Northern Flags are the UK’s leading wide format fabric printer for all sorts of products such as flags, banners, fence scrims and exhibition prints. Their portfolio of work includes the branding for major sporting events including Euro 2012, London 2012 Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and Le Tour de Yorkshire.
They are jointly owned by Europe’s largest marketing fabrics supplier Faberexposize and have significantly grown over the last few years. This led to them moving production to the UK in Leeds just under two years ago. However in those two years, the demand increased even further and the time had come to move to a larger premises to allow them to match their client’s increasing demands.
The previous project we implemented for Northern Flags allowed them to start production in the UK after many years of importing materials from their other factories across Europe and the Far East. They originally planned to ‘bring around five to ten percent of production, into the UK’ but once they started to offer UK based clients a quicker turnaround on their order, they found that ‘more and more clients wanted to capitalise on that service’.
Therefore they had to start looking for a new premises after the four machines they had in their previous warehouse ‘all got full’. ‘We needed a premises that could not only cope with all the finishing associated with our previous machines, but could also allow us to buy wider machines that could move a lot faster’ said Managing Director Iain Clasper.
The project comprised of two design and installation elements. Inside the warehouse we needed to create a production facility that worked to enhance Northern Flags workflow and also provided the warehouse team with a breakout area for break times. Whilst upstairs, we had the challenge of providing an open plan office that promoted teamwork and provided the office based team with on hand kitchen facilities.
The reason Northern Flags needed to move in the first place was because ‘in our last unit we were a little constrained by space’. So a main part of the brief was to make the most of the new space available. In the warehouse areas we had to ensure that the new machinery Northern Flags had bought, received sufficient power. Therefore the incoming kVA and mains distribution were increased to all areas.
We also had to ensure the production floor was lit sufficiently and that the temperature in the room was controlled at all times. Therefore we installed a suspended ceiling into the warehouse along with new lighting and a ventilation and air conditioning system.
Northern Flags also required the installation of a speed roller shutter door to facilitate access between the two warehouse areas. In the second warehouse area we also installed a brand new racking system for Northern Flags’ stock. CCTV and door entry systems were also required for the exterior of the building.
Upstairs in the office space we installed brand new carpets and provided Northern Flags with new modern office furniture. To allow access to the mezzanine floor in the warehouse from the office space upstairs, we created a knock through.
This has allowed Northern Flags to create a product showroom area out on the mezzanine, which is ideal when showing clients around their facilities. Northern Flags often invite potential clients in, so they can really get a feel for the products they create and the speed at which they can deliver them. Therefore the office facilities needed to have an ‘agency feel’ to them.
“Working with the Nexus team was great. We wanted a partner that could take all the stress away from us and we found the whole process amazingly simple and straightforward.”
‘When we worked with Nexus the first time around, we found it to be a really easy experience. We were really busy, the company was on a growth curve, so we wanted a partner that could take all the pressure away from us. We found the whole process amazingly simple and straightforward.’
‘Working with the Nexus team was great. From David at the beginning with the designs and all the speccing, through to when we were on site with our project manager. We got on really well and he talked our language.’
‘The very fact that we’ve worked with Nexus twice in the space of two years is a pretty good endorsement of them. We found the process to be really easy, the guys are nice to deal with. They are as passionate about getting the job right as we are with our printing.’ Iain Clasper, Managing Director, Northern Flags
Northern Flags now have a premises large enough for them to grow and take the next step in the evolution of their business. Iain Clasper said of the new warehouse ‘What do we love about our new facility? Well the first thing is space, we have some elbow room at last. We’ve got an opportunity now to really start showing off the creative potential of our new printers and our design team here at Northern Flags.’
‘What we’ve tried to do in the public areas of the building is project more of an agency, client marketing led ambience to the building. Because I think when you’ve got that kind of environment, I think it allows our team to be a little bit more creative and it allows us to feel a little bit more like our clients I suppose and that’s important to us. Because we work in a creative industry and it’s important that the area you work in doesn’t feel just like a very efficient factory, which it is. But it also feels like a nice creative environment too.’ – Iain Clasper, Managing Director, Northern Flags.
We would like to wish Northern Flags all the best in their new facility and we look forward to seeing them grow their business. If your business is growing and you require a reconfigure of your premises to facilitate that, we can help. Creating space is what we do.