Singapore, 10th March 2011
Working on an international scale brings along challenges of international proportions as well…we work our projects from our design offices in my case either Australia, Singapore or Indonesia, but our projects are all over the place. For same country design the supply issue is quite simple. I design in Singapore and I work with suppliers in Singapore. But for overseas projects it is a bit more complicated. I may design in Singapore but if my project is in India for example I will need to work with local suppliers in India.
While that in itself is no issue you may not always know the local suppliers, let alone be able to consult on an intensive basis about your local requirements. In the country of design you have the suppliers “on call” for help, assistance and samples as needed to work out your lighting specifications. Most suppliers do that with pleasure as they have the potential to follow up with supplies to the project at a later stage. However when the project is overseas it is a more complicated as they may not be the appointed agent in that country and after their hard work in helping us they end up empty handed.
Though it is not really our problem being considerate and supportive in this respect goes a long way in assuring continuing support in the country of design. Most manufacturers have reward systems in place to cover their respective agents for their efforts in helping us lighting designers.
Sometimes we wish to have the supplier from the country of design to supply in the country of the project location. Which again may cause some challenges as the local agent may need to be covered. In the end he will be the one that may have to come out for servicing and product warranty issues.
Then finally there are the situations where the client wishes to appoint one central supplier who then needs to source the various products from the original supplier agents. It is not surprising then that the final price the client pays has several mark ups considering the various people involved in the chain of supply.
In Light Watch today a peek into my own on-going work…I went out tonight to do some visual testing with different (LED) sources to see how lighting of trees in a park would come out….
Light Watch 49: Visual testing tree lighting