Philips is a global leader in lighting who joined up with Saudi Arabia’s top lighting manufacturer, Saudi Lighting Company, to create Philips SLC in 2014. The combination of world-leading technology and detailed local knowledge has allowed Philips SLC to bring the latest innovations in lighting to Saudi Arabia.
Khalid Al Hobayb, General Manager of Philips SLC, says that the company offers LED lighting to every sector, from residential and commercial new build and retrofit projects to consumers, end users and distribution partners. When you consider the research from the Saudi Centre for Energy Efficiency which found that Saudi Arabia's energy consumption is amongst the highest in the world, with an average per capita consumption of electricity that is twice the global average, there has never been a better time to install LED lighting, which can provide energy savings of around 50 percent and when connected to controls energy savings of up to 80%.
Innovation runs through the core of Philips SLC, says Al Hobayb, describing the company’s laboratory in Riyadh. “It’s state of-the-art, it’s the only one available in the region. Here we can test and measure all the components which are required for development of innovative products coming in from global Philips innovation centres.” The products need to be extensively tested by Philips SLC as product specifications and requirements vary hugely from region to region.
Al Hobayb adds: “Where needed we are able to localise the products and adapt them to meet the specific requirements of the KSA. And here in Saudi Arabia, the clients are invited to visit the laboratory so that they can experience and examine all the products as they are being tested. When we get any of the raw materials, electronic parts, or other components, we take a batch to test in the laboratory before giving the go ahead for it to be manufactured. We do this quality test in order for us to make sure that we have the highest quality products delivered to the customers.”
This attention to ensuring its products are of the highest quality is crucial to Philips globally, as well as Philips SLC, and the clients it works with are the proof of this – from universities and hospitals to iconic government buildings, Philips’ products are lighting the way. To facilitate this, Philips works very closely with its suppliers, as Procurement Manager Piotr Wysocki explains: “We treat suppliers like our partners. We don’t want to do one year of business and then search for another one. We want long term partnerships with suppliers, so that they know exactly what to deliver for us. This enables us to deliver the best lighting solution and fixtures. This is a very important and a very efficient way of working.”
Working so closely with suppliers has evolved over the years at Philips, says Wysocki, who has been with the company for 20 years. He adds: “I have seen significant changes in Philips since 2011, with a focus on building up relationships with partners. To explain it simply, we want to cooperate only with these suppliers who can commit to us, who can really work long term with us. From 2013 to December 2015, we have optimised our supplier base to raise the level of quality, competitiveness and time to market for ensuring innovation and sustainability in our products.” And then every year the Philips team meets all the suppliers, giving them valuable information about the market and about its strategy for the near future. Wysocki adds: “We are giving them really a very good picture of what we expect and what we can offer them. Our way of working is based on an Early Supplier Involvement approach – it’s a close cooperation. We’re not just making demands, we’re supporting suppliers too to develop and evolve. This has led to a number of regional suppliers becoming global suppliers to Philips.”
Philips SLC is working hard on getting the energy-saving message out there, by involvement in projects such as SABIC’s Home of Innovation, where its products will be on display as part of a wider look at smart technology. Al Hobayb explains: “We are partnering in the Home of Innovation initiative with all the lighting and controls, it will be a model in order to show what is needed to reduce energy consumption.” As a key partner, Philips SLC will be able to invite customers to view the project and find out more about the products used.
But LEDs are not only about energy saving, says Al Hobayb, they are also being used to showcase Saudi Arabia’s beautiful buildings. He adds: “When you look to our portfolio, Philips SLC has one of the biggest range of products available, and we are number one looking at innovation, so of course we have the right capabilities to deliver systems and solutions.”
One excellent example of this is the King Abdul Aziz Tunnel, which is one of the main road passage tunnels near Al Haram, leading to prominent places in Holy Makkah. As you would expect, this tunnel receives a significant amount of traffic during the Hajj season. The tunnel is now using 50 percent less energy thanks to the installation of LED lights, which also reduces maintenance work thanks to their lifetime of 60,000 hours.
Another stunning project is Riyadh’s Kingdom Centre, which dominates the city skyline. The 65-storey building includes a shopping mall, the Four Seasons Hotel and state-of-the-art, luxury apartments. Its switch to an LED lighting solution with Philips ColorKinetics saves a massive 80 percent energy and has increased the time between maintenance visits from 2,000 hours of use to 50,000 hours. And all this while withstanding the scorching temperatures of a Saudi Arabian summer.
Both projects illustrate the changing attitude to lighting globally, largely brought about in Saudi Arabia by Philips SLC. The company is committed to bringing new and innovative lighting systems and solutions to the Kingdom, enhancing the cities’ skylines on flagship projects and allowing consumers and businesses alike to increase sustainability while also becoming energy friendly