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In a profession where controlling costs and staying within budget are paramount, maintenance and engineering managers cannot afford to make mistakes when specifying products.
As new building technologies emerge, managers in commercial and institutional facilities are bombarded with performance claims — some true, others not. To ensure the next best thing does not compromise facility operations or an organization's financial health, managers are vetting products according to strict specification guidelines.
Those guidelines often start with recommendations — or warnings — managers share with each other.
"This is nobody's test ground," one manager said of his facilities. "To the extent that (the product has) been used successfully in Tallahassee (Fla.) or New Orleans, that's very helpful and pretty powerful. It will cause us to make a selection for one product over another."
Managers need reliable products that provide stability for the organization — both inside and outside their departments. Occupants need to conduct their business without interruptions, and managers cannot afford to retrain technicians if new products cycle through a building year after year. To achieve that stability, managers are performing their due diligence and using their peers as primary resources.
"We really look to other individuals who are out there who have taken the jump and have made decisions to try (a product) before us," another manager says. "We don't want to necessarily be the first mover. We're willing to be early movers, but we don't want our blood on the floor, if we can possibly help it."
Agree? Disagree? Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Visit myfacilitiesnet.com/members/Chris-Matt/default.aspx, and "Start a Conversation."
Chris Matt offers insights gleaned from conversations with managers who make key maintenance and engineering decisions in commercial and institutional facilities.
Chris Matt: Managers Consult Colleagues During Specification