The Company / Getting the LED out
LUMEC is recognized as an innovator in light-emitting diode technology.
In Jean-François Simard's mind, the signature of his management style is that he's not a manager at all. An industrial designer by training, Simard is president of Lumec, which manufactures outdoor lighting for streets, landscaping and commercial uses.
He has risen to the top by surrounding himself with a strong management team so he can focus on the big picture.
"I'm a designer and I understand customers," Simard said.
I work with R&D, marketing and sales on the concept of designs. I set the challenge."
Those challenges are about to take on a new dimension: Lumec has become part of Dutch multinational conglomerate Philips. How this will play out is yet to be seen.
Simard is also coping with headwinds from a depreciated U.S. dollar and falling sales in that country, which are forcing Lumec to recalibrate its strategy.
Lumec's headquarters are in a low-slung building in an industrial park in Boisbriand, just north of Laval, alongside a busy highway.
The lobby doubles as a showroom and is filled with samples of products from sleek, wand-like lights to oversize Victorian-style street lamps.
Simard, a burly man who bursts easily into a hearty laugh, thrives on interaction with his team and customers.