In today’s marketplace, sourcing architectural products is in some ways easier, but in other ways more complex and fragmented. The internet hosts a wealth of building products companies, but there’s something to be said for human connection: Meeting people at trade shows or conventions, or contacting reliable reps can be equally fruitful. It’s clear that information, however, is key, and headaches can begin when full product details cannot be obtained, or communication is lacking from the manufacturer.

According to the 2016 AIA-conducted survey, “The Architect’s Journey to Specification,” which aimed to demystify the inner workings of the architects’ mind—at least when it comes to product specs—these professionals prefer technical product descriptions and full product specifications from the get-go, among other things. It’s an added bonus if they obtain details on features like pricing, information, design guides, BIM, and case studies, not to mention the opportunity to work with a company that provides world-class customer service.

When it comes to sourcing and specifying glass products—a notoriously challenging task—there can be further issues. Any architect in the midst of a project would prefer not to hear that their product is unavailable, or the right kind of glass cannot be obtained. It transpires that not all glass manufacturers support all technologies, which may halt the specification process. And not all manufacturers have networks to source products when low volume requirements are required. Sometimes glass manufacturers simply don’t have the range of products that an architect seeks. All of these factors can make the sourcing process, and an architect’s vision, more complicated than it needs to be.

Leading manufacturers, however, are savvy to architects’ needs.

Top glass manufacturers both drive and respond to changes--be they aesthetics- or performance-related--by continuously improving existing products, innovating entirely new products, and by providing the design and specification community with tools that help them perform their jobs more accurately and efficiently. Their representatives are backed by technical teams, and have a wealth of technical experience themselves, ensuring that the chain of communication remains unbroken, and all involved parties are on top of project and product developments.

Today, a wide range of product offerings is essential for a manufacturer to remain competitive. For example, shorter lead times, greater flexibility, and stronger architectural support in distribution centers could help pave the way to success.

Learn more about the world’s largest glass manufacturer, AGC, which offers easy and cost-effective access to interior and specialty glass products, here.

Do you experience the issues with glass sourcing and specification discussed in this article? If not, what are you struggling with? Share with us in the comments section.