May 19th, 2020

Meet Patrick Daly – the latest ‘key player’ on our team

As any team manager will tell you, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. It doesn’t hurt though to have a complete team of key players on your side. This is especially true if they can ‘play’ in any position – just like the latest transfer to the Midstream team.

In this edition of ‘Meet the team’ we’re talking to Patrick Daly. A keen sportsperson, hence the sporting metaphors above, he’s joining us as our new National Sales Manager – working across all our sectors.

Hello Patrick

Could you tell us a little about your background?

P.E. – or Phys Ed. as it’s also known – was always my favourite subject at school. This led to me studying for a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science in 2003 and working as a fitness instructor for a couple of years. I then went on to gain a master’s degree in Sports Management.
With these two qualifications under my belt, I ended up as a call centre consultant in a stocks and shares company. Not quite the job I was looking for. But I’m so glad I took it as the sales training and qualifications I got there stood me in great stead for the rest of my career. Following a short period of working in the insurance industry, I joined Abacus, working within Sports Lighting for the UK –in 2013, where I’ve been until now

What made you want to join us?

I’ve loved my time at focusing on Sports Lighting in my previous role. I worked with some great clients, including Lords MMC, Sussex CCC at the Oval, Kempton Park Racecourse, and Chelsea FC to name just a few. And, even though I say it myself, I was very successful there. Then this fantastic opportunity to join Midstream came along and I just couldn’t resist it. There are so many reasons why. It’s such a dynamic and forward-thinking company, with a huge potential to grow and grow. The expertise, service, and products offered are second to none. Personally, it also gives me the chance to take on new challenges, get a better understanding of the industry as a whole, and further my career – at Midstream!

Where are you based and what will your role cover?

As National Sales manager I suppose I don’t really have a home ground (cliché I know!) but very true. My role covers all the UK so there will be plenty of travel taking me to wherever partners, clients and projects need me. I’ll be looking to support all our sectors advising and guiding clients on the best lighting solution available to solve the challenges they face in aviation, sports and maritime.

Tell us more about your love of sports – what do you play, your top teams and venues

I used to be a keen football, cricket, rugby, and American football player. But I badly hurt my knee ligaments and had to give it all up. I’m still a very voluble ‘sofa-supporter’ though. When it comes to football, like many young kids, I grew up supporting the same teams as my Dad – Manchester United and England. I still do to this day. For rugby and cricket, it has to be England – we did invent them both after all. For obvious reasons, Old Trafford as a venue holds a special place in my heart. However, when it comes to history and aesthetics though, it has to be the ‘Home of Cricket’ – Lords.

Apart from watching sports, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Even though my playing days are over, keeping fit is important to me. So, I now do a lot of cross-country walking and yoga. I love a bit of culture now and again too – so the theatre and cinema are always high on my list of things to do. When it comes to holidays, I’m happy with a city break or spending time on the beach. And last, but by no means least, great food and fine wines. I do have to keep an eye on my waistband though

And for a little fun, tell us something about yourself that we don’t already know?

When I was at University I played American Football and was the first player in the University’s long history of playing the game to return a kick-off for a touchdown!

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April 26th, 2020

Lighting the way for military aircrafts

In this latest ‘Midstream Lighting Sectors’ blog, we talk to Midstream’s Co-Founder Yuli Grig about our military aviation experience.

YULI, HOW DID MIDSTREAM START GETTING INVOLVED WITH MILITARY AVIATION PROJECTS?

We didn’t have any contacts in military aviation, and they don’t particularly have an online route you can contact them through. So, it was quite hard for us to break into this market at first. Then, we met some design consultants at a trade show who were working for the Royal Air Force. They were so impressed with our products and application knowledge, they invited us to make a presentation at a large RAF airbase. We were in!

Since then, we’ve been growing our contacts and winning projects by word of mouth.

ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COMMERCIAL AND MILITARY PROJECTS?

