vs. another.

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