Spotlight Blog

Collaboration, Communication, and Results

Sep 1, 2020 | Projects

by Kathryn Lovda
Inside Sales/Applications Team

Meet the team…

Hi, I’m Kathryn, the Projects & Technical Support Manager for the Inside Sales and Application team. Before joining TLA, I worked in the sustainability and green building industry and the lighting retro-fit industry.

In this post, I’m going to introduce you to my team and talk about all the ways that we support and facilitate communication, project management and design for The Lighting Agency clients.

For all of you working remotely, I will also share some of the communication and time-management strategies that have helped us preserve our high productivity levels and a smooth workflow.

Taylor is an applications designer and provides technical support. She attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she graduated from the Architectural Engineering program with a concentration on lighting and electrical systems. After graduating she pursued lighting through sales and applications, which lead her to TLA.

Emily is an applications designer and project lead. Before working at TLA, she spent a decade working in the entertainment lighting industry where she led crews and oversaw installation and operations for corporate and music events nationwide.

For those of you wondering what it means to be in Inside Sales…

The Inside Sales team (ILS) supports our sales and quotes teams in every way possible. We create competitive supporting resources for bids and deliverables to clients.

A typical project includes, but is not limited to, creating lighting type alternates, value engineering, interior and exterior lighting calculation layouts, lighting look books and packages aimed at client needs, designing build project packages, and overall product technical support for customers.

Example of a conceptual lighting package for a specific project

Example of a conceptual lighting package for a specific project


Example of ongoing industry look books we send to specifiers

Example of ongoing industry look books we send to specifiers

Communication, cost and timeline management are integral to the completion of our projects. To optimize our workflow and productivity, we assign projects within our team appropriately and lend a helping hand when it’s crunch time. We always work as a team, especially when we have a last minute request or a large design build project. Our team has to work against deadlines, making prioritization a key to our success.

The ILS team dedicates a lot of time and energy toward producing in-depth resources for our clients that align during the design build phase of large commercial projects. The goal of a design build package is to help the architect, engineer, designer and/or electrical contractor to specify the TLA line card on the project. During this process, we put together a variety of resources packaged together that are tailored toward the client’s needs. For example, we would choose products for their project, perform lighting calculation layouts, provide budgetary pricing, and provide a set of working cut sheets. Overall, this helps give TLA a competitive advantage.

Example of a site lighting calculation for a specific project

Example of a site lighting calculation for a specific project

The ILS team works closely with the outside sales project leader on design build packages. The project leader helps identify what the client is looking for. Each outside sales representative has a well-established relationship with their clients and understands what type of products they want and what type of projects they typically work on.

How we’re making the best of working remotely…

As most of our company has been working remotely since March, as a team, we’ve found that the methodologies and workflows we already had in place have facilitated a smooth transition.

A few of our new “best-practices” to maintain productivity  include:

  • Have a dedicated workspace
  • Stick to a routine every day
  • Encourage everyone to take periodic breaks – just like in the office – this includes refocusing, reducing any mental noise, and physically moving around

And of course, communication is key when working remotely. Our team communicates very well via Microsoft Teams. We utilize sharing our screens, team phone calls, and video calls.

We tend to overload ourselves with work, so communicating to the team when you are swamped is essential. We need to know when someone on our team needs help.

What we do is both challenging and rewarding…

Because our work is project-based, balancing time and deadlines while working in a very detailed oriented position can be cumbersome at times.

For Emily,  the largest challenge was the shift from entertainment vocabulary to  architectural vocabulary. The two industries, while  very similar, vary tremendously in communication.

Theatrical lighting calculation and product selection by Emily

Theatrical lighting calculation and product selection by Emily

For Taylor, it is acting as the middle-man between manufacturers, engineers, architects, designers, and owners. Keeping all parties on the same page and satisfied with our service and deliverables is a constant challenge that requires unique attention for each situation.

But when we are awarded a large commercial project, be it in theatrical lighting, the arts industry or education, it is incredibly rewarding to help bring the client’s vision to life.

Additional resources

I’d like to invite you to explore our newly re-designed website, which we hope will become a go-to resource for all your professional lighting needs.

TLA has added an EVENTS page where you can access and register for scheduled and on-going virtual presentations, seminars and trainings for a full spectrum of lighting topics ranging from controls, to design, to products.

We’re also pleased to introduce our new Quick Quote Tool to help designers stay on budget.

Thank you so much for joining us today on TLA’s blog!

Kathryn Lovda