Uncover New Opportunities Through Project Spec Analysis

Ongoing Spec Analysis Helps Product Manufacturers Stay Ahead of Competition


Monthly specification analysis can be used to monitor a brand’s presence in the commercial market and uncover new opportunities to help companies beat their competition. Knowing where and how a brand is specified within commercial specifications is key to maximizing the chance of getting purchased.

One of AIM’s national clients was interested in understanding where and how their brand appeared in the commercial specs. More specifically the client was looking for statistics on how often and where they were found in the spec compared to key competitors. The ultimate goal for the client was to learn where they needed to increase their brand exposure and identify specific opportunities to increase their brand penetration in the spec to maximize and expand their potential for new business.

This particular client had several brands they wanted to monitor within a very competitive market. While the client had a general idea of how often some of their brands appeared in the specs, they did not have a complete understanding of where and how their brands were listed in the specs in relationship to competitive brands.

Building Accurate Spec Analysis is more of an art than a science.

AIM has extensive knowledge and experience conducting spec analysis using the two major construction databases: CMD ConstructConnect™ and Dodge Construction Network®  Searching and measuring the existence of a brand and/or product in commercial specs is more of an art than a science. While the process can be similar, each specific company or product search requires a great deal of customization based on several factors. For example, depending on the type of product or search objective you may only want to search specific property types or specific project sizes. In addition, you may want only want projects with “private” ownership or new construction. The search can also be targeted based on a specific stage of construction or area of the country. Setting up search criteria and logic requires a basic knowledge of the specification market but more important requires the ability to test the results, make judgements and adjustments to meet the goals of the client.


Since the client had multiple product brands they wanted to evaluate against a variety of unique competitors, AIM set up four unique search strings to evaluate each brands position in the specs. To help the client evaluate the success of their sales efforts to increase their listings in the engineer specs, AIM conducted monthly search analysis with statistics on how often their brands appeared in the specs compared to competitive brands.

To increase the client’s brand listing in the project specifications, AIM also recommended pulling monthly leads of new projects in planning that contained specs for competitive brands. A unique search was set-up to pull only key projects and professional contacts most likely to be involved with specifying the client’s product. Each month the client received a list of “new” projects with multiple contacts. This was a lead file that the sales department could use to target specific projects and professional contacts.


Each month AIM’s client was able to monitor how often their key brands appeared in the specs compared to various competitive products. This not only provided the client with a way to measure the sales team’s efforts to influence new engineer specifications, but gave the client a monthly list of new  projects in planning with targeted professional contacts to help expand their business opportunity. Over the past three years, this program has been providing AIM’s client with the market intelligence and new project leads they need to expand their business. Sometimes in business you must change or expand your “lane” to get where you want to go.

Based on a blog  What Does Staying in Your Lane Really Mean for a Business by Interline Creative Group, sometimes in order to sustain or grow business it may require companies to change or expand their lane. A custom specification program can help companies stay ahead of their competitors and develop new opportunities. For more information on spec analysis, please contact Patty Fleider at patty@a-i-m.com or 847-358-8558.