We talked with Leviton about their expansion in to automation technologies
The Diversified Business Model of Leviton
Ian Hendler | Leviton
1. Most people know Leviton for its electrical products, primarily for the building industry, but the company's portfolio expands well beyond that. Describe Leviton and the solutions it provides across multiple industries.
Leviton offers the most comprehensive range of solutions to meet the needs of today’s residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Leveraging more than a century of experience, Leviton helps customers create sustainable, intelligent environments through its electrical wiring devices, lighting controls, network and data center connectivity solutions, and energy management systems. From switches and receptacles, to daylight harvesting controls, networking systems, and equipment for charging electric vehicles, Leviton solutions help customers achieve savings in energy, time and cost, all while enhancing safety.
The company’s four business units – Residential, Commercial and Industrial, Lighting & Energy Solutions, and Network Solutions – are aligned with specific applications and end-user groups in mind.
2. Provide an overview of Leviton's history and how it has helped the company evolve to a global provider of electrical wiring devices, data connectivity solutions and lighting and energy management systems for a variety of end-use markets.
Leviton was founded by Evser and Isidor Leviton in 1906 when the two opened up a small tinsmithing business producing mantle tips used for gas lighting. Soon with the introduction of Edison’s light bulb, the small family business shifted production to manufacture a single electrical product − the pull-chain lamp holder.
From its simple beginnings manufacturing one item, Leviton has evolved into one of the largest privately-held global providers of electrical wiring devices, data connectivity solutions and energy management systems. Starting from that one electrical device, Leviton has been an industry innovator churning out groundbreaking products that improve electrical safety, enhance communication, provide efficiency and cost savings and add convenience and value to our world.
Today, Leviton leads the electrical industry in providing the most comprehensive range of smart solutions with a portfolio of more than 25,000 products and 600 patents. Leviton employs more than 7,000 people and conducts sales in 80 countries.
3. How has Leviton developed companywide efforts designed to diversify its business and accelerate growth areas?
Leviton is committed to developing solutions that help customers work faster, smarter and more efficiently, as proven by some of the groundbreaking ideas the company has brought to market in recent years.
Over the past few years Leviton has made a number of fundamental changes to their business focus and operations, including development efforts designed to diversify its business and accelerate growth areas— for example, the expansion of Leviton’s complete line of Evr-Green™ commercial, residential and public electric vehicle chargers. In 2011, Leviton partnered with both Toyota and Ford to offer electric vehicle supply equipment for Toyota’s Prius Plug-In Hybrid and RAV4 EV, and Ford’s Focus Electric models. Another pertinent example of Leviton’s commitment to both diversify and grow a new product category is Leviton’s Vizia RF+ line of wireless Z-Wave devices. Today, the residential security industry has effectively standardized this Z-Wave technology as the de-facto standard for wirelessly incorporating lighting control and other energy management functions. Furthermore, Leviton is working closely with the industry leaders such as Honeywell Security to educate the distributor and dealer channels on these new, exciting opportunities for enabling new applications and revenue streams.
Along with ongoing research and development, Leviton continues to grow through strategic acquisitions and partnerships that allow the company to deliver best-in-class, innovative solutions to the marketplace.
4. Describe Leviton's commitment to help professionals and partners realize plans for smarter networks, buildings and homes.
Leviton invests in innovation to meet the evolving needs of the residential, commercial and industrial construction markets. Leviton’s commitment to helping customers and contractors enhances spaces through functionality and efficiency.
We provide industry professionals and partners with expert advice to help create custom solutions that combine the correct mix of products and programs wherever and whenever they are needed. Leviton is the smart choice for professionals that need a partner with the expertise, breadth of products and logistics infrastructure to deliver value-added solutions across a range of services and capabilities.
5. Focusing on Home Technology, what are the products and ranges of services that Leviton can provide for a homeowner or integrator?
Leviton’s residential products include everything from basic electrical products, GFCI and tamper resistant outlets, to dimmers, scene controls, home entertainment and automation products, and Connected Home products for residential networking.
