Tue, 20/06/2017 - 13:34
Current Issue 41
Colouring Your Beautiful World
Luci Pte Ltd is building an exciting portfolio of work in new markets, driving forward with excellence in all aspects of the lighting manufacture industry
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Tom Cullum
Luci Pte Ltd has excelled over the years in its ability to develop products to be used as both technical and specifically functional products, becoming particularly prevalent in its ability to keep up-to-date with significant industry trends, while also keeping abreast of the needs of its customers.
The Company has tapped into many markets, excelling in architectural and interior lighting; however, it is also successfully moving into the challenge of functional lighting. Luci has a well established and unique background that is firmly cemented in Japan’s lighting industry, and looks set to be there for many years to come.
“As we have a high level of experience in space designing, we had our eye on advancements in technology for LED, which generally entails smallness, simplicity and ease of dimming ability,” explains Junko Kageyama, Sales Manager at Luci. “As a trusted member of Japan’s lighting industry, we believed we would have the ability to do something different to the newcomers in the market.
“Our early days started with the Company providing a purely stock and selling business for RGB decorative lighting and signage lighting. After that, we have progressed and developed the original products we provided to adapt into the architectural and interior lighting industry.”
The main products on offer from the Company are constantly evolving, a prime example being the fact that Luci has removed its RGB and signage products from its offering; however, its core concept of creativity will always remain the same, centrally revolving around the needs of customers and more specifically the particular light effect its customers want.
The Company is owned by Toshiteru Iwakiri and Tsukasa Fukuyama, the latter of which was in fact a co-founder of the TERAS holdings group. TERAS consists of three different subsidiaries, all of which are linked in terms of starting a business that purely responds to customers’ needs.
Presently, Luci is proudly the second biggest subsidiary to undertake sales and development for its lighting products; its core business and services including indirect lighting for hotels, residences and commercial buildings.
“Our research and development (R&D) team are particularly renowned for their work on researching new technologies and developing new products by co-operating with the sales team,” continues Kageyama. “The quality control (QC) team perfectly manages the production process of the factory, while determining the quality of products that will match the current market requirements.”
At present, the Company is in a position to challenge for new functional lighting and insect repellent lighting in order to prevent various insects from finding their way into factories. And its history is firmly set in the ability to always challenge new ideas and breach new markets, providing there are customer needs to be met.
Philosophy of an innovator
Luci’s Company philosophy is and will always be engrained in its ability to work as an innovator, the focus being placed on doing its best for innovation in the industry. In part it creates a brilliant atmosphere within the Company that is much more fun than staying still in the market, while also challenging the Company to be the best it can be.
In order for the Company’s goal to be attainable, the sales team, R&D team, and QC team will often argue heatedly when in the pursuit of creating better products and providing better services; unafraid of being faced with a challenge.
In comparison to other lighting manufacturers that have a long history in the industry, Luci is young, which provides an advantage as the Company is able to make quick-fire decisions, following them through with action.
“During the past five years in the Company’s production systems, huge improvements have been witnessed in the creation of stable products,” affirms Kageyama. “Now the customers’ needs call for more variety and the Company is collaborating with other manufacturers to meet these needs.”
Recently the Company’s production system has greatly improved when it comes to the creation of stable productions and stock availability, however, as aforementioned; Luci’s customers in today’s market need more variety.
Kageyama adds: “Nowadays we are collaborating with other manufacturers with products that can compensate for any gaps in our product offering. This means that we can provide the necessary line-up for client requirements as a one-stop-shop.”
Period of transition
As many Japanese lighting companies have done in the past, Luci began its journey in China - selling there since 2009 - around the time of the Beijing Olympics and Shanghai expo, which sky-rocketed the amount of hotel projects and need for lighting designers and distributors in the country.
Kageyama continues: “We then started to expand our market, opening both our Singapore and Hong Kong offices in 2012, before setting up our latest office in Dubai in 2016 which provided us with a firm footing in the Middle East and a start in the European market.”
When identifying new countries and markets to branch into, it is particularly important to establish the size and needs of the market, which will be a key factor in achieving success, particularly focusing on the specificities of lighting, interior design and lighting designers.
Within this, 80 percent of the Company’s main products need to be customised; therefore it is critical to control the material and stock levels in all factories and warehouses.
“We have had to utilise the use of software for unitary control of both material and inventory for supply chain management,” explains Kageyama. “This work began in 2015 and has since significantly contributed to minimising material stocks in several factories, helping to reduce the lead-time of customisation.
“For the Japanese market, we are able to deliver within approximately four days, even when it comes to having to custom-make or make changes to our product line.”
In the markets Luci operates in outside of Japan, the time-scale is very much dependant on the scale of the project, whereby the Company will often anticipate trends and therefore, more often than not, it will have the necessary quantity of parts to assemble after receiving an order.
Kageyama describes: “We know it is extremely important that the lead times are particularly clear when we propose our products, making sure that clients are able to plan lighting installation schedules around the time-frames.”
Designing around space
For the designers at Luci, being able to provide a wide colour variation is a factor that the Company prides itself upon, having evolved over the years from its original product offering. It has also been important for the contractors to be able to work from a variation of accessories for installation.
“As well as creating the products, we prepare a lot of tools suitable for designing around a space via our Luci Application Book,” adds Kageyama. “We provide the best lighting fixture depending on the space and the concept of the building, including the installation method.”
In reaching this point, the ideas have come from the hard work and contribution of the sales and design team, right through to the work undertaken with contractors on projects.
“As a Company, we place a great deal of importance on not only the products that we offer, but also the software services available,” concludes Kageyama. “Our growth has predominantly been driven by customers’ choices and customer satisfaction in whatever we sell and wherever we go; a trait that will continue to drive us on moving forward.”