This article is part of a series that tells the story of how Source — Architizer’s PREMIER marketplace for building products — helps architects create brilliant buildings. HEAD THIS WAY For more information on the platform.
Tri-Lox, a Brooklyn-based manufacturer specializing in unique reclaimed and ethically sourced wood, relies largely on their local networks of architects and good word of mouth from their previous custom work. This works well for Tri-Lox, for whom around 60 percent of their work is repeat business. However, as they scale, Ellis Isenberg, Cofounder and Partner at Tri-Lox, says that they have to focus on the ways that they generate new business.
The Tri-Lox crew; photograph by Jake Ryan
Getting new clients in the door is often more costly than retaining repeat customers and can present a challenge to localized, growing businesses. The prospecting, building of brand awareness and research that it takes to generate these leads is often too large an investment for a smaller manufacturer to take on. As Tri-Lox turns their focus toward ramping up customer acquisition, they enlisted Architizer Source for a more economically attainable solution.
Architizer’s latest innovation, Architizer Source aims to revolutionize the way that architect’s specify and connect with product manufacturers. With Source, learning about new products, optionality and sustainability becomes much easier for the ever time-constrained specifier and targeting the right opportunities becomes much easier for manufacturers looking to educate architects around their products and performance.
Clockwise from left: the Tri-Lox workshop; freshly milled oak table tops; reclaimed maple factory flooring (photographs by Arion Doerr)
For Tri-Lox, Source represents an opportunity to access a larger network of New York–based architects. Through Source a local boutique company can leverage its existing network and gain access to architectural firms previously outside of that reach.
“Our biggest challenge has been gaining the ear of larger firms to show that our unique approach works for larger-scale projects,” says Isenberg. “We joined Source because we see great value in having an Architizer advocate for our business and are excited by the opportunity to grow with the platform. We think that there is a lot of room for improvement in the way in which suppliers and designers work together on projects, and Architizer is poised to take on these challenges.”
Bergen Beer Hall by Selldorf Architects; photograph by Jonathan Chesley
Vice Media Rooftop; photograph by Arion Doerr
Because interactions on Architizer Source begin with architects posting their product needs, this online marketplace allows for a targeted approach that reaches the right contact at a firm at the precise moment when they are looking for product. This puts the manufacturer in a position of solving a problem for the architect, rather than advertising to them, and results in greater insight and collaboration than traditional approaches, with much fewer resources expended.
Tri-Lox has used Architizer Source to present their diverse selection of distinctive architectural surfaces and their custom mill-working projects. Within the first couple of interactions on the marketplace, Tri-Lox had sent their product info to several unique firms that they had not made inroads with in the past and had the opportunity to meet with SHoP Architects’ Product Librarian for an in-person meeting at SHoP’s Financial District office.
Shake Shack Flatbush Ave.; photograph by Tri-Lox
NYSCI Treehouse installation by Situ Studio; photograph by Patrick Mandeville
“It was excellent to be invited into ShOP’s offices to meet with their materials specialists and project designers face to face,” reflects Isenberg. “These types of meetings are always an excellent starting point to build lines of communication and familiarize the firm with what we do at Tri-Lox.” As an early adopter of this technology, SHoP has used Source for a variety of its high-profile projects such as Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco and brought Tri-Lox in at a time when it was looking for several wood solutions for its projects.
These types of connections and introductions are what Architizer Source is all about. New discovery and expansion of awareness for products that can help us all build better buildings faster, cheaper and better than before. Providing resources and access to brands that are on the cutting edge of product innovation, sustainability and design are imperative to creating buildings that reflect the goals of the A&D community.