Pivotal role of project specifiers in the building material industry

Ms. Renu Mishra's guest post banner for an article on pivotal role of specifiers like architects and contractors in India
Ms. Renu Mishra's guest post banner for an article on pivotal role of specifiers like architects and contractors in India

Leading as a CEO of an international company in the building material industry, I recognized the crucial role specifiers play in shaping the landscape of our business and industry overall. Project specifiers serve as the vital link between brands and the customers. In this blog, I would like to share my perspective on the manufacturer-specifier interface, the challenges and opportunities it presents, and the significant impact specifiers – architects, designers, and contractors have in the construction and plumbing sectors.


Architects as specifiers

The architect, as a project specifier, comes with huge knowledge and responsibility. This role operates in an ever-dynamic landscape that poses both challenges and opportunities for brands and architects alike. The architects, as specifiers, bridge the gap between manufacturers, developers, and end-users. Moreover, they have the responsibility of providing the best possible solutions to their customers. This demands a deep understanding of various brands, products, and their applications.

From a brand’s perspective, engaging with specifiers involves addressing their evolving needs and preferences. As a leader, I’ve observed that specifiers invest a significant amount of time in researching brands, products, and emerging technologies. Their quest for excellence motivates them to constantly upscale and upgrade their knowledge. This interaction offers brands an opportunity to showcase not just their products but also their commitment to innovation and sustainability.


Contractors – Construction & plumbing as specifiers

In my interactions with plumbing contractors, I’ve witnessed their engineering prowess in curating product portfolios/solutions spanning across brands. This approach may not always appeal to brand custodians but undeniably caters to their customer’s specific needs and preferences. Specifiers in the construction and plumbing sectors are the ultimate service providers to the end users. They ensure that customers receive solutions that encompass water efficiency, structural integrity, energy consumption, sustainability, service access, and aesthetics.

Contractors as Project specifiers play a pivotal role in influencing the product landscape. Their inputs and ideation often lead brands to create tailor-made solutions to address specific market(s). It’s a continuous process of refinement driven by increasing awareness and a willingness amongst customers to embrace newer technologies.


Innovation and technology: Driving the industry forward

In the building material industry, staying ahead often means embracing innovation and technology. Some brands leap ahead by constantly innovating, providing a comprehensive solution that aligns with the specifier’s needs. This not only ensures a complete brand solution but also simplifies things for service providers like plumbing contractors, architects, etc. The concept of “one brand, one solution” resonates well with project specifiers, making it easier for them to access and provide solutions to their customers.

While Indian brands have excelled in providing a “one-stop shop” concept to their consumers, international brands, focused on R&D, offer innovative & sustainable solutions and technologies that have been tested globally. The specifier becomes the key influencer, choosing products and solutions based on the full spectrum and exposure to international trends and consumer preferences to offer a mix that matches consumer needs & budgets. One often witnesses a bouquet of brands, especially in hospitality, from specifiers’ choice of the ‘best mix.’



Connect with installers

In the dynamic landscape of the building material industry, specifiers play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of projects and fostering collaboration between manufacturers and installers. Specifiers act as the bridge between innovative building materials and the installers responsible for bringing these visions to life. Their expertise lies in translating project requirements into precise material specifications, ensuring that the chosen materials align with both design intent and installation feasibility.

Connecting with installers is a cornerstone of the specifier’s responsibilities. This connection has traditionally been a symbiotic relationship, allowing installers to provide real-world feedback on the ease of installation, potential challenges, and performance expectations. This collaborative approach enhances specifier decisions and instils a continuous improvement mindset within the building material industry.


Training and skill set enhancement

It is the most critical aspect of desired execution by the specifier. With enhancement in technology, it is imperative that specifiers focus on training & upgradation of installers. It is increasingly considered a co-partnering initiative between manufacturers & specifiers. Manufacturers continuously invest in training programs to equip installers with the knowledge and skills required for proper product installation. Most manufacturers have either set up training centres or collaborated with government or private institutions to provide training & certification.

In conclusion, specifiers are the cornerstone of the building material industry, influencing product choices, shaping market trends, and driving innovation. For leaders, I believe that understanding and collaborating with specifiers is not just a strategic choice but a necessity for brands aspiring to thrive in this growing industry. The specifiers’ role goes beyond merely selecting products; they are the architects of a sustainable and technologically advanced future in the realm of construction and plumbing.


Ms. Renu Misra - an industry expert in plumbing profession and an advocate for plumber in India The author, Ms. Renu Misra, is a resilient and agile business leader who has worked across industries and functions in India, Asia, Middle East, North & West Africa. She gained extensive experience with Fortune 500 companies and led cross-regional & cross-functional teams supporting Market Share, Topline & Profit growth. She has been a transformational leader to restructure & redefine business models and co-create culture for engaged & motivated teams to achieve sustained performance & purpose. Additionally, she is a passionate advocate for women to have equal opportunities to learn, experiment, and grow.

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