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(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 01:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What do you architect’s office specifiers do with all those gabillions of brochures that product reps give you?

We always collect them and then send them around the office in bundles. After that however, we don’t know what to do with them (other than make them disappear).

We could create binders and keep them organized and catalogued. But I suspect that so few people would take advantage of that that it would be a waste of time.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 01:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Place all of those brochures in the recycle bin.
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1204
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 02:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Too bad, but I guess that might be the answer.

Manfacturers could save a lot with these things if the brochures were not used like business cards-- i.e., if the brochure has information not in our binder and not on the web site, then the reps should emphasize its value. But reps visit so infrequently and turn over so often, that may be impossible.

To just drop in and drop off the brochure is really non-producitve-- particularly if it is just another "show and tell" of latest projects.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1226
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 04:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I ask product reps not to leave brochures except in the hand of someone who wants it. Also, when I meet with reps, I no longer accept product binders--they're usually happy not to waste them. We have a library, but when the project architect gets serious about a particular system, they usually get another binder from the rep anyway. What a waste. I want to move to an all-sample/no-binder library.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 433
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 05:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Loose brochures are a real pain and unless there is a librarian to file them, they are "gossamer" information. When I was a "captured" spec writer, if it was information that might be relevant to a current project, I would see that it got to the appropraite person. As an outside specifier, I may ask the rep to call on a client who I know may be interested.

As much product research as I do on the web, I still find hardcopy catalogs useful for certain items; oh, and there will always be a place for a good product rep on my "speed dial."
Karen L. Zaterman, CCS, LEED-AP, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: kittiz

Post Number: 64
Registered: 10-2005

Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2010 - 10:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Agree, they generally get filed under g for garbage. Reps are wasting their time with mailings in most cases -- occasionally I will hold on to something for a short time to show to one of my designers but these are few and far between.

Tip for reps: I prefer email blasts... that way I can manage the ones I may need by automating them to route into an appropriate folder, whether Junk or Products-Reference. And they would be wise to include their v.card for easy saving to our Contacts.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 09:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

DO NOT THROW THESE BROCHURES IN THE GARBAGE; I.E. LANDFILL. Please place these brochures in your recycle bin. If you do not have a recycle bin, there are plenty scattered around your village, town, city, or metroplex.
Lynn Javoroski CSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 1080
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 10:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We have a librarian who manages our binder and sample libraries. "Sweets" type brochures are not part of that system. They have relatively little hard information and are usually just a set of pretty pictures.

New product information? Put it in the existing binder or provide us with a complete new binder and take away the old one for recycling. Manufacturer's binders are useful during the initial selection phase; it's difficult to compare 2 or 3 products using the web (unless one has 2 or 3 screens - I don't). But once a selection is made, the web site becomes the information highway - downloading drawings or specs so that we're not reinventing the wheel makes things easier - and quicker, especially if the specs are well written.

For the 2 page marketing brochures? Don't bother me; an email notification, like Karen wrote, is much preferred.
Russ Hinkle, AIA, CDT, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: rhinkle

Post Number: 78
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 10:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Some years back (2003?), I remember a survey that indicated "designers" used print information 2/3's of the time to make their decisions, but that technical people used electronic information.

It made sense to me, since designers are quickly going through the options, typically looking at one or two characteristics. Whereas, spec writers are typically looking at a lot of criteria, often on products that have already been selected.

I used this arguement when discussions of getting of rid of the catalog library popped up.

Anyone seen anything more recent on this?
Russ Hinkle
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1205
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 10:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Would it be proper to go one step further, and include the overly wide distribution of CDs with the same information on them as the web sites? [flung around like confetti!]

These also become "fodder" and it is impossible to retain and store them all, catalog them and find what you want at a moment's notice.

Seems, like Lynn said, good binders, undated, with good websites [and THAT is yet another discussion] is good or best scenario right now.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 435
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 11:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I think there are two types of research, targeted and browsing. Targeted research is when you know specifically what you want, and you need detail on the selection. Browsing research is when you know generally what you want, and are looking for several specific products to evaluate.

I find the web perfect for targeted research when the manufacturer's website has the content I need. and it is readily accessible. 4Specs is useful for this activity, but I can using find what I need by typing in a few words into a good search engine.