Typically they follow similar rules. But the military has its own interpretation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards. And in the UK, we have to follow the Military Aviation Authority’s Manual of Aerodrome Design & Safeguarding (MADS).

The layout of a military airfield, however, is inherently different from a civil aviation one. They’re built for military aircraft – fighter jets and bombers, not holiday airbuses. There’s also typically no terminal building, no air bridge, and no passenger buses. So, the lighting design must take things like this into account. This usually means we have to use lighting solutions designed for stadia rather than airfields.
ward.

Give us a feel for some of your most recent work?

I can’t say too much but recently we’ve completed, or are working on:

Three projects in the UK.
One for the US Airforce in Italy.
And, one each in Spain, Germany, Qatar, and Greece.

What type of specific difficulties or problems are there with military projects?

Quite often, when bases are shared with the US Dept of Defence, there can be some debate about which standards apply.

Military bases also need to illuminate a large surface area with a few remotely located masts. This means we’ve got to use a lot of very high-power projectors on each mast. And that can present a big challenge when working on retrofit projects.

Another issue we can face is that military sites have usually been in operation for decades. Over that time military needs, equipment and aircrafts have changed. But, field layouts and the infrastructure haven’t. So, we need to solve today’s problems with masts that were designed many years ago.

Why is military lighting so important?

Like any site, lighting is critical to providing a safe working environment. As aircraft arrive from missions or training or are being refuelled and inspected, the level of lighting must be 100% right. And the lights used must remain in good working order throughout their design life. Just as with commercial airports, there’s no room for failure.

That’s not all. The lighting must be able to be controlled for operations where pilots arrive using night vision devices – a unique need for military airfields.

What product do we use usually recommend and why?

All our projects are design-led, and each airfield layout needs the right combination of lighting products. So, we don’t have a standard product we recommend. Our experienced Lighting Design and Engineering teams work together to deliver perfect lighting solutions for each specific airfield. Most of the military projects we’ve competed though have incorporated our high-power Modus R1200 sports floodlight to some extent.

What are the technical advantages of using this product on military sites?

The Modus R1200 sports floodlight lets us place a lot of quality light far away from where it’s based. And its range of proprietary optics and visors also means we can meet a projects specific needs when others can’t.

What does the military looking for when they appoint a lighting solutions company?

For the military, the two key considerations, when commissioning any project, are complying with standards, and reliability. Both of which are at the heart of all we do. They’re used to all their equipment being of the highest order and highly reliable. Careers have been made or broken depending on choices made. And commissioning an airfield’s lighting system is no different.

We deliver an added benefit too. Our experience of designing military airfield sites means we can value engineer existing projects to deliver real capital and operational savings.

Can you tell us about a particular project – the challenge faced and our solution?

As you’ll appreciate, all our military projects are all confidential and highly sensitive. So, we can’t give any details away. I wish we could, to show you how we’ve successfully tackled some of our toughest challenges ever. But, as the old joke goes, ‘If I told you that…’.

What advice you would give to a military airfield looking to upgrade their lighting?

I’d take the same approach as when you’re buying any military equipment. It’s got to be top quality, made for purpose and tested in the field. Military airfield lighting needs specialist knowledge and equipment. So, make sure you come to the experts. Us.

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May 12th, 2020

Meet Neal Robinson – our ‘mover and shaker’

You can have the world’s best designers. We have. Your engineers may be best-in-class. Ours 100% are. You could work with peerless manufactures. Like we do. But, if you can’t get things from A to B safely and on time, what’s the point?

 

In this latest ‘Meet the team’ we’re talking to Neal Robinson, our Logistics Manager , the man responsible for delivering our LED lighting solutions around the globe about the complex challenges he can face every day.

Introducing Neal:

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND?

