If you haven’t yet, please read Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this series now.
The ultimate goal for this series is for you to create a database that isn’t just a list of products — in other words, we want to make your data actionable.
By creating a digital materials library, you open up myriad possibilities of making specification, procurement, and reporting more efficient and less error-prone. To be specific:
Submit bids and launch faster with project templates.
Firms that specialize in one or more project types are familiar with the products that typically used. Often, they will also have a list of items that have either worked well in the past or have existing, pre-negotiated terms, or both.
By setting up templates in your digital materials library, you’ll save your team several steps and even minimize possible errors.
And because you have pricing data in your library as well, estimating a budget is not only fast, it’s also as close as you’ll get to accurate.
Establish, communicate, and uphold design guidelines when specifying ff&e and finishes.
It could be a system of libraries, hotels, or boutique clinics. Upholding brand guidelines is easier when you have a digital materials library that contains pre-approved product selections.
And one library doesn’t have to be restricted to one brand, either. By properly tagging your products, you can easily narrow down brand-approved items, no matter how many products you have in your library.
Specify for different requirements and standards more efficiently.
With Fohlio’s digital materials library, you can tag any product with as many attributes as necessary. That includes industry-specific characteristics like antibacterial properties for healthcare projects, or sustainability characteristics like WELL or LEED certifications.
Specifying ff&e, finishes, and materials for any of these requirements is as easy as filtering.
Create price-based product selection catalogues.
Many firms that specialize in single-family homes will offer different “levels” of finish and ff&e packages, based on the client’s budget.
“Luxury” packages, for examples, will include higher-end (i.e. more expensive) products compared to “base” packages.
Some products will also be labeled as either basic or luxury depending on the project it’s used in. For example, a type of hardwood flooring could be considered part of the highest-tier package for Riverside Villages, but only basic for the higher-end Ocean Cove project.
Monica Ortiz, FF&E manager for Yossi G. and one of Fohlio’s long-time power users, shares a clever system that makes specification easier for their interior designers.
Monica attaches common tags to all the variable components for a specific product. When specifying a door, for example, all the different but compatible options for hinges, knobs, and other accessories will appear.
From here, the designer simply eliminates what they don’t need. Not only does it save time because the designer doesn’t have to search for the components, but it also automatically excludes non-compatible components.