The Need For Speed

Fast-responding brands are making themselves invaluable to time-strapped architects.

Paul Keskeys Paul Keskeys

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Picture the scene: It is 10 p.m. on a Thursday night. Beneath an angle-poise lamp glowing in a darkened studio, a young architect furiously adds the last few specification notes to the drawing package, preparing it for presentation to the client the following morning. Between rolls of tracing paper, multiple Starbucks cups and an empty takeout box, she squints at her computer screen, lines of text slowly blending together in front of her. Almost there. Almost there …

Time. As anyone in the construction industry knows, it’s the one thing none of us have enough of. While we architects like to think of ourselves as a thoroughly organized, professional bunch, there is a tendency to leave certain tasks, include specification, to the last minute. I have personally worked on a project that involved staying in the office until midnight collating specification documents before a client deadline. In this all-too-common circumstance, strong coffee and intense task lighting cannot solve the problem alone — an efficient workflow is key to completion.

The question is, how can building-product manufacturers contribute to this efficiency and make themselves invaluable to such time-strapped architects?

Via iStock; credit: Dacian_G

Data gathered from thousands of product searches on Architizer during the past year shows that timeliness is key to success for brands.

Manufacturers that responded to an architect’s search within the first 24 hours of its creation were 86% more likely to be shortlisted for a project than those coming a day later, and 150% more likely than those that responded 3 days later. It’s a simple but compelling takeaway: Manufacturers that react swiftly to architects’ queries are typically rewarded for their efforts, capturing lucrative leads before their competitors.

It’s already been established that the online space is the perfect place to capture the attention of architects. Their perpetual lack of time means they prefer doing searching for building-products on the web over going to trade shows, attending lunch and learns or going through hard-copy catalogues. A study by the AIA showed that 85 percent of architects use the internet as a primary source of information on products and materials, compared with only 59 percent that use trade shows for this purpose.

For architects, the key difference between Architizer and the aforementioned alternatives is also related to time. The platform is always there when they need it, at all project stages. Architects are looking for products on the platform from the very beginning of the design process, aiming to identify key materials and save themselves precious time during that intense specification period. From design development to construction documentation, the platform forms a vital organizational tool.

Via iStock; credit: ojogabonitoo

9Wood’s Independent Sales Rep Manager Michael Roemen explained how this benefits manufacturers. “We had used another ‘bid scan’ service a few years ago that would flag any projects with a wood ceiling in a spec,” said Roeman. “We found it was so late in the cycle that trying to do substitution requests was cumbersome, and we got few responses. For the most part, the ship had left the dock. With Architizer, we could see this was ‘striking while the iron was hot.’” As with the construction industry as a whole, timing is everything — and Architizer provides both sides of the market to time their communication to perfection.

Once manufacturers are present on the platform, responsiveness is vital in making the most of opportunities that populate the marketplace daily. Client indecision and creative perfectionism will always mean that architects have a tumultuous relationship with time. Brands that can aid in minimizing the stress that it causes will quickly become a firm favorite — and business should follow swiftly behind.

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Paul Keskeys Author: Paul Keskeys
Paul Keskeys is Editor in Chief at Architizer. An architect-trained editor, writer and content creator, Paul graduated from UCL and the University of Edinburgh, gaining an MArch in Architectural Design with distinction. Paul has spoken about the art of architecture and storytelling at many national industry events, including AIANY, NeoCon, KBIS, the Future NOW Symposium, the Young Architect Conference and NYCxDesign. As well as hundreds of editorial publications on Architizer, Paul has also had features published in Architectural Digest, PIN—UP Magazine, Archinect, Aesthetica Magazine and PUBLIC Journal.
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