After school, I spent four years in the South African Navy onboard small missile boats. As much as I enjoyed it, particularly visiting places like Mauritius, I decided a ‘life on the ocean waves’ wasn’t for me. So, I moved on and started working at a road freight management company. My career in Logistics had begun. During my five years there I qualified in Road Traffic Management and increased the company’s fleet from 5 to 77 vehicles. I was then headhunted by a courier company to run their biggest consumer delivery hub. From there I moved to the Middle East for 10 years, where I worked as a logistics manager for a high-profile security company. Whilst there I also gained more qualifications in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

What made you choose logistics management?

After leaving the Navy and not being a nine-to-five person, I really enjoyed road transport management. It’s a non-stop job, which you either love or hate – there’s is no middle ground. And I love it, especially overcoming the daily challenges you have to face.

Why did you want to join Midstream?

Working in the Middle East was amazing. But, with a growing family, my wife and I decided the best place to bring the children up was the UK. I was also looking for a new challenge, where I could work in a small team environment and contribute to its growth. I looked into Midstream and, as the cliché goes, Alex made me ‘an offer I couldn’t refuse’.

Where are you based and what does your role cover?

I’m based in the London HQ. My role covers the movement of all our goods between third party providers and manufacturers and our clients – globally. This includes being responsible for all the documentation needed to import and export goods most efficiently to meet our end-customers’ needs. I also look after the process writing and flow-chart compilation for all our processes.

How has the company grown in your time there?

Midstream has expanded quite quickly in my 18 months here, and that growth is set to continue. The number of projects we’re working on has rocketed. And in addition to the London office and our R&D team in Italy, we now have people working for us remotely across Europe and in the USA too.

How many countries do we currently ship to?

During my relatively short time here, I’ve arranged shipping to over 41 different countries. Again, with more projects from far and wide coming through, that number is set to grow.

What are some challenges you’ve had to overcome?

Balancing customer expectations with cost-effective shipping isn’t always easy, as some transit processes can be long and complex. Another challenge is customs’ requirements, and their interpretation, are forever changing and becoming stricter. And, if you take ‘your eye off the ball’ you can face hefty storage fines. Something that’s not happened to us yet – and won’t on my watch! Brexit and the free movement of goods will bring more challenges too. Plus, the effect of the Covid-19 virus will have across the world, possibly for years to come, could help make things even more complex. But we’ll face these challenges head-on and make sure they won’t impact on our clients. Because that’s what we do here at Midstream – we only work to the highest standards, and always meet them.

And for a bit of fun, tell us something about yourself that we don’t already know?

Enduro motorcycle racing, an extended cross-country, off-road sport, is my passion – after the wife and kids of course. I’m a keen amateur racer and my dream would be to do a Red Bull event – like the Sea to Sky in Turkey or even the Dakar Rally.

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April 21st, 2020

My boyhood Queen’s Award dream has come true – twice

Following another Queen’s Award win, we talk to Midstream Lighting’s Co-Founder Yuli Grig about his childhood dream and what this latest win means for Midstream.

YULI, YOU SAY WINNING A QUEEN’S AWARD WAS A DREAM COME TRUE. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT?

As a child, I remember looking at the packaging of Vitabiotics Vitamins and setting a mental target to one day win a Queen’s Award. 20 years later, we’ve won two!

WHAT MADE YOU APPLY FOR YOUR AWARDS?

My boyhood dream was probably there in the background somewhere. But it wasn’t just that. As the world’s No.1 specialist and pioneer in LED lighting, we believed we deserved the Innovation Award. The award panel obviously thought so too. The kudos of winning that award in 2018 lead to our international sales growing considerably. So, it made sense to apply for International Trade Award.

WHAT HAS WINNING THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE AWARD MEANT FOR MIDSTREAM AS A BUSINESS?

