Sensio Lighting

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Sensio Lighting's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Sensio Lighting is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

Managing Director MichaelLinsky
Designing and developing
innovative lighting for the
kitchen, bedroom and
Sensio Lighting Limited is a family-run business, providing
LED lighting for kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. First
established in 2007 in a garage, they have achieved rapid
growth with an average annual growth rate of 15 per cent.
Having invested heavily in research and development, they
aim to futureproof the company and prepare for any new
technology or market disruption. Managing Director Michael
Linsky tells
The Parliamentary Review
about their remarkable
achievements and how a commitment to innovation has
changed their original model.
We have achieved amazing growth over the past ten years, at an average rate of
15 per cent per year. I believe this is a result of us remaining very customer focused
and keeping everything simple. We work towards one goal: to dominate our core
market by concentrating on perfecting our execution, and working on a strategy
that adds a significant amount of value to the customer and differentiates us from
our competitors.
To become successful, I believe that failure is a crucial part of the learning process
and not something to fear. If you do not fail, you are not trying hard enough. The art
is to push as hard as you can every day, challenging the status quo without completely
going bust. Our model had many unknowns in the early days, but with each day that
passed, we would understand how to create more value for the customer. It was
essential that we were willing to pivot or preserve our model as we continued to learn
and tick off our assumptions. By listening to our customers and believing everything
could be continually improved, I knew we could create long-term success.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2007
»Based in Castleford, Yorkshire
»Services: Design and sale of
LED lighting for the home
»Growth rate of 15 per cent
year on year
»No. of employees: 44
Sensio Lighting
Highlighting best practice
Targeting research and
I also wanted to understand what
the future would look like and
what we would need to do today
for our tomorrow. I knew that the
future of our business depended
on gaining a full understanding
of what our customers’ future
needs might be, and gaining an
appreciation of the technologies and
innovation that would be required to
We decided to invest in research
and development. Firstly, we started
working with our local university and
their product design students. We
then hired a product design intern to
develop our processes and, after the
second year, we started to employ our
own in-house product designers and
electrical and mechanical engineers.
Today we don’t just sell products; we
create solutions to our customers’
requirements. Having the ability to
create and develop our customers’
ideas has completely changed our
Inspiration is still one of our most
important practices. I was convinced
that in order to change an industry,
we needed to find the best people
who could make our dreams become
a reality. I had to quickly change this
mindset and realised that just because
I had worked in the business from
day one, this didn’t make me the
smartest person in the room. I needed
to surround myself with exceptionally
intelligent people in a positive culture
with a belief system whose foundation
was that anything is achievable.
Information and data have been at the
heart of our decision-making, and as
a company, we have always worked
towards understanding the meaning
of the data we collect. By investing
heavily in IT systems, we have been
able to eliminate many elements that
did not add value. This has allowed
us to increase our margin and stop
poor processing errors that impact the
customer experience. We have also
always used the Net Promotor Score
to create a customer feedback loop,
ensuring we are always improving
and that the customer is continually
Creating a brand with simple core
values, and stick to them, was
extremely important from day one.
I wanted to offer the best quality
in the industry, so I had to make
sure everything was focused on this
principle. This allowed us, in turn, to
have an effective operating structure
at a much lower cost base through the
Sensio at the KBB
Trade Fair (left);
Sensio’s research and
development studio
Today we
don’t just sell
products; we
solutions for
our customers’
implementation of a “Get it right the
first time” ethos.
The growth of the business
Our starting position was very simple.
My father and I started the business
in a garage, with no money, no
customers and no staff. Fortunately,
this meant that I had to develop an
understanding of every different
function and process of our business.
This helped with one of our primary
challenges: inspiring the right people.
I believe that people are the most
important part of an organisation, one
which will make it or break it. Due
to the growth rate of the company,
it was always a challenge to find
the right person who would fit with
a high-growth culture and with an
infrastructure that was so lean that
people had to be able to make their
own decisions and move quickly.
Improving communication;
managing cash flow
Communication was also a massive
challenge, and one which I believe
every company faces. Having a policy
where all internal communication is
face-to-face has really helped. We
have been lucky that we have put a lot
of our time and resources into being
able to communicate the purpose
of the company and its mission. This
clear picture has helped us inspire the
right people, with everyone knowing
that we are making a huge impact on
Finally, I would say that the hardest
lesson of all was how to manage cash
flow. Due to our high growth rate,
we have nearly gone bust so many
times I have lost count. Cash is only
valuable when it is being cycled and
invested but a good reserve does offer
a certain amount of protection when
markets are on a downturn. In the
2008 recession, we decided to invest
more, allowing us to take more market
share when the competition was
Today we continue to perfect our
execution and we are looking to
future-proof our company from
new technologies and new market
disruptors. Automation is a large
project we are working on. As our
end-to-end process is digital, we can
now look at the new technologies that
will help serve our customers better or
reduce our operating costs.
We are also looking at what
manufacturing in China will look like
over the next 20 years. Rising wages
and improved ethical processes and
environmental policies are changing
how China is manufacturing at
a lower cost compared to other
countriesworldwide. By studying these
growing trends, we are confident we
can sustain, and build, the impressive
growth we have already achieved.
I believe that
people are the
important part
of an
one which will
make or break
Lithium-ion rechargeable
battery light designed
for the bathroom

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster