In a journey that began with humble roots in a loft over three decades ago, Northern Lights has risen to become a pioneer in the bespoke decorative lighting industry. From crafting terrariums and wall light shades, the company’s evolution into a lighting manufacturer has been nothing short of remarkable. Today, they stand as a shining example of craftsmanship and innovation, while their partnership with AAG for IT support ensures seamless technological advancement and enhanced security.
The Birth of Northern Lights
Around 30 years ago, Northern Lights had its inception with a few passionate students experimenting with terrariums in a loft. As demand for their creations grew, they ventured into crafting shades for wall lights in pubs, marking the beginning of their journey as a lighting company. The positive response from customers paved the way for further growth and opportunities.
Their transition into bespoke manufacturing was a natural progression, filling a void in the hospitality market for unique decorative lighting solutions. Northern Lights’ dedication to quality and creativity saw them embrace the challenge of turning clients’ ideas and designs into breathtaking light fixtures. From stained glass to modern designs, their portfolio expanded, gaining recognition in the marketplace.
Northern Lights made the strategic decision to transition to Microsoft Business Premium, this move significantly improved their security score from 37% to an impressive 76%.
The Multi-Faceted Role at Northern Lights
Situated within the company’s operations, Lee Stone plays a vital role as Head of Procurement, and a sprinkling of IT support too. Overseeing procurement, from the smallest nuts and bolts to essential machinery, Lee ensures that the business has everything it needs to thrive.
Apart from procurement duties, the role includes handling the back-end operations and IT support. Often jestingly referred to as the first-line IT support for the team, Lee resolves various technical issues, from misbehaving printers to monitor glitches (the old off and on usually does the trick!). As the bespoke manufacturing environment keeps each day unique and unpredictable, the challenges are ever-changing, making the role dynamic and exciting.
Bespoke Manufacturing at its Finest
Northern Lights’ remarkable USP lies in its ability to transform practically any object into a mesmerising light fixture. Whether it’s a design sketched on paper or an everyday item, their team can translate it into a captivating source of illumination. This level of uniqueness is a rarity in the hospitality market, setting Northern Lights apart from competitors.
From one-of-a-kind creations designed for specific clients to never-repeated masterpieces, Northern Lights continues to push the boundaries of what bespoke manufacturing can achieve. Their dedication to creating exceptional products, made predominantly in the UK, showcases their commitment to craftsmanship and quality.
Collaboration with AAG: A Strong IT Support Partnership
For the past four to five years, Northern Lights has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with AAG, a leading IT support company. Initially managing their IT internally, Northern Lights recognised the need for professional support as their business expanded. AAG provided the ideal solution, offering expertise and guidance to optimise their digital infrastructure.
The collaboration with AAG has proven beneficial, providing Northern Lights with a reliable sounding board for various IT projects. From introducing new technologies to staying informed about advancements in the field, AAG has been an invaluable partner, ensuring that Northern Lights remains at the forefront of IT innovation.
Harnessing Technology for Enhanced Efficiency
As the company continues to grow, Northern Lights has actively embraced technology to enhance efficiency and productivity. The incorporation of touchscreens, laptops, and tablets has brought increased portability and flexibility to the workforce, freeing them from being tied to desks.
Within the factory, display screens are being utilised to showcase completed projects to staff, providing a glimpse of the final product’s grandeur. Additionally, adopting VoIP telephony and remote working capabilities during the pandemic has enabled seamless communication and adaptability for employees.
Strengthening Security with Microsoft Business Premium
Understanding the critical importance of cyber security, Northern Lights made the strategic decision to transition to Microsoft Business Premium. This move significantly improved their security score from 37% to an impressive 76%, highlighting their commitment to safeguarding sensitive information.
By utilising Premium licenses, the company gained access to essential security enhancements. The transition not only bolstered cyber security but also empowered staff with knowledge and tools to maintain a secure IT environment.
Shining Bright into the Future
With their rich history of craftsmanship and innovation, coupled with robust IT support from AAG, Northern Lights remains a beacon of excellence in the bespoke decorative lighting industry. The company’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve and embracing new technologies positions them for continued success as they illuminate spaces with creativity and brilliance.
We were doing a lot of our IT jobs in-house and as as the business was growing, we found that we couldn't give that level of support. AAG offered us the best solution to what we wanted and since we've been working together, that relationship has developed really well. We now always consult AAG to find out what's the best way of implementing projects and likewise, AAG put things forward which we might not have thought of and so the partnership truly helps to provide a more rounded approach.