The week that was…9th – 13th October 2017
Singapore, weekend 14-15th October 2017
This week I have a special guest blogger from Vietnam, a country going through a strong economic growth with many projects on the go, some of which we are fortunate to be doing. Through my regular trips to Vietnam over the years I have learned to appreciate the culture, its people and its amazing food. An ambassador for good quality lighting, tirelessly advocating the benefits of good lighting to his (and some of our clients), Mr “Thong”, as we all call him, has become a bit of an icon in his country. I have known Mr Thong for more than 20 years and it has always been a pleasure to work with him, supported by his team and his vast lighting knowledge. These are the type of suppliers (and there are many of them around Asia) that make our lives as lighting design consultants so much easier. In this week’s blog entry below, Mr Thong will share what he calls the “hospital” concept. A concept we have discussed many times over the years, but which is now gradually taking shape…a great idea! I wish it all the success!
The lighting hospital concept, by Nguyen Quoc Thong
One day, I received a call from a lighting designer. He complained that some fixtures we supplied on a project did not work well. After a short research, we realized that the project was using LED fixtures (supplied by us) but the drivers supplied by another source were meant to be for halogen lamps and the contractor used an incandescent dimmer. No surprise then, that the lighting fixtures started to fail rapidly. This is what I explained to the designer who was in a tough position with the client because he approved all the products. “Oh! I thought they would know!!!”, he said, talking about the driver supplier and the electrical contractor.
Since LED has appeared in the lighting industry, there have been a lot of gaps in the coordination between designer, manufacturer, lighting supplier, contractor, etc. This gap has caused many troubles for the end user but no one resolves it because it is not really in their scope of works. This is how I came up with a “hospital” concept for lighting.
When you go to the hospital, you have the choice of which doctor will see you. After the doctor examines you, he will make a diagnostic and give you a prescription for drugs. From then, you can go to the pharmacy of the hospital, or you can go to another pharmacy. If you chose to go to another pharmacy, they may provide you with some alternatives drugs which may be of a slightly different formula than the actual prescription. Those may not be suitable for you and may not give the expected result. On the other hand, if you chose to go to the hospital pharmacy, they will make sure to provide you with the exact medicine which the doctor has prescribed, the purchase will be recorded and the hospital will take full responsibility for your prescription.
Once you have bought the medicine, you need to be careful with dosage and frequency and be aware of side effect. Some drugs can’t be taken before meals, others after meals. Some drugs can’t be combined with some type of food or drinks. Others will make you sleep, or stay awake, etc. If you are not careful and do not take the medicine properly, it may prevent a full recovery or generate unwanted side effects. Alternatively, you can stay at the hospital where the nurse will make sure that you will take the medicine at the right time and handle the risk of incompatibility with some foods and drinks. This would give you the best chance of recovering from your health issue fully and rapidly and would keep the hospital responsible in case of any side effect.
For lighting, my hospital concept works exactly in the same way. LED lighting is like a medicine, clients should not buy it directly from the manufacturer. They should to go through a supplier and receive advice on how to use the product and which accessories are compatible. When a client comes to us with a need, we give them a choice of lighting designers (invited by us), who could take care of their project. The lighting designers act as the doctors and the client will chose the most suitable for his purpose. After the design is finalized, the client can choose to buy the specified products or look for alternatives from other suppliers. If he prefers alternatives, he will come back to the designer cum doctor to perform the value-engineering and approve, or not, the selected products. This is the equivalent work of the pharmacy and selecting the source of supply is essential to ensure that the end-result will be true to the design.
Finally, when the time comes to install the products, the client has the possibility to use our installation team, the equivalent to the hospital nurse, or to ask for an external contractor. By using the internal installation team, you are sure that the installation will be done properly, by people who understand the project, the design and the products.
For the client, choosing a designer, products and an installation team who are working together saves time and ensures that everything will work as it is supposed to. In case of need, the “hospital” will have access to his record and will be able to understand potential issues rapidly and take the proper action. On the opposite, by selecting suppliers who have no relation to each other, the client risks incompatibilities. It is also likely that the responsibilities will be rejected or discussed between the different parties, leading to a slow resolution of problems, if any.
On the other hand, the first prescription from doctor is not the only and last solution, the patient must see the doctor again after some time, the doctor needs to review. In some cases, the prescription should be adjusted more appropriately. Similar to the lighting designer, the first lighting specification must be reviewed and adjusted to suit the reality of the project. Clients cannot rely on the first prescription to do it themselves without the designer’s opinion. Otherwise, clients will not get the results corresponding to the money that they spend!
A branded hospital needs a good doctor. The good doctor needs a good hospital to improve their reputation! Enjoy the weekend!
Below some images from Mr Thongs “hospital” 😊