Lighting manufacturer SATCO expands distributor learning opportunities at its New York-based Training Center.
With over 50 years in the industry, lighting manufacturer SATCO has learned how to evolve with the changing market. Part of that evolution has been reflected in the 2017 launch of a specialized Training Center at the company’s Brentwood, NY headquarters. Offering a range of seminars, resources, new product displays, and training opportunities uniquely designed to support distributors and contractors, SATCO continues to live their motto—“we do the light thing and we do the right thing.”
According to Brian Brandes, senior vice president of Product Development and Marketing at SATCO, the company started out in 1966 as Sattlelight Wholesalers, then a light bulb distribution company, and began manufacturing lamps in 1974.
“Today, SATCO’s offering of lighting solutions includes LED lamps and fixtures for everything from commercial retrofit jobs to decorative lighting applications, including commercial fixtures for project-based and functional lighting,” Brandes said. “We also continue to offer traditional lamps to help service older lighting fixtures that remain in the market and we even offer the components to service them as well.” In 2005, SATCO entered the decorative lighting market with NUVO, which has been offering decorative options for residential, hospitality, and multi-family markets for the past 15 years.
While SATCO’s Training Center was primarily established as a resource for new product introductions and product knowledge seminars, either onsite on via webinar, it rapidly expanded.
“The Center quickly became more as we began to introduce courses to help industry professionals understand lighting applications, new legislation, controls, lighting calculations, and more,” Brandes explained. “And with the growth of our NUVO decorative brand, SATCO’s Training Center offers a seminar geared specifically towards electrical distributor opportunities within the decorative market and how distributors can best approach it.”
Among the range of industry members who frequent the Training Center, “we mostly see electrical distributors who invite their key customers (including franchise owners, contractors, key representatives, and other affiliates) to learn about the full SATCO offering, but we also host everyone from lighting designers and lighting showroom owners to contractors, members of the lighting media, and more,” Brandes said. “We can also custom-tailor educational training programs to support the needs/interests of our visiting distributor groups,” he added. “Our seminars have included everything from coverage of energy codes and retrofit options to new opportunities in LED technology, but feedback from our visitors consistently shows that a comprehensive tour of our product offering is the most well-received, as most of our customers aren’t aware of SATCO’s broad offering.”
Such was the case for Dominick Posillico, founder/principal of New York City-based Consolidate Energy Solutions, a nearly 10-year-old energy broker, integrated energy solutions provider, electrical distributor, and approved participating contractor for local utility ConEdison.
“SATCO is a big supplier of ours and our top supplier of residential fixtures,” said Posillico, who added that he appreciates the company’s good payment terms, strong customer service, and convenient location within his metro New York and New Jersey service territory.
“I’ve been amazed by their Training Center – it features a test lab, marketing activities, and displays of the majority of their many product lines, which enables me to touch them and see the quality of their build,” he said. Since he began visiting the Center nearly two years ago, “I get there every few months to check out some of their newer products and ask specification questions of their onsite marketing and technical personnel, who are always very helpful,” he said. “Though SATCO’s product lines heavily support the market segments we serve most, including large multi-family buildings and hospitality settings, people would be surprised at the range of LED fixtures SATCO and NUVO offer for pretty much any application, both interior and exterior.”
Looking ahead, Brandes said that SATCO will be expanding its Training Center to include a new workshop area where visitors will be able to handle products, perform mock installations, and engage in other opportunities for hands-on learning. “The year 2020 will also see the launch of our new website, which will include online webinars, more robust product information, lighting news, and more ways to connect with SATCO,” he said.
Ultimately, Brandes concluded, “our mission is to lead the industry through the practice of good business, good partnerships, and strong citizenship and to keep our partners educated on all things lighting, from what’s new in energy codes to the proper use and application of LED retrofit lamps.”
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