Your humble editor sat down earlier this week with Sam Sinai, CEO of Deco Lighting and we had a very frank discussion about Deco Lighting.
Randy: First, let’s address the elephant in the room, where does Deco stand with the process of restructuring?
Sam: We reached an important milestone this month in securing commitment for financial backing. The financing is being used to place orders for some truly innovate new architectural luminaires as well as conventional fixtures. Moving forward, the funding will allow us to ensure supply continuity to the benefit of the many loyal customers that have been patient in their support of Deco.
Over the next few months, we will file and finalize our plan for the future of what we are calling, Deco 2.0. We are excited about what our products and technology mean for the future of all Deco stakeholders, including our vendors, channel partners, customers, and employees.
Randy: What lessons have you learned as you have navigated this process?
Sam: There is no ignoring the fact that we made mistakes. There is also no ignoring the fact that we have learned from those mistakes.
We went through some very difficult times, times that made us evaluate the efficacy of every process, wisdom of every expenditure and strategy behind every investment. As a result, we have dramatically reduced our cost structure, reengineered our product line, and doubled down on our ability to remain agile and innovative – the very hallmark characteristics of the Deco brand. We have emerged as a much stronger company, with a better sense for who we are, where we want to take this company and with a very compelling strategy for how we will get there.
Randy: Tell us about Deco 2.0 and why customers and reps should do business with Deco now?
Sam: We use the term Deco 2.0 to emphasize that this is a new and improved Deco. A Deco that will deliver more impactful product innovations, a Deco that will offer a new level of technical support that will have our customers acknowledging that we are not the Deco of old. Of course, the new Deco, Deco 2.0, will offer technology options and commercial opportunities tied to our patented Deco Mesh functionality, in a way that we believe will redefine long-standing paradigms for how luminaire purchases are justified and how specifications are written and controlled. Our rep agencies have characterized this as a clear game changer. They are more excited and engaged than ever.
Randy: What do you mean by redefining long-standing paradigms?
Sam: In eliminating prohibitive cost and complexity barriers we see Deco Mesh offering robust connected-lighting functionality at a fraction of the cost. The energy and productivity benefits of connected lighting have long been reserved for the select few enterprises with big budgets and skilled labor to fund and manage system commissioning. Deco Mesh shatters that paradigm, bringing the promise of connected lighting to the small and middle market companies that make up the vast majority of opportunities that our sales partners see. The ability to seamlessly scale and update these systems once in place will forever alter the sales agencies relationship with the end user customer. We fully anticipate that the value proposition of the new Deco Mesh technology will begin to pull through sales opportunities to the benefit of our sales agency partners in the form of more productive, profitable, and enduring business annuities.
Randy: By the way, congratulations on being featured by Entrepreneur Magazine’s featuring. What has been the feedback from the article?
Sam: The feedback has been remarkable. Since the article we have been approached by a growing number of technology leaders seeking to leverage the open-architecture design on smart space applications using our IoT-ready fixtures. Perhaps more importantly, the redesign of our product portfolio has been done with synergy to the Deco Mesh technology in mind, for both indoor and outdoor applications. The article spawned new and strategically promising agency relationships with progressive organizations seeking a path to truly differentiating themselves in a the very crowded LED market. There is no mistaking that smart-fixture technology is the future of our industry. As an example, we are presently engaged in addressing workspace constraints due to COVID and the need for data and analytics in real time.
Randy: What would be your advice to other industry participants that might be struggling in the current economy?
Sam: I would tell them what we told ourselves. Innovate at a quicker pace, take ownership and learn from your mistakes, eliminate waste at all levels of the organization and focus on what you do well. Be bold, follow your intuition and be willing to make the difficult decisions, even if it means separating from long-standing relationships that have held you back from realizing your vision.