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Justifying the cost of a Robust Specification

Hi <<First Name>>

I hope you are well and still thinking about my last newsletter titled:
GBE Solution Provider News No 6: Features & Benefits of a Robust Specification
I recently spoke with a Manufacturer's Director about developing a Robust Specification for his products he could see a real challenge:
When his company is doing okay in a topsy turvey market and in a time of uncertainty, how can he justify the expense of a Robust Specification to his share holders
My response is coming in 2 stages:
  • Solution Provider News No 6: Features & Benefits of a Robust Specification
  • Solution Provider News No 7: Justifying the cost of a Robust Specification
Why Bother?
  • When your business is doing okay within a turbulent market and in a time of uncertainty why spend money on creating Product Specifications Templates? 
You may already have a basic specification
  • It may only contain the basics:
    • Company and contact details, product name and ‘follow manufacturer’s written recommendations’
  • It remains prone to value engineering, posh for cost cutting and substitution
    • Driving your product out of the project with loss of sales
    • And loss of your products characteristics essential to the performance of the building
  • Weak or ambiguous wording can lead to confusion, misinterpretation, error and claims
Why you need a Specification template
Everybody seems to be up against difficult time programmes
  • No time to write a good specification just enough time to do the minimum to get by and to meet the out to tender deadline
  • You can have the best literature, with the most comprehensive set of information, but the information it contains need to end up in a contract specification or it may miss out, this take time that specifiers do not always have
  • You need to transfer your information into a specification template for them so they can adopt it
Everybody wants an easy life
  • Specifiers want specifications at their fingertips and they want them to be easy to make project specific
  • Ideally the specification do not need editing to make them job specific,
    • You may need to offer a specification editing service via your specification sales team or agency
    • Or many specification clauses, one for every application of every product
Everybody wants your specification tomorrow
  • Specifiers avoid meeting representatives except they want them in their office urgently
  • Then the specifier wants their project version of your specification the next day
  • You need a readymade robust specification to create a project specifications against these tight deadlines
Some specifers want access to specifications 24/7/356
  • They want to get your specification overnight or over weekends,
  • Ideally they do not want to have to edit them when they are in a rush to go to tender next day
  • You need to have many specification templates on your website to download and include
  • If your competitor has a readymade specification with all their product information in place and you do not, the competitor gets into the contract specification
  • You need to have a comprehensive Robust specification to-hand to contend with these challenges or you miss out
Features and Benefits of Robust Specification Templates (RST) Justifying the Costs of Robust Specification Templates (RST)
  • Lack of a product specification risks:
    • Competitor’s products with a specification getting into contract specifications easier than yours
    • Not being included in contract specification due to lack of time to write a specification for yours
    • Loss of sale through value engineering, cost saving and substitution replacing your product
      • Lack of information at hand for equivalency comparisons allow cheapest not the best to rule
What do the costs include? (some are optional)
  • Your time for information gathering and handover time
  • Briefing process between manufacturer and GBE Robust Specification writer
  • Budgeting is free by you or GBE using a predefined Excel calculator: Just add: Yes, quantities and discount %
  • Your time for negotiating scope, budget/price and instructing go ahead
  • GBE Creation, editing iterations and finalization time
  • Your Proofreading, comment and our discussion times
  • Publishing via representative, on your and/or GBE website (choice or all)
  • Promotion via GBE Newsletter and joint social media campaign (optional extra) 
Cost saving alternative opportunities
  • Start with a BIM ready Product Data Sheet
    • Precursor to and feed into Specifications
    • Are the first step towards Better Information Management/Building Information Modeling (BIM) readiness
    • Provide a good Level of Information (LoI) without the expense of Computer Aided Design (CAD) BIM files which can provide a higher Level of Detail (LoD) than needed initially
  • Consider a Element > Junction > System > Detail > Products > Accessories outline hierarchy
    • For you to rationalize your product applications
    • For specifiers to choose the right product for every application risk-free
    • GBE creates an outline template you populate it with your information
    • Turn it into a materials compatibility/application matrix for literature 
Cost saving opportunities in Specifications
  • Doing your own specification
    • You are probably not aware of current and impending information needs and classification systems including:
      • BIM, IFC, COBie, Uniclass, CAWS, DOI
      • Ignoring these will not help your sales as we progress into the world of BIM level 3 and higher
    • Industry Standard Specification format and writing style
      • Ignoring these may lead to ambiguity and potential problems in contracts
  • If GBE have an existing equivalent product specification,
    • This will be our staring point, not from scratch
    • Learn from and improve on previous
  • GBE have raw template specifications for faster specification creation from scratch
  • If your literature has good comprehensive information and we can collect it easily
Using GBE or other specification agency to improve your specification or create one for you
  • GBE write practice/company template specifications, project specifications and product specification for any party
  • GBE create product, accessory, system, element, detail and whole building specification to suit the products
  • GBE identify and extract existing information, organize it, translate it, identify missing information and request it
  • GBE can get to the right end point because we are familiar with industry standard approaches
  • GBE can work fast and get to the end quickly
  • Not engaging GBE and using other agencies
  • GBE will work with you to ensure you can offer the best Robust Specification solution for your products
  • GBE will minimize your time involved in getting a Robust Specification created
  • GBE Robust Specifications can be available via your representatives, on your and/or GBE websites, available to anybody at any time, not buried inside specification software
Speak with Brian Murphy about Specifications, Pages and Advertising in GBE Encyclopaedia and GBE Newsletters
T 01733 238148  M 07973 281024 (UK GMT 09:00 - 18:00)
GBE Robust Specification Proposal 2016: Links to related documents:
Copyright © 2016 GBE Green Building Encyclopaedia, All rights reserved.

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