LED: Quebec shines abroad

13 December 2019 by National Bank of Canada
Linda Eytcheson, Executive Vice-President of SACO Technologies

After setting six Guinness World Records, the innovative minds behind SACO Technologies are no longer afraid of the impossible. Established in Saint-Laurent, the manufacturer creates light-emitting diode (LED) lighting that illuminates large structures around the world. This company owes its success to exports.

"We carry out a lot of customized projects world-wide. When architects or artists have a seemingly impossible idea, it often lands in our office," admits Linda Eytcheson, Executive Vice-President of SACO Technologies.

The company creates breathtaking performance environments for big names in the music industry, such as U2, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Madonna and Taylor Swift. SACO Technologies is also very active in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where its products add colour and movement to the architecture of this dynamic city. "Last year, we celebrated the anniversary of the Burj Khalifa tower by producing a 770 m tall media façade," highlights Ms. Eytcheson.

90% of sales are abroad

A large majority of sales are generated by projects in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. "Since the company was founded in 1987, exports have accounted for 90% of sales," explains the vice-president. While many components are manufactured by North American suppliers, the most important element, the high-quality LED bulb, comes from a single partner in Japan. "We've maintained a very good relationship with them from the start."

Tight control of risks

While international trade can present certain risks, Ms. Eytcheson specifies that doing business abroad was never a worry for SACO Technologies. "We take all necessary measures to properly assess the countries and clients with whom we do business," she explains. "We deal with prestigious partners who are well-known in their field."

For the businesswoman, language isn't a barrier to commercial trade. The team is made up of people from a wide range of cultures and nationalities, which allows them to easily communicate with clients from all backgrounds. "We work in a creative design field using a visual product—it translates very well."

A partner of choice

"National Bank offers essential products for our international projects," Ms. Eytcheson points out. The financial institution issues bid and performance bonds, for example, that clients demand for their contracts. It also handles irrevocable documentary credits—a payment method governed by specific rules and clauses—to reduce the risk of non-payment by international clients.

A client of National Bank for the past 15 years, SACO Technologies considers the financial institution a valuable business partner. "Its employees are part of our history. They think like entrepreneurs and make sure we are supported by qualified professionals who understand our technology," sums up Ms. Eytcheson.

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