Message from the president: Embracing tech rep relationships

David Graham.

What I find particularly appealing about the construction industry is the sense of collaboration and continuous learning that comes with being a part of it. The individuals from whom I gain the most valuable insights are the manufacturer’s technical representatives (tech reps). They are an integral part of the construction industry and are invaluable when seeking information about a product or system. I have come to trust them for valuable information, and from these relationships I get so much more information than I would from the internet. And that helps me make good decisions.

Certainly, the internet has enhanced learning by making it easier and faster. However, we must not overlook the significance of engaging in conversations with a tech rep, as they offer invaluable opportunities for learning.

These conversations help us get a better understanding of the nature and complexity of the product you may be seeking for your project. Unless I am very familiar with the product, having specified it before, the guidance I get from a tech rep is extremely helpful. Whether you are a contractor, building owner, engineer, architect, specifier, or contract administrator, you will become much more knowledgeable about the products and systems a manufacturer provides.

In addition to offering knowledge, tech reps can often be available at the site for pre-installation meetings. And if there are challenges with an installation—perhaps to do with weather—they are available to help. Tech reps will often review specifications, provide lunch-and-learn sessions, and get their technical team involved should a more in-depth study be required. Some design firms will get a tech rep involved at the design stage. This is the collaboration to which I refer.

CSC offers a specialized program and certification tailored specifically for tech reps, known as Certified Technical Representative (CTR). Obtaining the CTR designation involves first completing the Principles of Construction Specifications course, followed by the Technical Representative (TR) course, which includes a final exam. In addition, participants must deliver a panel presentation to be evaluated by others. Successful candidates are awarded their CTR. Only CSC offers a certified program specifically designed for tech reps.
To date, CSC has approximately 170 CTRs.

I encourage you to reach out to the manufacturer’s tech rep the next time you need additional information about products and systems. Personally, I make it a habit to do so regularly, and it’s been my experience that having a trusting relationship with a tech rep who provides me with the confidence that a good decision is being made.

Yours in service. I am CSC.

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