Nevada Lighting’s focus on service has earned it strong business in Reno and Las Vegas.
By Alan Dorich
When it is closing time at Nevada Lighting, employees do not immediately race out the door. Instead, Principal Scot Domini says, workers are willing to work extra hours to “make sure the customer is taken care of.”
This focus has made Nevada Lighting a leader in Reno, Nev., and helped it earn a strong market share in Las Vegas. The company began as a manufacturer’s representative for Lithonia Lighting in both cities in 1977.
Over time, Nevada Lighting switched its focus completely to Reno, but returned to Las Vegas in 2012 when Acuity Brands Lighting Inc. gave it the opportunity to represent Lithonia again. “Acuity doesn’t take those decisions lightly,” Domini says. “That shows that Acuity values what we’ve done which has helped both of our businesses.”
Today, Nevada Lighting represents 160 products between both offices. Its client base, he notes, includes electrical distributors and contractors, architects, engineers, lighting designers and end users.
“We’ve got quite a bit [of business] on the decorative side,” Domini says, noting that Nevada Lighting recently provided products for Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant and EA Sports Bar in Las Vegas. “In Reno, we do a lot of university work.”
Domini joined Nevada Lighting in 2000. His father, former President Mario Domini, implemented the service standards that helped Nevada Lighting thrive.
“He focused on building relationships and making friends out of his customers,” the younger Domini recalls, noting many of the company’s clients visited their home as he was growing up. “I knew everybody when I started in the business.”
The focus on going the extra mile also helped Nevada Lighting gain a foothold as the No. 2 representative in Las Vegas. “When you’re new to a territory, the only thing you have is service,” he says.
Nevada Lighting also has set itself apart with its expertise on lighting and controls. “Most people call us for answers because they know we have a pretty vast knowledge of it,” Domini says.
He adds that Acuity Brands also contributed to Nevada Lighting’s success. “They want to put the best rep in each territory,” he says. “They’ve also got a distribution and mini factory in Los Angeles that’s available to us.”
Nevada Lighting’s office in Las Vegas operates as a sales office, while its location in Reno oversees processing for both locations. “They’ll handle any issues that may [occur],” Domini says.
“We rely on distributors to stock product,” he says, noting that the company strongly values its relationships with distributors. “We have an individual in both Vegas and in Reno that sees them one day a week to tout our strengths and really get distributors to trust us and what we can do for them from a product and service standpoint.”
This helps keep Nevada Lighting on the firms’ minds, “even if it’s the data guy at a branch [who] might have a lighting issue one day,” Domini says “Hopefully, opportunities will open up.”
One challenge Nevada Lighting is coping with is high staff turnover in Las Vegas. “It’s hard to find quality people,” Domini admits, explaining that employees often leave to go to other industries. “It’s a very transient town.”
The company has adjusted by implementing more of a family-style work environment to promote loyalty. “There will be weeks where we’re working 50 to 70 hours a week to get things done, but there will also be weeks where we’ll cut out at noon and go have fun,” he says.
“Employees like that,” he says, noting that workers are not required to punch a clock. “We just ask that you work an eight-hour day here between nine and six or 10 and seven.”
Nevada Lighting follows an honors system instead of closely monitoring its workers’ time. “Employees also know they can go to the doctor’s office or their kid’s school performance,” Domini says. “That helps out a lot.”
A Positive Outlook
Domini is proud of Nevada Lighting and how it successfully re-emerged as a prominent representative in Las Vegas. “That’s a pretty big accomplishment,” he says, that he sees a strong future for the company.
“We’ve got some really talented individuals on our team that know lighting and controls,” he says, noting that the company will grow its share of business in Las Vegas. “We couldn’t have done it without Acuity’s support.”
The company’s expertise, he notes, will prove to be increasingly important in the industry. “Every job we’re doing has lighting and controls on it,” Domini says. “If you don’t have that knowledge and personnel on staff, you will be gone in five to 10 years.”