Specifying products for a new home traditionally requires a builder or contractor to see and physically touch samples, but doing so can be logistically difficult. Swatchbox appears to have a solution.
Launched in 2019, Swatchbox is a sample fulfillment service that offers specifiers an easy way to receive building product samples from various manufacturers all in one place, streamlining the specification process.
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As an architect, CEO Benjamin Glunz encountered lackluster product sampling himself and knew there was a way to enhance the experience by making it more reliable, easier, and faster.
“You see all sorts of sample ordering systems out there, whether it’s having to call a rep and chase them down or fill out some kind of ambiguous form on a website,” explains Glunz. “And even then there’s no guarantee you’re even going to get that sample in a timely fashion, or maybe not even at all.”
The company recently revamped its platform, welcoming an even simpler service called Swatchbox Pro.
Swatchbox Pro offers more than 4,200 product samples to select from 17 different manufacturers across more than 10 different categories, from decking to countertops. Available manufacturers include AZEK, Behr, TimberTech, Trex, and Boral—though the company continues to welcome new partnerships for future sample option expansions.
And when Glunz says he wants to deliver a faster system, he means it. Swatchbox orders are fulfilled within one to two days, placing samples in the hands of either the client or the professional as soon as possible. The service is entirely free for building professionals.
Manufacturers are allowed to limit the number of samples a building pro can request, but Swatchbox does not cap the number of brands that can be requested for a given order.
And ultimately, once a product is selected or specified, users can ship the samples back for free or recycle the box.
Glunz also runs Anguleris and BIMsmith, and ties Swatchbox into the Building Information Management (BIM) process. Anguleris is a service for building product manufacturers with BIM solutions, while BIMsmith is a free tool for building professionals to gather product data. Samples available through Swatchbox can be found on BIMsmith, allowing integration between the two platforms.
“This is a platform created by architects for the pros out there,” says Glunz. “We really do understand the needs of the professional user, and it’s really all designed around that and catering to that.”