Spec Software Serves Firm Well

Dec. 4, 2007

Pickering Inc. achieves time savings, quality improvements with BSD SpecLink

Pickering Inc. was established in 1946 by O. L. Pickering and provides planning, architectural, engineering, surveying, environmental, and construction management services. Additional services include land surveys, complete site design, facilities planning/design, and facility condition evaluation. Pickering continues to follow the philosophy established by its founder: "Service and Good Work."

The Need
In the 60 years since its founding, Pickering has seen many changes in the architectural and construction industries. With these advancements comes the need to do things both faster and smarter. In 2000, the firm evaluated its specification writing process, which was a blend of a "home-grown" word processing system and a commercially available one. Upon review, Pickering professionals decided they were spending a disproportionate amount of time checking reference standards and formatting the documents. According to Stephen Mangin, project architect, "Specs just took too much time to develop." They had SpecLink and were using it in a limited capacity. One day Mangin decided to take a more in-depth look at the software.

The Solution
"I was editing a master specification for concrete, using one of our word processing spec writing systems. In the master section, some of the reference standards that were cited were not the most current ones available," recalls Mangin. "That's when I really became impressed with SpecLink's quarterly updates. It helped to ensure that we were aware of the latest reference standards."

Mangin also likes the ability to create an office master specifically for various project types. "We wrote a set of prototype specifications for a particular client," says Mangin. "With SpecLink, it is has been easy for us to keep it updated for them. We use the project field notes to provide ‘decision memorials' - a way to keep track of reminders and reasons why various products should be chosen for certain project types." And he likes the way SpecLink can keep track of the "lessons learned" right in the specification, not in meeting minutes that may or may not come to mind when someone is editing a section.

The Outcome
Mangin estimates that Pickering has reduced the time spent writing specifications by an amazing 70 percent, on average. "The time savings combined with the improvement in quality have given us twice the advantage by improving both our specification accuracy and our productivity," says Mangin.

This productivity was apparent in the written specifications for new hub facilities for FedEx. He states, "This is one of the best projects we have completed with SpecLink. I say this because with SpecLink we were able to use the owner's previous specification master, sections from a consultant, our own master sections, and the updates from SpecLink's own database to write the specification. We then combined and edited everything into a comprehensive, easily editable specification master for FedEx hub facilities of different designs in varying geographical areas and code jurisdictions."

Saving time, increasing productivity, updating reference standards - Pickering has taken full advantage of the many features SpecLink offers. And as the architectural and  construction industries move forward, Pickering knows that SpecLink will continue to play a major part in their ability to provide "Service and Good Work" for their clients.

For more information on BSD SpecLink, contact Bryant Hendricks ([email protected]).

BSD SpecLink is a powerful specification writing, management, and production system with built-in intelligence designed to dramatically speed up editing tasks and reduce specification production time while minimizing errors and omissions. Users' project files are each maintained in a single database rather than in multiple word processing files. Several model projects are included that allow the user to start with a pre-edited set of complete specifications. Because the master data is always visible and never deleted, it is easy to review project choices or select alternatives. Users can also import their own custom sections and/or create model projects specific to company or project-related requirements.

More on Pickering Inc.
Pickering Inc.'s staff includes 160 individuals in offices located in Memphis and Nashville, TN, and DeSoto County, Jackson, Brookhaven, and Pearl, MS. Pickering's diverse group of professionals contributes to the quality of its services. The firm is large enough to provide in-depth, in-house services to clients, yet small enough to accommodate clients with very personalized attention. Pickering understands the importance of rapid response and innovation in project support. Its team consists of managers, architects, engineers, and construction specialists with extensive knowledge, enabling them to deliver services that assist clients in their business ventures.

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