With a Canadian mandate ending the commercial use of incandescent lighting looming, Lawson Products needed to replace all of the lighting throughout its Mississauga, Ontario distribution center. Sustainable Lighting Solutions provided this distributor of industrial products with the expertise as well as the hard data it needed on costs and projected payback timeline to make the project a go.
CapEx projects are never easy to fund, but this project was the exception, says Russell Mariano, Lawson Products Manager, Facilities and Distribution Logistics. With project numbers that included a $15,600 government rebate and a two-year return on investment from reduced utility and maintenance costs, corporate approval was relatively quick and painless.
“Our confidence in Sustainable Lighting Solutions’ ability, as well as its willingness to forecast payback, and manage the incentive process, all played a large part in why we chose them. And the numbers really helped,” Mariano says.
Traditionally the finance managers are skeptical of CapEx projects because there is so little financial gain, Mariano says. “This is the first time that I can remember a contractor told us how much we would save, and we actually did,” Mariano says. “The forecast helped them win the job. Even the finance people were excited about the project’s payback.”
The Mississauga distribution center includes a 65,000-square-foot warehouse. Originally outfitted with Metal Halide (HID), it required a lot of electricity. Lawson Products wanted better functionality and efficiency in the new lighting solution, but most of all wanted the right configuration for its operations.
“The employees there do a lot of inventory tracking and racking of product,” Mariano says. “We wanted the best light possible for them. We didn’t want them squinting to look at their inventory guns or straining their eyes to see product.”
The 400 watt lights in the warehouse were replaced with T5s, as well as occupancy sensors that increased efficiency. The warehouse operates in cycles with product distribution, receiving, and replenishment.
“The sensors have definitely helped,” Mariano says. “We are seeing roughly $700 to $800 a month in savings. We expect to see the project pay itself back in less than two years.”
Mariano describes the difference as “like night and day”.
“Overall it was a great project and investment by Lawson, but more importantly the staff appreciated it, and they are more productive because of the better lighting,” he says.
While the project and the product were well received, Mariano said that SLS really went above and beyond managing the incentives as well as getting product back and forth between the countries.
“SLS was always on top of the project. They are very attentive and responsive,” says Mariano. “Even though they were working across the border, we had no issues. They did a great job.”