The week that was 20-24th June 2016
Singapore, Weekend 25-26th June 2016
A whole week in the office without travel! A few outside meetings yes, but overall mostly behind my desk. As I write this blog the breaking news is that the UK has just voted to leave the EU. In a very close fight the BREXIT camp won over the REMAIN supporters bring a time of uncertainty in the world’s future and while we seem far away from it in Asia Pacific, shock events like this do make you stand still and reflect on where you are and what the future may hold or demand from you in the years to come. My blog has always been a great tool of reflection for myself, inspiration for others and often a trigger to make changes. It is coincidental (or perhaps not) that I am in the middle of a process of change personally and with my company and this week’s events just reinforce that looking after yourself and planning for the future are elementary for survival.
This week gave me the opportunity to spend some time with my new director of projects and business development to discuss steps to bring KLD to a new level of quality and expertise in line with today’s demands. Issues like branding, marketing, company documentation and tightening of our quality control and service delivery are all part of the process. We have been doing well with what we have over the last few years, but with changing times where the IoT is becoming more and more integrated in our lives, software programs and apps more and more sophisticated, it is time to look ahead and adapt to the “new” world. Innovation and change is a must in order to stay ahead in this game. Too often my travel and daily work routine prevents me from actually spending time planning for the future and having (making) time this week to brainstorm and start the process was a grateful experience.
Good design practice
In a parallel activity we engaged this week with one of our loyal hotel operators to discuss how to improve their design manual (which we felt had little in the way of giving guidance towards good lighting design) as well as brainstorming on the process of design and approvals to make sure the end result is as good or as close as possible to the design intent. The reality of life is that many developers (certainly in the hospitality industry) have little to no experience in working with top hotel brands and top design consultants and as a result the project infra-structure in terms of project management, budget provisions and approval process lack on many levels with at times disastrous end results. We have experienced this all too often; clients who do not respect the consultants recommendations, move ahead with procurements without the consultant’s sign off, combined with little or no actual project management and poor workmanship. For many of us an all too familiar situation. While the client is king, poor end results leave many people disappointed us included. The sad thing is that many of the clients actually don’t understand that they are at the root of it, so educating the client from day one is imperative. It was great to be on the same page with the operator and discussed several steps to improve the process, one of them being an early sign off on the budget, as money is generally the root of all evil. Being in agreement and committed to a budget eliminates much of the later stage pains. In one of our recent projects all budgets were locked in at concepts and it provides great clarity for the further development of the project.
From concept to reality
We have a few projects near or in tender stage which needed our full attention in regards to final specifications or tender queries. These are crucial times as we need to make sure the bidding contractors / suppliers have the full picture and ultimate tests and mock ups were carried out to confirm final configurations and details. In one of the projects we had been working on introducing a new lighting concept, build on the opportunities of today’s mobile apps. In this concept the bottles of wine are displayed on an illuminated shelf, in itself nothing new. However customers in the bar can select a bottle of wine from a menu displayed on an I-pad and when they confirm their selection the actual bottle on the display shelf lights up. The same lighting installation will be programmed to create some small light shows at the top of each hour or other events like birthdays or other. This week we got the system programming back just in time to issue it to the tenderers as an addendum. We are excited and look forward to see this exciting feature installed.
On the subject of apps, the amount of apps related to lighting is growing with the day. Many can be found as lighting controllers, but last week I found one that helps you to determine how to upgrade your current lighting installation to LED, typically aimed at the general public.
Have a great weekend.