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Originally published in Interiors & Sources

01/05/2009

Pickering Incorporated Achieves Both Time Savings and Quality Improvements with SpecLink

 

Pickering Incorporated was established in 1946 by Mr. O. L. Pickering. Over the years, the firm has increased in size, experience and professional qualifications.

They continue to follow the philosophy established by their founder - Service and GoodWork.

Pickering provides planning, architectural, engineering, surveying, environmental and construction management services on thousands of projects throughout the United States. The staff includes 160 individuals in offices located in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; and DeSoto County, Jackson, Brookhaven, and Pearl, Mississippi. Pickering's diverse group of professionals contributes to the quality of their 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. Their team consists of managers, architects, engineers and construction specialists with extensive knowledge, enabling them to deliver services that assist their clients in their business ventures. Some of their services include: land surveys, complete site design, facilities planning/design, facility condition evaluation, construction management and environmental services.

The Need: In the 60 years since its founding, Pickering has seen many changes and much progress in the architectural and construction industries. They have learned that with this advancement comes the need to do things both faster and smarter. In 2000, they evaluated their specification writing process: a blend of a "home-grown" word processing system and a commercially available one. Upon review, they 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. He says, "We wrote a set of prototype specifications for a particular client. 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 - and 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 been able to reduce the time they spent writing specifications by an amazing 70% on average. He says, "The time savings combined with the improvement in quality have given us twice the advantage by improving both our specification accuracy and our productivity." This productivity was apparent with the specifications they wrote 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.

 

 
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