Are Your Employees Prepared?

Terry MurphyBy Terry Murphy, LEED AP®

Are your employees prepared?

The building materials world has become extremely complicated. In the past, the primary concerns of architects, designers and specifiers were performance and aesthetics. Now these design professionals are supposed to know everything about products, from their chemical makeup, to manufacturing safety, and even VOC emissions. And, that’s only the short list. Making it even more difficult, we have experienced ‘environmental marketing’ that takes a prescriptive approach, insisting that one material is bad and another one is good. It’s really getting very hard to keep up.

How can an architect or designer make informed material decisions?
Many rely on the knowledge of the product representatives who call on them. So the next question is do your representatives understand vinyl? Are they prepared to answer technical questions about vinyl? My experience is that many good sales people who understand their product often don’t understand the material their product is made from. Even the best sales representatives in the building products industry are not always prepared for the environmental questions posed by design professionals.
You may be aware that The Vinyl Institute has offered a continuing education class that we take out to the design community. About 2000 architects and designers around the country see this informative program on an annual basis. And did you know that we work directly with manufacturer reps on a regular basis? A sales team equipped with the knowledge and tools to do their job is much more likely to be successful in their important role as supporting design consultants.
If you are a vinyl product manufacturer, we would welcome the opportunity to familiarize your sales and marketing professionals with the chemistry of vinyl, the issues they may encounter in the field, and the technical information resources available to them. We welcome the opportunity to present at sales meetings and to arrange informative webinars for training. We often work with reps who ask us to present to the design community within their territories. Our architectural class is registered with AIA and approved by IDCEC.