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 Let There Be Light
Deutsche Lichtmiete is exchanging new, efficient LED lamps for old and is quickly expanding. To ensure its future success, says founder Alexander Hahn, the company has already implemented an ongoing change process accompanied by digitalization.
Sometimes it’s necessary to ask basic questions. Take a step back, get a broader view, look at the big pic- ture. Alexander Hahn has done precisely that. And what he asked himself was: Do we still need light?
To him, that’s not an odd question. The CEO of Deutsche Lichtmiete AG rents out lighting systems and is in the process of digitalizing his business model. But the transformation is destabilizing many companies, he says, “and that’s why it’s important to question yourself every day.” And to discuss as- sumptions that were previously considered common sense.
Alexander Hahn, a lanky chap in grey jeans and a sport coat, with a firm handshake, is sitting in a long conference room in Oldenburg and explaining where he comes from, where he aims to go, and how Porsche Consulting helped him implement his new strategy. “The consultants think like en- trepreneurs: a perfect fit with my rapidly growing company.”
To date, his “Lighting as a Service” model has functioned as follows: Deutsche Lichtmiete replaces old lights in offices, factories, and hangars with efficient LED lights and concludes long-term contracts with monthly payments. Everyone ben- efits: the companies can afford the expensive retooling in one fell swoop—and Hahn makes money in spite of the installa- tion, maintenance, and repairs because his LED lights last for ages. “Our Japanese chip manufacturer Nichia assumes over 150,000 hours”—equivalent to more than seventeen years of continuous operation.
When Hahn first started his company, all this was scarcely imaginable. In 2008, he was leasing out inventory to nursing homes throughout Germany as an independent sales repre- sentative when he made the acquaintance of a dealer for LED tubes. The technology was unknown, but promised to reduce energy consumption drastically. It clicked: this is the future because companies want to save money and generate lower CO2 emissions. Hahn started the company, raised capital with a road show, concluded rental agreements—and nearly went belly-up. A well-known U.S. manufacturer that was supposed
Digitization and Automation
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