Lighting and shade control manufacturer Lutron always tries to arm dealers with the tools to best serve their customers, especially education and training on how its controls can aid in valuable areas such as whole-building energy efficiency.
The company recently launched what it calls the LCSI (Lutron Commercial Systems Integrator) Dealer Program for 2015, “designed specifically for progressive commercial dealers who work on retrofit and renovation projects in existing buildings,” according to the brochure that Lutron was handing out to dealers at its InfoComm 2015 booth.
Targeting markets such as corporate, education and hospitality in particular, the program provides four levels — Basic, Shades, Quantum and Guestroom that address solutions ranging from standalone single-room focus to motorized window treatments to advanced building management systems to hotel guest management.
“We found that as this industry is changing, more and more integrators are being asked to provide a full-service solution to their customers. Our dealers are in there talking to the end users every day because they’re selling them the IT, the security, the AV, why not add the Lutron [systems] to the existing package and put the whole thing together,” says Christina Katrinak, HRIS – account supervisor.
Rather than have Lutron handle the programming as has been the conventional method, the dealer gets more involved and also improves the customer relationship. “What we found was that the integrator would come back in after Lutron did the programming and it might not be exactly what the customer wanted and they’re going back and trying to fix it, so instead let’s take us out completely and let the dealer manage the entire thing,” Katrinak explains. “It delivers a better experience for the customer.
“It’s a better business proposition for the dealer because they can offer a fully integrated solution and a turnkey solution to their customers. The end user’s happy; the dealer’s happy because he’s making more money on the project,” she continues. “It takes us out of the loop, [which helps] because we have so many new construction projects going on that we have guys at these jobs for weeks, some of these really large jobs we end up working on. We had to either find a way for our dealers to do this or we had to keep hiring new people.”
While many integrators were first being made aware of it during InfoComm 2015, the LCSI program was launched as a pilot last year, so some dealers are already capitalizing on it.
“The feedback has been really positive,” Katrinak says. “So they’re able to now offer solutions, and we’re talking about not just typical conference rooms as in the past, but whole building type lighting systems where they’re doing a major upgrade and they’re putting in Quantum, which is our total light management system. Or you can do the full building integrating BACnet and then tie everything in together, and also the exter-nal pieces, the demand response, which is huge. For shades for our Quantum system we have something called Hyperion, which has solar tracking so it knows exactly where the building is and shades automatically adjust based on the position of the sun with an astronomical time clock.”