The rise of China
Guangzhou, 20th August 2014
I am in Guangzhou today to personally meet a potential lighting and dimming manufacturer that we plan to use in one of our China projects. I had an initial meeting with them about a month ago but decided that it was important to meet them on their home turf (their own offices and factories) to better assess the potential of this company. They are actually 2 companies working closely together, one the light fitting manufacturer the other the (lighting) control specialist. We had our principal meeting in the offices and showroom of the control systems company, allowing us first hand at plug and play to assess their capabilities.
China is undoubtedly a country on the rise when it comes to providing quality solutions for lighting. More and more companies are popping up eager to shed the image of shoddy “Chinese copy” work with high quality and innovative solutions. And what is more in most cases at extremely competitive prices. The key issue here is of course to compare apples with apples when it comes to assessing product quality and performance, but that is where more and more companies (with or without government grants and subsidies, that part is not clear) are popping up providing real quality solutions. I was today duly impressed with what I saw and even though I know that presenting demonstrations under factory conditions does not necessarily mean it will hold its ground in real life site situations, their relatively short but fast growing reference list of projects is certainly a testimony. I am approaching these project references for feedback and comments but it certainly looks like these companies are giving the established big boys a run for their money!
Both the light fitting and the lighting control systems manufacturer demonstrated a few important things to me. First, their awareness of fundamental quality criteria, they know what they talk about and their products are testimony of quality workmanship. I have been in many (Chinese) factories and offices over the years so I know one when I see one! Second, the quality and expert knowledge of their staff; you know when you talk with people who know their stuff or not. Last but not least the quality, neatness and organisation of their factory and office facilities, which is generally a reflection of the end product they produce. In this case it was certainly impressive leaving me with good hopes of having found some exciting new kids on the block. Next step is the set-up of a mock up on site to confirm its all for real!
Light watch 5-137: A little peek inside the control system company today