Home automation has never been easier or more affordable than with Leviton’s lighting controls for residential applications. Designed to maximize comfort, convenience, security and energy efficiency, our products are stylish and easy to use. Leviton’s Vizia RF +™, a robust radio frequency system with Z-Wave technology, offers one-touch control of lights and appliances, dramatic scene transitions, timed events and many desirable options to enhance your home. Vizia RF + products adapt to your lifestyle without the need for new wiring, providing a luxurious upgrade for less than you might imagine and is compatible with Z-Wave thermostats, shade controllers, and even door locks from other leading manufacturers.
6. Same question except where does Leviton fit into the Commercial AV and Automation marketplace for business owners?
Leviton develops innovative solutions for energy management and commercial sustainability initiatives for large and small business alike. The products include self-powered, energy harvesting wireless occupancy sensors, lighting control relay systems, intelligent dimming systems and controls, and daylight harvesting systems used in green buildings around the world. In addition, Leviton sub-metering and energy management software solutions allow users to measure and monitor energy usage. Furthermore, Leviton’s commercial and enterprise structured cabling solutions can provide the required bandwidth for the most demanding IP applications from AV to networking using category 5e, 6, or fiber optic technologies.
7. One more time --- is Leviton involved in the Alternative Energy industry both residential and commercial?
Leviton provides Alternative Energy technologies to both the residential and commercial industries.
The company offers a complete solution for residential, commercial and public plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging with the Evr-Green™ line of electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).
We also recognize the great potential of utilizing solar power as a source of energy and have developed Leviton Solar, the complete home solar energy solution. Leviton Solar brings all the advantages of solar energy to your home for an immediate reduction in home energy expense and cleaner living.
8. What are some of Leviton's most recent innovations in these various industries?
To name a few− daylight harvesting technologies that keep light levels steady, while reducing energy costs; wireless lighting controls, such as LevNet RF™, that create power from the human touch; as previously mentioned, electric vehicle chargers, for commercial and residential use, providing the necessary infrastructure for plug-in vehicles; residential networking systems that make home electronics and appliances smarter and more efficient; and custom-configurable products for enterprise data centers.
Ian Hendler is Director of Business Development for Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Over the past 4 years in this role, he has provided vision in directing strategic alliances for the company and leading the growth of its connected home business and partnerships. Starting out his career in Leviton’s e-Commerce area, he developed tools and systems to support customer EDI and VMI applications. He also worked as a Pricing Administrator, Commercial Voice & Data Analyst, and Manager and then Director of Channel Development for Leviton Integrated Network and Director of Automation Products prior to assuming his current position.
Ian has a long record of service to the industry as a champion for new “smart home” technologies spanning from home automation and energy management to integrated multimedia networking. He has led seminars and roundtables on structured cabling, home automation and residential networking at industry EHX, CEDIA, ISC, IBS and other key venues. As a sought-after commentator for books and articles on custom consumer electronics and connected home subjects, his viewpoint and perspective is featured regularly across a wide variety of industry publications.
Most recently, Ian has served as Chair for the TechHome Division, a member of its Executive Board and was awarded the CEA’s TechHome Leadership Award in March, 2009. He has also served as a principle member on the Z-Wave Alliance Board, an open consortium of over 160 manufacturers who create products and services based on the Z-Wave standard.
Ian has earned distinction from Custom Retailer Magazine both a Young Turk of CE in 2010 and previously as one of the 50 most vital influencers in the custom consumer electronics industry in 2003. He was also named by Dealerscope as one of its “40 Under 40,” which honored him as one of the best young talents in the custom consumer electronics industry in 2005. Additionally, Ian was named in the March 2006 issue of Digital Connect magazine as one of the 2006 "Digital Dozen," a group of industry experts digital integrators should get to know.
Ian holds a BA degree in Political Science and is a graduate of Duke University. Ian lives in New York City with his wife Debra, daughter Natasha, and son Julian.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of HomeToys
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