Five questions for Frank Wolfgramm

"German market is ready for smart public lighting"

This year Sustainder took its first steps on German ground. Sustainder Sales Director Frank Wolfgramm explains how he is shaping the German division and in what respect Germany and the Netherlands are complement to each other.

What are Sustainder’s opportunities in Germany?

Currently, many German cities and towns are using a conventional public lighting system. At Sustainder, we see opportunities when it comes to the matter of a substitute; the transition to dynamic LED-lighting. At this moment, we have five active sales managers in Germany. In the summer, we will be expanding to a total of seven. We do not only want to sell luminaires, but also restore the former level of personal customer contact. Something we used to focus on while working at Industria and Indal, and will be doing again now. We invest in long term relationships. That is the big difference between us and other large companies in our line of business. We are eager to find out what is happening locally and what is needed. Particularly as we are noticing that our market is open to new smart city applications. 

Team Germany2 Sustainder
The German team of Sustainder. On the right side: sales director Frank Wolfgramm

Why is the market ready now?

Currently we are noticing a great interest in our lighting concept and approach. Which is not surprising, considering the market was not ready yet a couple of years ago, and the applications were not sufficiently developed. We are now seeing that German communities are experiencing problems while managing and maintaining their public lighting system. Our targeted response is an open system and open maintenance platform.

What goals have you set for this year?

First of all, we want to restore our customer contacts. This is quite important, because our prior knowledge about them can be used to really benefit them. Furthermore, we aim to complete different pilots with smart city applications in Germany this year. Applications which will contain various Sustainder features. We will gain experience through those projects. We wish to show our clients how our products and processes work.    

Can you tell something about the luminaires?

The standard size of the poles in our country is higher than four metres. For the larger roads in and around cities we have developed the Alexia luminaire which can be placed on poles of four to eight metres. The Alexia contains 32 LED’s and has a unique cassette system.

This cassette system makes our luminaires future proof. No one knows what tomorrow’s technology will be like, but our luminaire is ready to undergo new techniques. That is the big difference between our luminaires and other types. Our cassette systems allow those techniques to be updated, without having to replace the luminaire. This modular concept makes Sustainder interesting to our clients. Especially when you know that we’re currently developing more luminaires for different situations.

When do you expect the first luminaire is installed in Germany?

I expect June this year. We are starting production of the Alexia in May. Development of the luminaire was started in November 2016. In less than six months, we developed a complete luminaire and took it into production. In our line of business that is extremely fast, especially considering such a development process usually takes up more than two years. We were ambitious, but successful. This is also due to the immense amount of technical knowledge we have in-house. We know extremely well how to develop, design and produce a luminaire. We operate out of the Shared Factory in Emmen with the same people and reputation from the past. And as Emmen is located right in the middle of our markets, we can let our clients experience the product on site, creating a great boost in confidence.