Singapore 12th May 2011
Not all lighting suppliers take short cuts in case my blog yesterday was misunderstood! Let me elaborate a bit on lighting suppliers today. They are generally the local representative of the principal brand manufacturers. They have an office in the country or main city (depending on the country size) and serve their clients’ principally in three different ways; through direct project sales, through wholesalers/ contractors and through public retail. Some suppliers focus their sales on one or two target groups only; others choose to serve all groups. Obviously sales in public retail require different knowledge then supply in professional architectural lighting projects.
The thing with lighting suppliers is that the mix of product agencies can change any time. Today they represent brand X, tomorrow this may have changed and they represent brand Y. While they have a control to a certain degree over the brands they wish to carry, it is mostly the principal manufacturer that decides who they want as representative agent of their brand. Choosing a good supplier/ representative agent is not an easy task certainly when you are based in Europe as manufacturer and wish to find a sales representative in Asia for instance. It is therefore not surprising that many manufacturers turn to lighting designers like myself to get advice and recommendations on suitable suppliers.
To me a good supplier/ agent is one who has managed to weather storms (read recessions) over the years and proven to be a stable and reliable point of support. There are many lighting suppliers who have been long and loyal representatives of a brand for years. As lighting designers we know what product we need but the product is as good as the people supporting it. Suppliers/agents need to act responsibly in the interest of both the manufacturing principal as well as the client, they are the critical middle man. They need to be responsible, flexible and focussed on a satisfying end result. Failing to do so result in both principal and client being unhappy which is not good for the brands’ image.
In Light Watch today some more on under water destinations…I mentioned the underwater restaurant in the Maldives yesterday. Today I mention Dubai. The recently completed Atlantis Hotel on the Palm in Dubai has many under water attractions, their restaurant only being one. I heard that Dubai is planning a full scale under water hotel in the middle of the sea…
Light Watch 89: Atlantis Hotel, Dubai, The Palm