AIA study reveals architects want material manufacturers to step up their digital game
Architects want better websites and more specific information to make specifications easier. Image: Yutuka Tsutano via Flickr
As any architect who has spent precious time trying to identify a chrome versus silver nickel plated kitchen faucet for a client can attest, outdated websites and their corresponding vague specifications from building products and materials manufacturers makes life unnecessarily tedious. This specifications fatigue has been backed up by a study conducted by the AIA, in which architects hope that in addition to digital upgrades, manufacturers will make it easier for them to earn continuing education credits while they toil away in search of specifics. Here are the five main conclusions from the AIA study, as quoted in a press release:
- Improved websites. Architects want product websites that are clear, concise, up-to-date, and easy to navigate. They also want easy access (no sign-up to view product information) and access to detailed information, including building information models and objects.
- Focus on education. Architects are required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain their license. Manufacturers can capitalize on this by creating and offering online and face-to-face educational programming that qualifies for continuing education credits. Beware the product pitch disguised as education. Relationships have been damaged over such miscues.
- Be an expert. Architects want to talk to manufacturer representatives who know technical information about the product. Manufacturers should prepare your sales force to be highly knowledgeable about their products—and arm them with specifications for those products.
- Be proactive. Architects see manufacturers as important influence agents in specification phase of a project. Their time is typically very limited, so manufacturers should prepare their sales teams to understand the customer’s pain points first. That can help lead to a larger discussion about new product lines.
- Be transparent. The more open a manufacturer can be about the specification for a product, the more loyalty and trust will be fostered with the architect. This will translate to greater market share, as architects start to look at the manufacturer as an extension of their project teams.
For more on the benefits of technology in architecture: