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FF&E Specification in Excel is Killing Design Firms — Even the Big Ones

Specify, procure, and manage product data at scale. Take on bigger projects with confidence and grow your firm with  Fohlio. Schedule a demo or book a consultation with one of our account managers to explore these features today.

Which spec writing software are you using for materials and FF&E specification? Does it matter? 

There was a time when being the big fish in the design and architecture pond meant security. You’re not exactly lax — but who else has access to global projects and best-in-class technology?

These days, it’s everyone.

A mid-size firm — heck, even a small one — can work anywhere in the world, thanks to technology getting better and cheaper all the time.

So then, you’ll have to wonder why the process of FF&E specification is so woefully outdated.

Read: 6 Tips to Make Your FF&E Specification Process Much Faster

Why does the start of a new project still send everyone scrambling to ask a teammate, “Do you still have that finish schedule from the Hong Kong project?”

You already know which materials you want to use — and even which suppliers to get them from — but why does it still take such a long time to put everything together?

Any client can get find any architecture firm anywhere in the world — but why can’t you find that specific flooring you need for your healthcare project?

Read: Your Design Firm Needs a Digital Materials Library. Here are 9 Reasons Why

Excel is Not a Spec Writing Software

If you only work on one project a year, everything is local, and it’s not too complex, then there’s no pressing need to keep everything else simple.

But if you’re a multinational firm, working on a global scale, and having to deal with lots of nuances and complexities — and all while having to keep to design guidelines, a budget, and a schedule — then you need a dedicated spec writing software.

You need a tool that:

Read: 8 Elements of an Indispensable Digital Materials Library

At Fohlio, we’re seeing the materials and FF&E specification process become more and more automated each day. Libraries and catalogues that used to be physical are becoming digitized, manufacturers are focusing on online sales, and major firms are investing heavily in their own internal software solutions so that they can stay lean and keep competition out of their space.

 And maybe even enter your space.

In a customer-centric industry, having the right tools means everything. Are you still using hand drawings? Or are Revit, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Rhino, SketchUp, and the rest a must?

If that’s the case, then why should your FF&E specification process be any different?

The truth is that falling behind in a customer-centric world can escalate fast.

While you’re stuck using Excel or some thrown-together spreadsheet for FF&E specification, your competitors are building systems that capture and manage the information they need. These lines of communication are making it easier to translate design ideas to contractors, and clients. And it’s making relationships with vendors and collaborators more seamless than ever.

Read: 8 Ways to Manage FF&E Specification and Procurement Costs (Plus an FF&E Template That Will Save You Time

FF&E Specification in Excel is Killing Design Build Firms | Fohlio | spec writing software | digital materials library
With Fohlio, you’ll greatly reduce time spent and errors caused by manual and repetitive FF&E specification processes.

If your team is still wrestling with miscommunications internally and externally, you’re falling behind the competition. Your old school methods might feel familiar, but they’re holding you back. You might be in the land of Blackberries while everyone is sporting an iPhone.

Read: 3 Cost-Saving Reasons Your Hospitality Design and Procurement Teams Should Collaborate Better

At Fohlio, we make it our job to know what the best teams in the interior design, architecture, design build, remodeling and development space are doing.

The best designers see themselves as leaders, so we wanted to create a tool that would empower them and free them to focus on their high-level vision. 

Because we know when you can share your vision without being tied up in little things, you can bring everyone together, and truly build something impressive.

Specify, procure, and manage product data at scale. Take on bigger projects with confidence and grow your firm with  Fohlio. Schedule a demo or book a consultation with one of our account managers to explore these features today.

Also published on Medium.

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