Growing markets in Southeast Asia: io-consultants expands location in Singapore
Heidelberg - 19.6.2018
In April 2018, io-consultants’ Singapore branch has moved into a new office. Hang Seong Tan, Managing Director of io-consultants Pte. Ltd., has given an interview on new developments in the Asian region.
Why did you move into a new office?
Hang Seong Tan: Our office in Singapore was established in 1996, and over the last 21 years we have built up a strong brand name and successfully completed many projects, not only in Singapore, but stretching from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia through to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia. There are many new developments in the Asian region and clients understand the importance of professional planning for their new facilities – from food factories, logistics centres to hospitals logistics – so the demand for our services has also increased. We offer advanced facilities planning know-how with a good “local” understanding of culture and practices, thereby creating fit-for-purpose and efficient designs for our clients’ facilities. With this increase in demand, we decided to take the opportunity to expand our resources to better serve our clients and move to a new office.
What is the focus of io-consultants’ business activities in Singapore? What services do you offer for what kinds of industries?
Hang Seong Tan: Our main objective is to help our clients achieve a competitive advantage by:
- professionally planning their facilities, as efficiency and productivity do not occur by chance – they require thorough planning
- introducing justifiable and suitable systems and equipment – including automation – to help clients realise their productivity and efficiency objectives
- innovatively planning the systems and equipment to work seamlessly with the facility’s buildings and the available manpower.
We are very much involved in the planning of airline catering facilities – our “traditional” clients – as well as planning for hospitals – e.g. central kitchens, central sterile supplies department (CSSD), and hospital logistics. Institutional, industrial, commercial and central kitchens planning, and distribution centre planning, etc. are other specialties of us. We work on private as well as public projects.
Why do local clients trust in io-consultants’ expertise?
Hang Seong Tan: We have been working with some of our clients for 21 years now and many are regulars. We put an emphasis on project delivery quality and innovative ideas, solving the problems of our clients. I strongly believe this is what they need from us. We follow a project from start to finish. We treat our clients’ projects like our own.
What is the difference – if there is one – between planning facilities in Singapore compared to Europe?
Hang Seong Tan: Asia is a melting pot of many cultures, with different food, religious beliefs, etc. And you may have heard this phrase before: change is the only constant in our lives. Clients are demanding flexibility in our design to manage continuous change in requirements; flexibility to accommodate expansion, to be future-proof.
How does Industry 4.0 affect your consulting and planning services?
Hang Seong Tan: I think that we have already been bringing Industry 4.0 into our design projects since the introduction of automation to our clients’ facilities. However, with the advances in information technology, including the Internet of Things, there are even greater opportunities to advance our designs with the integration of buildings and systems and equipment, etc. Industry 4.0 allows us to add another dimension of information that can greatly increase our clients’ productivity and efficiency by maximising the outcomes with the optimal use of resources.
Which innovations and trends will change the future of your work?
Hang Seong Tan: When planning new facilities, it is essential to explain not only the designs, but also their effects and implications. With the continuous advancement of “computer aided design”, such as building information modelling (BIM), simulation software, etc., it has become faster and easier to share and discuss innovative ideas with clients, as they can better visualise those ideas and their potential outcomes. Repetitive tasks are being automated, freeing up time for more innovative discussions and exploration.