Sunshine is clinically proven to make us happier, but is something often in short supply during a British winter (or summer for that matter). A continual lack of natural light can cause serotonin and melatonin levels in the body to drop, triggering the symptoms of depression. Up to 24% of the UK population experience the winter blues and of those, around 7% have such bad symptoms, known collectively as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, that they struggle to function normally.
The lightbulb moment
Since 1991, Cambridge-based Lumie has been at the forefront of safely and effectively fighting off the winter blues and SAD with light therapy. “Our founder Steve Hayes identified a need for light therapy products in the UK,” says Jonathan Cridland, current CEO of Lumie. “He developed a light box to increase the body’s natural production of mood and energy boosting hormones, such as serotonin.” Lumie later went onto invent integrated dawn simulators, also known as wake-up lights.
Dawn simulation is a method of resetting the body clock to adapt to a new sleep/wake cycle by simulating the rising and setting sun. This can benefit people, who struggle to wake in the morning, shift workers, travellers suffering from jet lag and SAD patients. The Lumie Bodyclock range features a simulated sunrise and sunset to help people wake-up and fall asleep in the best way possible.
Based on rigorous research and innovative design, and classified as medical devices, the company’s diverse product range has seen turnover grow by 50% in just four years. Lumie is Europe’s leading light therapy specialist, with customers throughout Europe, North America and Australia. “The interest we’ve had from Europe, especially further north where winters are long and dark, has been phenomenal,” says Cridland.
Many hands make light work
As a product used to treat medical conditions, customers are keen to receive their Lumie as soon as possible so they can begin to enjoy the benefits. This means on time delivery has always been important. Following such rapid growth and international expansion, the challenge is maintaining the highest levels of customer service – even when transporting to the other side of the world.
That’s where FedEx comes in…
“We’ve worked with FedEx for ten years and they ensure our shipments arrive on time and in perfect condition”, comments Eileen Somerville, Warehouse Manager at Lumie. “The couriers take the utmost care when delivering fragile items, making sure the bulbs are kept upright and secure in transit.”
Lumie uses the FedEx order management system, available via an enhancement of the standard FedEx Ship Manager® Software, to process orders and streamline administrative functions, such as shipping label generation. “This certainly brings structure to our process management procedure and for any unusual orders, the FedEx IT support team is always on hand,” explains Somerville.
Local FedEx UK depots also adapt to Lumie’s increase in daily collections during the autumn/winter period and the run up to Christmas. “FedEx recognised that we experience an influx in orders during certain seasons,” adds Somerville. “It factored this in to our shipment needs and adapted, effectively providing us with seasonal shipping slots”.
The future’s bright
Research and innovation has always been central to the Lumie success story. With its new product Lumie Bodyclock Iris – that combines a wake-up light with aromatherapy for the first time – the company has big plans to continue this trend on an international stage.
“As we continue to grow and expand into new markets, we’re going to need a logistics provider who can deliver to the same high standard of customer service,” adds Cridland. “The global-yet-local expertise FedEx has is a big bonus in this area, and we expect FedEx to be a part of our growth for years to come.”