Question: Why can't I source these products through an auction process/website?
Answer: While the current method for sourcing architectural components includes bidding and supplier selection, it is an inefficient and costly process. The designer typically provides only high level product specifications. Potential suppliers bid and must include design development costs and potential overruns into their proposals. Once a winner is selected the plans and specifications are refined into detailed shop drawings and the product is built.
HeavyWare reverses this process by providing designers with complete shop drawings and technical specifications prior to vendor selection. The designer can choose the "ready-to-build" product whose design most closely matches his overall specifications, eliminating design costs and technical uncertainties. This low risk process allows the supplier to pass significant cost savings through to the designer.Back to Top
Question: Why don't you just set up an exchange so contractors can easily find manufacturers?
Answer: We have focused on helping contractors find specific products, specific solutions. In many cases, the manufacturer has not even cataloged the product as it was originally done on a plans & specs basis. Contractors have adequate tools for finding manufacturers; they need to more quickly and efficiently get answers and solutions. We can be more effective in delivering information and product than can a specialized manufacturer. Their attention is often primarily on the technical and craft problems of job shop manufacturing. They are not always seen as customer-oriented. Back to Top
Question: How do you add value by being in the middle?
Answer: We provide service to both the customer and the manufacturer by standardizing elements of the transaction. Here is but one of many examples: our catalog featuring online quotation of delivered price lets contractors and specifiers get answers and quotes any time of day or night and it frees manufacturers from the repetitive quoting of the same product. Back to Top
Question: Won't designers go directly to manufacturers?
Answer: The current edition of the First Source for Products directory lists over 10,000 building products manufacturers. Designers currently have few tools at their disposal to screen potential suppliers. HeavyWare will consolidate the offerings of hundreds of these companies in one place with standardized data presentation and sophisticated search capabilities, resulting in a simpler, faster, more accurate and more convenient way to access multiple suppliers. Back to Top
Question: How do you differ from all the other construction-related Internet companies?
Answer: We deliver information on specialized (non-commodity) products and we deliver the product. We deliver great depth of information on products that often do not appear anywhere else on the Internet. We know of no one else doing this. You will be able to order products from our site, just as you can order books from Amazon.com or bn.com. We know of no one else doing this, either. Back to Top
Question: Won't manufacturers set up their own websites and catalogs?
Answer: Each manufacturer will have to bear the cost of its website development and maintenance, the infrastructure to accept and process inquiries, and the marketing expense to draw customers to the site. HeavyWare will initially be free to manufacturers, and we will have the economies of scale to be more effective in all aspects of e-commerce for our suppliers and customers. Back to Top
Question: How am I assured of getting the best price?
Answer: By eliminating multiple steps from the design and manufacturing process and their related uncertainties, "ready-to-build" products will always be cheaper to produce than custom-made. In addition, suppliers will be able to view the prices of comparable products and will be able to adjust their prices accordingly, creating a "continuous auction". Back to Top
Question: If the lowest price supplier is far away, won't shipping costs eat into the cost savings?
Answer: HeavyWare will quote prices including shipping in order to properly reflect overall cost to customers. In addition, more sophisticated products have higher design and tooling costs. Eliminating these higher costs results in greater savings, offsetting the additional shipping expense. Back to Top
Question: How will HeavyWare provide the detailed information I need to evaluate products?
Answer: Using our accumulated industry expertise, we have built a data model that captures the key specifications of all of our product offerings. Users will also be able to download detailed product drawings in popular CAD software formats for evaluation or incorporation into blueprints. We are also heavily involved in aecXML, the working group setting data interchange standards for the industry. See our press release for more details. Back to Top
Question: What do you know about construction?
Answer: We are an off-shoot of an established specialty supplier/designer/sub-contractor, Cary Concrete Products, Inc.. Our staff includes engineers and many people with years of experience in various aspects of construction and design related to specialty products. Back to Top
Question: New products and processes create risks. Why choose HeavyWare?
Answer: Choosing from proven, previously built designs doesn't create risks, it eliminates them. Our deep industry expertise and commitment to service also add a layer of quality assurance for both designers and manufacturers. Back to Top
Question: Often I have to go to the manufacturer for answers. How can you answer my detailed technical questions online?
Answer: Obviously every question cannot be answered online. However, we will start with solid, detailed product information online and we will have mechanisms to build a knowledge base so that many questions will be able to be answered online. By being in the middle of the process, we will be able to capture answers and structure them in an accessible manner. Back to Top
Question: Coordinating deliveries and unloading at the job site are already a big headache, particularly with specialty materials. How will you handle that?
Answer: We start with lots of experience with these problems and a belief that careful attention to communications will help. One reason for us, rather than manufacturers, to handle logistics is that we will do a higher volume than most manufacturers and will manage it more intensively. We also have a number of innovative options to reduce the problems associated with coordination, unloading, and job site storage of these materials after delivery, but before installation. Back to Top
Question: What kinds of products will HeavyWare offer?
Answer: Our focus is on value-added products with significant design and manufacturing inputs. We will not carry commodity items such as lumber and common brick. These specialty products will be available on a "build-to-order" basis and we expect to have over 500 specific product items available when we launch the catalog in June, 2000. Back to Top
Question: Who are your customers?
Answer: We provide services to both sellers and buyers of our targeted products and view both groups as our customers. Our database and customer interface has been designed to work for both designers (architects, engineers, value engineering contractors) and contractors who will actually purchase and install products. Back to Top
Question: I'm a homeowner. Can I buy from HeavyWare?
Answer: In most cases our products are designed for use in commercial construction and require a professional to install them. Simply unloading may require a professional and specialized equipment. Those products that we judge appropriate for purchase by homeowners and do-it-yourselfers will be marked as such, and it will be easy for you to find them. You will be able to pass information on other HeavyWare products to a designer or contractor. Back to Top
Question: I'm a homebuilder. Is HeavyWare for me?
Answer: There may be some items you will want to use if the homes you build use high-end or custom products. If you are a high-production builder and require products beyond the widely available, off-the-shelf items typically used in residential construction, you will find the site useful and should also contact us about developing a program tailored to your needs. Back to Top
Question: How much training will I need to use your catalog?
Answer: No specialized training will be required. Terms you are very familiar with will lead you to products. As with any software, it will be easier after you have used it a few times. Back to Top
Question: I've used Grainger and other catalogs online. They're great if I know exactly what I need, but not always helpful if I'm looking for new ideas or for ways to solve specific problems. Will that be true of the HeavyWare catalog?
Answer: No. The HeavyWare catalog does not assume you start with the name of a manufacturer or a part number. It assumes you have some idea of what you want and what your constraints are, and that you want to look through selected parts of the catalog. Our search facilities are excellent. They were designed by people who know how hard it can be to find information in catalogs and who understand how architects, engineers, and contractors think. Back to Top