Hughes Smart become a Loxone Gold Partner
You may remember a blog we did as part of our ‘Meet Our Partners‘ series where we introduced you to Hughes Smart who have recently opened a Loxone Showroom in Ipswich. Since then, the team at Hughes Smart has been going from strength to strength and we’ve very pleased to be able to announce they have achieved Loxone Gold Partner status!
We recently caught up with Ashley Shorey-Mills, General Manager at Hughes Smart, to find out more about the company and their journey to Gold.
Hi Ashley, can you start by telling us about your background and how you became interested in home automation?
We were rapidly expanding into the smart home space, and whilst the TV/AV/MDA aspect was keeping us busy, we knew we needed to expand into home automation and BMS in some way to fully maximise potential from this marketplace.
What made you decide to become a Loxone Partner?
Meeting Phil (Loxone UK MD, Philipp Schuster) and the product. We had explored lots of options in the marketplace, but we felt Loxone, with its flexibility and quality, as well as the way Phil spoke about it, just made us sure Loxone was the way forward.
The Hughes Smart Team
Ashley – GM
The general manager of the department, and that key link between the smart home team and senior management. Responsible for business development, marketing, website, cost efficiencies and supplier relations.
Peter – Team Leader
Team leader and key contact for all our main sales and installation teams on a daily basis. Involved in everything from sales, to install and service. Also, my right-hand man, so as a team we make decisions on branding, products and services to help us grow.
The Sales Team
The sales team is made up of Luke (our main Loxone specialist) and Luke also gets involved in the installation and service side of automation too. Nick, Andy and Michael, who all deal with the normal day to day sales work, focusing primarily on AV, with links and selling up to automation where possible. We also have 5 key installers we use within the company. David and Nathan (main Loxone installers), and Stuart, Levi and Andrew.
What makes Hughes Smart different?
Our key difference from the traditional BMS or home automation installer is that we are a large retailer with shops, a website and B2B division, so we offer the complete package.
What has your dedicated journey to Gold involved?
A lot of on-the-job learning! Getting the tide started has been the toughest thing, but now with experience, we are learning more and more and becoming far more competent in what we do, and subsequently seeing more business as a result.
How would you encourage other Partners to reach for Gold?
By firstly explaining the financial benefits! That is key! But also because of the “new” nature of Loxone in the UK, being gold makes you stand out straight away from your peers.
What has been your biggest/favourite project (with Loxone)? What challenges have you faced?
We are still working on most of our projects, but creating the showroom was easily the most fun. Having a showroom that has allowed us to show potential customers what we are talking about has made such a huge difference. Customers are always so impressed with what we can show them.
How have you benefitted from living in a Loxone Smart Home?
Lighting is always the one where you have the most conversations, but controlling the home is what you get asked for the most.
How have your customers benefitted from living in a Loxone Smart Home?
The seamless access control for the house has been key.
What would be your ultimate home automation project?
A 16th-century castle or stately home… challenging, but it would be amazing to show what’s possible.
In your opinion, where will the smart home industry be, in the UK, in 2020?
Commonplace. 2020 has long been muted as that tipping point in the UK, and with the recent releases of Alexa etc, the consumer awareness is growing to new levels. People have this device but are not aware what it can fully do. The mass market products will ramp up, which creates more awareness, and so more need for installers.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking of having Loxone installed, what would it be?
Motion sensors are the way forward ☺. But also to just wire for everything possible… It would be a small cost to do now, but a massive cost if you needed to do it after-the-fact.
How does it feel to be a Loxone Partner?
Being a Loxone Partner feels great. The team are so supportive and want to help their Partners grow and take advantage of this rapidly growing market. It is a community (being a Loxone Partner), and so you feel like you have people who want your business to thrive.