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Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 641
Registered: 12-2002


Posted on Monday, September 23, 2019 - 09:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Once again, I sent our facility client's master specification to a manufacturer's rep with the request that they comment and mark up any corrections needed for their basis of design product - a very desirable position for a valuable client account. Once again, they replied by sending me their 20 page guide specification. In other words, the rep expects their product to remain listed as the basis of design but are not willing to make the effort to review our spec section and help ensure its accuracy. This happens all too frequently, and is a reminder of how valuable a good product rep is. So this manufacturer will not be basis of design for our other clients' projects except by client request. Perhaps this suggests a topic for an upcoming Product Rep Academy: "The Business Value of Specification Reviews."
Ed Storer
Senior Member
Username: ed_storer

Post Number: 37
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2019 - 02:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Phil,
I agree with you that most reps will simply return the "company spec" with an overblown Part 1 and minutia of detail in Part 2, and almost nothing in Part 3 or a complete recitation of the standard installation instructions.

I try to use reps that have CDT (preferably CCPR) certification for such reviews. The "company standard spec" is generally on-line or I can have an uncertified (or uninterested) rep just send me the standard spec and I do my best to glean the useful pieces from it.
Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 642
Registered: 12-2002


Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 07:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

You would think that knowing a large facility client with a $900M bond issue wants you in their specification master would be enough motivation to try to be helpful to their specifications consultant. Some people are just in the wrong job.
Guest (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 10:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I just recently had a rep return their guide spec instead of marking my spec. An good/honest rep would provide comments on your spec regardless of size of project. I've encountered reps that wouldn't give the time of day when I told them my project is just a one-off unit quantity...and not thousands of units. Guess who's not going to be named in future specs...if I have any say!
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1237
Registered: 12-2006


Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 10:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ran into something similar recently. Rep at location of design team refused to help; told me to track down the rep for the project location (yep, didn't even help me find the right person). Project location rep was furious that first rep blew me off and contacted their home office who is now looking for a new rep.

Sometimes it's the first bite, not the whole apple.
E.A. (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 11:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm in agreement that there are plenty of bad reps, but there are also plenty of good ones. Likewise, there are good companies and bad companies with good products and bad products. Take all of that and mix it up and you're bound to have a few bad reps representing good companies and good products.

Eliminating otherwise good products from your specifications just because of bad representation doesn't really help your clients (whether they are design professionals as you work as an independent specifier, or owners as you work as an in-house specifier). Sometimes, not getting bent out of shape over a few bad experiences means providing better service to our clients. Although, I would agree that repeated bad experiences with companies and products would be sufficient reason to exclude those companies and products. I perhaps just don't think that some bad representation is reason to exclude otherwise good companies and good products.
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1238
Registered: 12-2006


Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 01:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Agreed E.A., though there are times when I will prefer or avoid certain products depending on the representation available in the project locale. Bad representation can really screw up an otherwise good product. Long lead items where the project is dependent on a rep going the extra mile is one example.
Jeffrey Wilson CSI CCS SCIP
Senior Member
Username: wilsonconsulting

Post Number: 306
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 03:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm with E.A. and generally try to separate decisions about specifying products from the quality of the representation. If I were unable to get needed info from a rep, that would be a reasonable basis not to list a product. But I wouldn't exclude a company to make a point. That doesn't excuse inadequate product support, but I seem to encounter more qualified reps than ones that are shirking their responsibility.

Also, I don't generally find spec reviews very helpful, and frankly think it might be a lot to ask. Product reps are not typically trained in spec writing. A certain skill set is needed to do it well and many people find the task overwhelming. I prefer to glean info from other sources and edit the spec myself.
Jeffrey Wilson CCS CSI SCIP
Wilson Consulting Inc
Ardmore PA
E.A. (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 01:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ken, I'm ok with that. Local representation can have a big impact on certain products and systems and getting accurate service to job sites can make or break some installations. This is the type of nuance that tends to get lost when the ultimatums start rolling. And to be fair, I'm not really concerned about the wise, experienced specifiers among us who get this nuance. I'm more concerned about the younger generation of specifiers and architects that may run across these discussions and think it's more black and white than shades of grey.

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