Draper products at Batavia High School, Batavia, IL

Draper products at Batavia High School, Batavia, IL

Like almost every product segment related to just about any kind of construction, Gymnasium Equipment is loaded with factory representatives and dealer salespeople falling all over themselves to help architects, contractors, owners and other specifiers write project specifications. Some are more qualified than others and some are more honest and ethical than others. There are those willing to serve as consultants and assist with developing a specification that is fair and promotes competition and others that simply want to hand you a specification that is tightly written around their products and names other manufacturers that are out of business or not active in your area.

So…how does a specifier know who to work with on specifications for gymnasium equipment–or any other product?

Obviously you want to work with someone who has a good amount of relevant experience and strong knowledge of the products for which they are assisting. How can you tell who these individuals are? When a volunteer steps forward, I suggest you start with a good look at their business card. More specifically, read the designations after their name. If you don’t have the business card, look at the signature line on a letter or e-mail for certification designations. As a specifier, you should be looking for salespeople who include one of the CSI certifications after their names. They may have the prerequisite certification, Construction Documents Technologist (CDT), or the more advanced and more sales-related Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR). Other certifications, like LEED® AP, CTS, ISF, may be relevant for their particular business (and, depending on your needs, for your projecct). Individuals with CSI and/or other certifications are members of an elite group of professionals. For a construction project specifier, CSI certifications are a good indicator the salesperson understands the construction documentation process and what role they should play in each phase.

I am very proud to list CSI, CCPR, LEED® AP after my name on my business card and on written communications. I don’t think I am unique in this sense of pride and I know, firsthand, the commitment and hard work that goes into achieving these professional designations. As a specifier, if you work with individuals who have taken the time and effort to achieve relevant professional certifications, you can bet those individuals are committed to their trade and dedicated to providing fair and ethical guidance and advice.

Choosing to work with a company that encourages or requires their representatives to obtain professional certifications is also a good indicator of the quality of that company. Sales forces with advanced professional certifications tell you the company wants to have the best of the best representing them and their products when calling on decision makers. Draper is proud to boast eight CSI members, five CDT’s, one CCPR and thirteen LEED® AP’s (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) on the contract side of the business. Draper also has seventeen CTS (Certified Technology Specialist) and two ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) holders on the Audio Visual side of the business. As a company, Draper is committed to participating in relevant trade organizations and taking advantage of all the benefits and prestige that obtaining their advanced certifications have to offer.

Next time you find yourself looking for help with Gymnasium Equipment, or any of our other products, please contact a member of Draper’s team of elite professionals for assistance.

Neal Turner, CSI, CCPR, LEED® AP

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