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2019 - 06 - 21 - Dan the Sparky - Homepage


I have recently had the privilege of travelling to Vietnam to undertake some consultancy and project management work for a company called Plantation Grown Timbers (Vietnam) Limited. The opportunity was presented to me by the owners, Ian and Yung Burden, who are Gold Coast residents and long-time customers of Dan the Sparky Man.

Plantation Grown Timbers (PGT) is part of a global business, dedicated to ethical design, production and supply of traditionally crafted furniture and accessories, manufactured in strict accord with international, environmental and workplace guidelines. It was started by Ian 15 years ago from the boot of his car and has grown dramatically to now export its uniquely designed reclaimed and recycled solid wooden furniture all over the world, particularly to North America, Europe and Australasia. The arts and handicrafts company also provides employment to over 850 very skilled people.

Located in Ho Chi Minh City, the PGT factory is the size of a Bunning’s warehouse and they are expanding. The increased production schedule requires more machinery which in turn requires more power. The electrical system to the entire factory needed to be upgraded to prevent their existing structure from being overloaded.

I was brought in as part of the team to ensure that all works were completed to Australian Standards whilst assisting to future proof their business and production requirements for any further growth (from a power consumption perspective).

Prior to arriving in Vietnam, my first task was to assist Ian and Yung to select a local electrical contractor with whom they should award the contract. They had all 3 quotations translated into English, provided me with the plans and scope of works and then had me select the local contractor who I deemed to be the most appropriate and skilled for the job.

The contractor was selected and two weeks later I was on a plane!

When I arrived in Vietnam, it was straight down to business. I spent the morning familiarising myself with the factory and the staff I would be working with and then as soon as production closed down at lunchtime, it was all systems go. The team of 20 Electricians was led by Hung, my direct liaison and the only person who spoke any English. Let’s just say that smiles, nods and thumbs up very quickly became the preferred communication for the day!

To complete the upgrade we were required to shut down power to the entire complex and as you can imagine, a manufacturing plant that employs 850 people cannot afford even 5 minutes of downtime. This gave us less than 48 hours to complete all works without disrupting any production requirements – talk about pressure!

The scope of works was enormous, the days and nights were long (I think the longest stretch was 20 hours straight), and the language barrier was at times quite challenging, but I’m pleased to say that Stage 1 was completed on time, with full production re-commencing at 7am Monday morning as scheduled.

It was a fantastic opportunity to work with a local team and to be so welcomed by all the PGT staff. I received amazing hospitality from Ian and Yung themselves and I very much look forward to being part of their team on any future expansions.

Now if only I could get my staff to address me as Mr Dan…

If you love my work in Vietnam and want to know more about our services, come down to our Gold Coast showroom and speak to me or one of my fantastic team members today.

Dan Carpenter

Dan the Sparky Man

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