Wholesale & Distribution International - Fall 2017 - 34
SESCO LIGHTING INC.
www.sescolighting.com / Revenue: $300 million / Headquarters: Orlando, Fla. / Employees: 275 / Specialty: Industrial, commercial and decorative lighting
/ Todd Langner, president and CEO: "Every employee is an owner. It promotes cohesiveness and teamwork."
SESCO Lighting leverages
its resources and expertise
to expand. BY CHRIS KELSCH
ometimes you can be the
biggest and the best. When Todd
Langner came aboard SESCO
Lighting in 2008, it was already one of the
largest lighting manufacturers' representative firms, dominating the southeastern United States. Langner had a vision,
one that would entail launching several
new divisions and hiring noted experts
from outside the company. "When I interviewed with the company's leaders, I
knew I wanted to be involved and make
it grow," Langner recalls. "I had two great
mentors in Marshall Graham and (founder) Mike Segal."
Langner originally came on board as
vice president of business development
but ascended to president and CEO in
2016. The company has seen nonstop
growth since then, as it celebrates its
50th anniversary in 2017. "When it comes
to lighting, with the resources we have
created coupled with our vast footprint,
my goal was to ensure there was only
one name associated with lighting in the
southeastern United States," Langner
says. "And that's SESCO."
Today, SESCO is the nation's largest
and most successful lighting manufacturer's representative company.
THE NEXT LEVEL
When Langner came to SESCO, he
outlined an aggressive strategy that
34 www.wdimagazine.com Fall 2017
President and CEO Todd Langner has set in place
initiatives to help SESCO maintain ongoing growth.
launched several divisions and expanded
its capabilities. The first was to enter the
manufacturing sector. SESCO, despite its
overall strength, lacked expertise in the
decorative lighting sector. Langner opted
to start Better Designed Lighting (BDL),
an adjunct business. Essentially a partnership between designers and craftsmen, the venture has increased SESCO's
presence in the decorative lighting field.
"BDL is a virtual manufacturing company," Langner explains. "Everything is
contracted for offshore manufacturing
and we (SESCO) are responsible for sales
and marketing." He also notes that with
contract manufacturing, SESCO eliminates costly inventory. "We don't want to
be in the inventory business," he says.
The Energy Division also has grown under Langner. Started before his arrival, this
division has grown significantly as it has
focused on retrofitting commercial buildings with energy-saving LED lighting.
The Energy Division also focuses on
lighting for new construction projects,
as LED lighting has slowly come to the
forefront of modern building. "When we
quote projects through our Energy Division," Langner notes, "we always want to
show our clients the cost-saving opportunity with LED lighting because it is a disservice to them if you do not."
The third division that has seen marketable growth under Langner has been the
Distributor Solutions Group (DSG). The
mission of DSG is to solidify relationships
with electrical distributors and effectively compete for distributor stock and discretionary business. DSG makes regular
appearances at the distributors' places of
business, educating them on which products offer the greatest opportunity for
additional sales and profit. As one could
imagine, forming relationships is key in
the repping business, and SESCO has long
relied on a key manufacturer: Philips.
"We have been invited to rep the entire
Philips package," Langner says. "For both
the traditional stock-and-flow piece and
for the discretionary business as well."
The National Accounts Division also
has flourished in recent years. This group