LinkLine:  Winter 2015-16

BSD Customer Case Study:  SpecLink-E Gives ArchitectsSouth Flexibility and Accuracy

ArchitectsSouth is a Brandon, Mississippi-based architecture and planning firm providing professional services in education, entertainment, medical, office, religious, retail, and residential multi-family building types.


wint15success1Architect Brent Holmes established ArchitectsSouth, P.A. in May of 1996. Their firm stresses the importance of schedules and the delivery of quality, professional services. With more than twenty five years of experience practicing architecture in Texas and Mississippi, they strive to deliver a consistent, on time and in budget performance, being responsive to the specific project and client needs.

Providing architectural services is more than “just another job.” It evolves into the building of relationships with their clients over the period of all design phases. The relationships become stronger as the time progresses and the client sees all the work and strategies taken to safeguard the client and the project. The approach at ArchitectsSouth is proactive rather than reactive. They believe any potential issues can be eliminated if you look ahead, solving them before they become problems.

When they undertake a new project, their goal is to identify the client’s specific need and respond appropriately with design solutions that address those issues in a creative and fresh approach, while maintaining controls on construction costs, budgets and time schedules.


wint15success2The Need
The world of architectural design is constantly moving forward, and design firms need to be able to keep up with these changes. Because it is a small firm, time is an especially precious commodity at ArchitectsSouth. Whether checking product codes, model numbers or other manufacturer specifications, Brent Holmes and his staff required a lot of time to stay up to date with all the changes that occur.

Looking ahead and being proactive are just two ways ArchitectsSouth works to provide its clients with outstanding service, and the company expected no less from its specification writing software. In 1998 Holmes was very impressed by a software demo he saw. He decided that SpecLink was the tool that would save his firm time, while ensuring that the specs he wrote contained the most recent, up-to-date information.


wint15success3The Solution
“Using SpecLink is almost like having an in-house research staff running quality control checks on our data,” says Holmes. “I feel very confident that when we write specifications, we have the most current information available to us. Before SpecLink, we were always checking to ensure that a particular manufacturer was still in business and that model numbers hadn’t changed. If we write specs that have an incorrect manufacturer or model number, the general contractor or the subs may substitute something else for it. That can make for an uncomfortable situation with our clients.” ArchitectsSouth has created its own masters for two main customer types: educational and medical. Using these masters has saved them a lot of editing time. Although the system they used prior to SpecLink did provide updates, Holmes says he likes the fact that “SpecLink never overwrites or deletes my custom edits or changes, including any personalization to our masters.”


The Outcome
Holmes estimates that switching to SpecLink has generated at least a 50% time-savings over his previous system. He says, “I’m not really a computer person, so I’m glad that SpecLink was very easy to learn and is extremely user friendly. I can write new sections and make modifications quickly. As a designer, it is simple for me to put all the pieces together to complete a specification.” He continues, ”SpecLink’s structure and updates give us confidence that the specifications we are writing are good and accurate, yet it is flexible enough to meet our specific needs. I believe SpecLink is excellent software for designers.”