Click Litehouse, part of the Scolmore Group, is bringing the extensive range of Ovia lighting and lighting control products to the whole of Ireland under a brand new operation, Ovia Ireland.
Headed up by Dan Hope, a well-known figure in the lighting industry, Ovia Ireland will operate as a stand-alone business that fully replicates the Ovia business operation in the UK with access to the same products, marketing support, technical support and new product development.
Dan has a wealth of experience, industry knowledge and contacts to bring to the new role, and talks to us about his new role as National Sales Manager and the aims of the new enterprise…
EM: Dan, you are a well-known figure in the lighting industry, what roles have you previously held and how long have you worked in the industry?
DH: I started with Ansell Lighting in 2014 as an Area Sales Manager and in 2017 assumed the role of National Sales Manager. I now head up Ovia Ireland as National Sales Manager.
EM: What have you learned about the main needs and requirements of Ireland’s lighting contractors during that time?
DH: There are four main needs that are vital to lighting contractors:
1) A quality product – one that is quick and easy to install and one that is robust and reliable.
2) Competitive pricing – it certainly doesn’t need to be the cheapest in the market, but at a price that the contractor can use within the budget constraints and still make a margin.
3) Product accessibility – this is even more important with the effects of Brexit this year. Products need to be available in Ireland for same day collection or next day delivery anywhere in the 32 counties.
4) First-class support service – contractors appreciate the support and guidance that industry experts can give them. A first-class lighting design service with speedy turnaround and an excellent after sales service that they can rely on, are also invaluable to them.
EM: What steps will you, and the company, take to ensure that Ovia Ireland meets those needs?
DH: The focus has always been on bringing contractor-friendly, innovative products to the market, and that will continue. We have a significant number of new products launching in the near future and are continually driving new product development. We have recently acquired a new facility in Dublin adjacent to the M50 at Junction 9, and will have a significant stock holding, with dedicated collections area, interactive showroom and meeting facilities. We are currently recruiting to build the sales team both internally and externally and that team will continue to grow as we do, so that we can offer the very best service in the industry to our customers.
EM: Dan, you hold an LIA Certificate and you’re a fully qualified emergency lighting commissioner. What benefits do these qualifications bring to your role and the service you can provide customers?
DH: Lighting is a technical sale and very often we have to provide an engineered solution. Having the industry standard training and certificates gives customers, contractors and consultants peace of mind that we are qualified to offer these solutions and understand what we are specifying.
EM: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing the lighting industry at the moment?
DH: Due to the on-going pandemic, Brexit, increases in component and manufacturing costs, and massive price increases in transportation of goods, getting access to quality, competitively priced products is now a challenge and this only looks set to intensify. Therefore, bringing projects in on time and in budget is becoming more of an issue than before.
EM: What steps will Ovia Ireland be taking to help contractors overcome those challenges? DH: With Click Litehouse and the Scolmore Group as the backbone of our business we have a huge resource and very experienced teams in place to manage stocks and supply chain to ensure the best stability in pricing available. We will continue to develop the right lighting products that the industry requires and make them available with significant stocks held in Dublin and the UK.
EM: What’s the ‘next big thing’ in lighting and lighting control products and has Ovia Ireland got that covered?
DH: Since the migration from traditional lamp sources across to LEDs in recent years we have seen a major increase in the efficacy of products leading to great energy savings. The next phase to generate even greater efficiencies from installations is through lighting controls and these are advancing at a significant rate. I don’t want to give anything away, but you can rest assured that Ovia has a lot of exciting and innovative products in the pipeline… Watch this space!
EM: What do you think has attributed to the growth and popularity of the Ovia range of lighting and lighting control products in Ireland?
DH: To start with, we have an extensive range of products in the Ovia collection to cover a huge spectrum of applications. They are excellent quality, easy to install and offer a range of features and benefits to help contractors meet the requirements of their projects on time and within budget. However, it’s also about the team and infrastructure behind the product range. Customers have the peace of mind and assurance that comes with working with established, reputable organisations such as Click Litehouse and Scolmore Group.
EM: What message would you like to send to Ovia Ireland’s existing customers and potential customers going forward?
DH: Our aim is to become Ireland’s leading commercial lighting supplier, offering an extensive range of easy to install, innovative products with a highly experienced team to back it up. We’re looking forward to working very closely with our strategic partners and we will continue to invest and build the Ovia team and our brand presence.
EM: What are you most looking forward to by taking up the position of National Sales Manager for Ovia Ireland?
DH: I’m really enjoying working with a fantastic team of people both here in Ireland and also in the UK. I’m also looking forward to seeing our new Dublin facility come together with the showroom being fitted out and welcoming the first customers into it.
EM: On a ‘lighter’ note, Dan, where do you call home and what do you enjoy doing when you’re not in the office or on the road?
DH: I live in Stradbally in Co. Laois, probably best known as home of the Electric Picnic arts and music festival. I have a young family, a 12-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter, so most of my down time is spent with family and friends.
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