Approve or reject
India, 11th May 2010
One of our duties as a lighting designer is to approve or reject light fittings submitted to us as possible alternatives for our specifications. Specifically in Asia it is tough to keep exact specifications as clients are always out for a bargain…just a way of life. So my day in Chennai today was spend running through the light fitting submissions and assess them against the cut sheets of our specifications.
This is not as easy as it looks. It requires professional lighting knowledge and proper understandable justifications towards the client. In other words the client needs to understand why you reject a fitting or make it subject to some conditions or even a satisfying visual mock up test. In my mind there is not just one solution or one product that can do the job, so though we should be tough on our specifications, we need to be open to equivalents that are better or cheaper. It is our professional duty towards the client, isn’t it?
The easy way is just to reject everything that is not as specifications, but that is not really professional in my opinion. In fact my client shared with me an experience he had with a Singapore based lighting consultant (I won’t mention the name…) who had send his assistant to review the supplier submissions on another of his projects. After the first 7 straight rejections the client asked for an explanation, upon which the assistant responded that she had received the instruction from her boss to reject all submission which were not as specified. Now what is the point of flying to India for that? They could have just sent an email to tell them that, as there is no need to come for a review of as specified fittings… I won’t go into the reasons why someone would do that, but I guess it is pretty obvious….
Though my supplier had the guts to suggest some design changes to accommodate his light fitting of choice and even attempted at times to convince the client with his success stories, I did not approve much of his submissions outright. In the end however I earned his and the clients respect for my professional approach and justifications.