Sensio Furniture Lighting Solutions designs and develops integrated lighting products for the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
Founded in 2000, it has grown from a small family-run business to what it describes as a “market leading authority on furniture lighting solutions”.
Its collection of LED lighting includes under- and over cabinet task lights, ceiling lights, wall lights, flexible LED strips, pendants, in cabinet lighting and a host of power solutions. Based in Yorkshire and trading out of a 29,000sqft facility, the company aims to deliver high quality UK product designs to the market year on year.
PBM speaks with Joe Mitchell, Marketing Manager at Sensio Lighting.
Q. How did you get into the industry and to your current position?
A. I’ve worked with the builders’ merchant industry for a few years now. In my previous role I worked as Marketing Manager for Omega PLC, a supplier of fitted kitchen furniture to builders’ merchants including Grafton, MKM and Bradfords. I’ve, therefore, had the opportunity to work closely with some large businesses in this sector, which has led me to my current position at Sensio.
Q. How do you feel the industry has changed in recent years?
A. The general consensus appears to be that the market has been growing for the past few years. Since the financial crash 10 years ago, most industries immediately took a big hit. The housebuilding sector was no different, but this kick-started a number of government backed schemes that slowly brought growth back to the market.
Q. What are the current challenges facing your company?
A. We are an example of a business that favours quality and value over price. One of the biggest challenges we face is helping our customers understand the time and resource we invest into creating products that are attractive, innovative and most importantly safe.
I know of some companies resorting to buying lighting products direct from China to save a little bit of money, however I would strongly advise against this approach — you just can’t be 100% sure of the quality and long-term safety unless you have the technical ability to appraise and stringently test the product to UK standards.
Q. What are the challenges facing the merchant sector in particular?
A. I believe that with product categories becoming more complex and sophisticated, we are asking more from merchants than ever before. We expect them to carry specialist knowledge on a broad mix of products ranging from fitted kitchens to landscaping and everything in between.
Lighting can, therefore, be a difficult sell to merchants whose focus tends to be on bigger ticket items. We try to demonstrate the added value an effective lighting plan brings — functionally, aesthetically and financially — for very little extra work. It’s a simple and effective way of increasing order values.
Q. Which individual has influenced you most in your career?
A. My former CEO Peter Walker; he really taught me the value of true focus and dedication to work. His meticulous eye for detail was equally challenging and inspiring — it certainly had a profound effect on my professional approach and attitude to my working life.
Q. What has been the highlight of your career to date?
A. Personally, I feel I’ve already achieved quite a lot in my career. I’ve been lucky to have only worked for companies that have grown in the time I’ve been employed by them. I think to be part of any UK company that is ambitious, that innovates and inspires whilst retaining true British business ethics, is a real highlight in itself.
For more information, visit www.sensio.co.uk.