A well-organized catalog library is invaluable when I am browsing. I see one or more manufacturers that I may be familiar with and several more around that I may be less familiar with or who didn't come to mind. 4Specs.com is very useful in terms of seeing these types of adjacencies; however, the value of a yearly update call by a qualified rep is not only to relate new information and reinforce that informaiton, but to create visual connections between that information, graphic content, the rep, and the manufacturer.

In a medium to large firm, I can understand why you can't drag 5 or 10 architects away from you duties for a routine "sales call"; however, a good specifier can not only physically catalog the information (as a librarian would), but assess the products presented for applicability to the firm's types of projects or for a particular project. For many products, a meeting between selected members of the project team and a good product rep can be extremely helpful.

Accurate, well organized, and accessible information is better than inaccurate, disorganized information so a good binder is better than a bad website and a good website is better than a bad binder.

Product brochures? Every time I have left a firm, I have left a stack of unfiled loose brochures, a fraction of which may be useful within the next six months. This stack grows in relation to the size of firm and type of projects, but typically, 12 to 16 inches a year.
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 349
Registered: 01-2008

Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 11:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree with Lynn's position statement.

The online versus hardcopy debate for me boils down to the fact that I started long before the PC and the internet. Hardcopy was king, queen, court, and jester. I maintained the library.

The next generation was weened on the PC and internet prefers to search online.

Some "stuff" is better in hardcopy such as door hardware. Sometimes hardcopy provides an easier and quicker search. Some "stuff we simply do not have in our library in abundance (Zurn roof drains comes to mind), therefore online is better but not as clear and concise to my brain as it's hardcopy counterpart.

Many product manufacturer's simply do not provide binders for their product line. These are noted upon arrival, date stamped, MF04 numbered, placed in a file folder in a metal cabinet, and forgotten. Previously, this "loose literature" was date stamped, MF95 numbered, 3 hole-punched, and placed in general 3-ring binders located at the begining of each division on the shelves. This method proved useful and was well used. File cabinet not so much. Methods varied with office.
G. Wade Bevier, CSI, CCS, LEED-AP, Assoc. AIA, SCIP affiliate
Senior Member
Username: wbevier

Post Number: 19
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 12:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have used both the binder with each division and the lateral file methods and, have used the filed material in each instance.
Often I have gone on line to download data sheets for products used in a given project and will file one copy with the project and another copy in the library for future reference. A date stamp on each sheet just helps to keep track of how current the information might be.
It is still useful to have the hardcopy at some point in the process even if just to show the item to the Owner or the Project Architect for final verification.
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 57
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 07:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Other than the USG Handbook and Custom Building Products product info I really don't have much use for hard copy material. My designers see photos or ads in magazines and ask for info. I bring in the reps when they exist, or else email links to websites. Thankfully we still have some excellent people working our area as product or manufacturer reps. Most reps in our region seem to be sensitive to environmental issues and do not leave multiple copies of binders unless requested so; they make them available but otherwise just come in and update or replace what we have in our library. Unfortunately we can no longer afford a librarian.

I have misplaced too many desks under piles of loose product info to keep any of it anymore. If it's interesting, I give it away and let my designers put it in the recycling box. Mostly however I recycle product info without ever opening it.

I try not to take CD's from manufacturers since they cannot be recycled or overwritten (typically), though they do make good reflectors when I go out kayaking and want to get the attention of boaters before then plow through me. CD's from associations is another story. I'll take those whenever I can, presuming I can afford them. Still, downloading is best.

Does anyone even bother getting those formerly Big Green Bound Catalogs anymore? Even in soft cover they are still little more than something to archive every year. At least I no longer get stuck with those red books from that other search engine website. What a waste of time those were.

Colin, thanks again for this website. Just thinking about this thread makes me appreciate you even more.
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 246
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 07:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

99% of brochures received are promptly recycled.

I keep about 3 feet of strange and obscure or extemely handy items at my desk.

"Planning for Labyrinths" (from a design consultant) would rank in the strange.

The pocket sized "Unistrut" catalog would rank in the extremely handy.
J. Gerard Capell, AIA, CSI, CCS (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 02:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have donated them to schools, the teachers use them for organizing their notes and projects.

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