Advanced Illumination Revisits Strategic Planning, Leading To Improved Sales Efforts
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Advanced Illumination (Ai) is an industrial lighting company, primarily serving the Machine Vision Industry. Founded in the Boston area in 1993, Ai was the world’s first LED lighting company. A developer and manufacturer of structured lighting and control electronics, Ai supports a wide variety of manufacturing activities around the globe. After relocating to Rochester, Vermont, in 1996, Ai employs 35 people full time.
Ai’s sales had remained flat for six years while the company lost market share to a growing number of competitors. They were seeking to grow the business by doubling their sales over the next five years as well as changing their sales organization from an external to internal team. This would allow for improvements to their sales and marketing efforts where the sales leadership would have the opportunity to develop strategies to drive the organization forward. Realizing they needed the necessary help to redefine the sales organization and having worked with them on projects in the past, VMEC was contacted.
VMEC worked with Ai on initial planning to move the company’s sales effort from outside to inside, driving organizational changes and business transformations. Information gathered to support the company’s efforts included inputs from CoreValue intake surveys, market knowledge and customer feedback. Gathering and assigning input components as well as a strategic planning session with Ai followed. The latter was crucial so the newly formed team could work together to understand the big picture by stepping back and seeing their process as a system and ultimately drive performance. Results of this strategic planning effort included increased sales of $600,000, cost savings of $400,000 and information systems investment of $100,000.
“Small to midsize manufacturing entities in Vermont need access to VMEC’s kind of expertise because it is more difficult to cross-pollinate our work forces here with individuals that can bring in Best Industrial
Practices”, states John Thrailkill, Ai Co-Founder and CEO. He adds, “Other regions of the country that have a more established manufacturing base have a much easier time of it. Keep up the good work!”