Inventive team with ‘can do’ stance
Nelson-based LED manufacturer Switch Lighting is shining brightly after winning the 2017 Deloitte Fast 50 fastest-growing manufacturing business for Christchurch and Upper South Island.
It is the second year in a row that Switch Lighting has taken out the regional award and the year before they were named the 27th-fastestgrowing company in New Zealand on the Deloitte Fast 50 index.
The award measures revenue growth over a three-year period against other companies in similar industry sectors, such as manufacturing, technology and retail.
The company’s managing director, Gerard Woods, says that while a lot of companies get on the Fast 50 index once, few make it twice, with even fewer listed three times.
“What it’s saying is that we’ve sustained growth over a solid period rather than bought growth through acquisition or there’s been a sudden spike in the market. “It’s a recognition of the effort that everyone in the company puts into making it successful.”
Gerard attributes Switch Lighting’s sustained growth to the very high quality of its products and innovation.
“We’ve designed our product from the ground up and we’ve designed the product to be fully covered in insulation with zero compromise to performance and longevity.
“We’ve led innovation in that regard. We were the first to design a fully sealed insulated coverable tilt light, which we have a patent on.”
But he says it also has much to do with customer service and making it easy for people to deal with the company – providing friendly, helpful service with a “can do” attitude.
The company’s sales reps all have a very high level of technical expertise and are able to respond to curly customer questions.
Switch Lighting was established in 2009 when its two founders, Gerard Woods and Jon Maunsell, fused their skill sets to develop an LED light at a time when most people, including lighting wholesalers, electricians and architects, had not even heard of the technology.
While Jon’s background was in electronics, Gerard brought mechanical engineering expertise to the table, a perfect combination for an electronic mechanical product.
Gerard says there is also a bit about optics, which the R&D team has been learning a lot about.
Designing and creating LED lighting products for the last 15 years, Jon has built up a comprehensive knowledge in the field and is the technical brains behind Switch Lighting, spearheading the company’s R&D team.
With a focus on designing and manufacturing only LED lighting for both residential and commercial applications, the company sells to wholesalers and some boutique retailers throughout New Zealand.
“We’re passionate about using manufacturers around the country wherever possible.
“The die-casting comes out of Christchurch and Whanganui, springs come out of Auckland, packaging in Auckland.
“The actual high quality LED component itself comes from Citizen Electronics in Japan. “Everything is assembled in our Nelson factory.”