The Queen’s Awards are the most prestigious of all the business awards in the UK. And we’re incredibly proud of winning two of them. This latest award reflects the hard work our staff and partners put in to achieve the fast, international growth we’ve seen. Winning this Queen’s Award, coupled with last year’s Sunday Times Fast 100 award, really helps solidify our credibility in the market. And, when it comes to our partners and suppliers it inspires confidence in our brand. So, winning awards like this has a real net benefit to the business. This award also grabs the attention of everyone else who’s been involved in our journey.

What has winning this award meant for your company and staff?

It’s hard to link winning this award with any new business wins – yet. But it’s clear it gives significant prestige and credibility to our brand. It also gives us a fascinating story to our customers. They love the fact that a relatively small business like ours can win top awards like this, not just once but twice.
For staff, it’s a great morale booster and very comforting to have external recognition that your company is heading in the right direction. It’s great to be part of a winning team!

Are there any other ways the award has benefited Midstream?

For our sales team, winning an award that recognises your hard work has been a great energiser. It’s also really inspired our distributors, especially in Commonwealth countries. And of course, I can’t stress how much it’s given our reputation a massive boost.

Have you any advice for any companies applying for a Queen’s Award?

There’s no reason you can’t apply. Previous winners have come from all sorts of industries and backgrounds. So, have faith in what you do and your story, then lead with that in your application. Carefully check the criteria for the award you’re entering and take plenty of time to plan your application. When you win a Queen’s Award it elevates your company to a new status. Go for it!

About the Queen’s Awards.

First established in 1965, they’re UK’s most prestigious business awards. They celebrate the success of UK businesses leading the way with pioneering products or services. This year 220 UK businesses have been recognised for their contribution to International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development, and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

More about Midstream Lighting

Midstream Lighting is a leading global manufacturer of advanced LED high-mast lighting for the aviation, sports, marine port and horticulture industries. Based in the U.K. and serving the global marketplace, its products feature cutting-edge LED technology including a proprietary optic lens system. The company also serves as an innovation hub, working with design consultants and architects to assist with lighting design, from master-planning to the detailed design phase that helps transform venues and facilities as well and improve major and critical infrastructure.

Midstream’s other most recent awards include:

  • 2020: Financial Times 1000 Fasted Growing Companies in Europe
  • 2019: Sunday Times Fast Track 100
  • 2019: Sunday Times SME Export Track 100
  • 2019: Deloitte Fast 50 Awards
  • 2018: Queen’s Award for Innovation
  • 2018: Financial Times Future 100
  • 2018: Financial Times 1000 Fasted Growing Companies in Europe
  • 2017: Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Winner
  • 2015: inter airport Innovation Award
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April 9th, 2020

Meet Rory McBride, Global Sales, Maritime

To be the best, you have to employ the very best. That’s something we’ve held as true from our very first day. So, in this edition of ‘Meet the team’, we’d like to introduce you to another of our industry experts. A man whose knowledge of the ports and maritime business could be said to be deeper than the oceans: Rory McBride, Global Sales, Maritime.

INTRODUCING RORY:

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND?

Before starting my career, I graduated with degrees in International Affairs and Economics with a minor in Chinese. This led to me being awarded a post-graduate scholarship to intensively study Mandarin at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.
Shortly after finishing my scholarship, I joined ZPMC – a major company in the crane and heavy equipment industry. At ZPMC I was responsible for sales and project management in Sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East.

After five successful years with ZPMC, I was recruited by the Liebherr Group, one of the world’s largest construction machine manufacturers. After spending two years training in Austria and Germany, I moved to their Miami office, where I was responsible for West Coast US crane sales.

Following ten happy years in crane sales, I decided I wanted to step into a role where I could have a great impact. Fortunately, Midstream Lighting was in an amazing position to provide this opportunity. Now at Midstream, I’m bringing my extensive experience in the port and maritime industry to continue my journey to bring operational expertise and technical efficiencies to the maritime sector.

Where are you based and what does your role cover?

I live in Orlando, FL, a wonderful place to be if you love the sun. And my role covers all terminal lighting sales and business development in the maritime industry across the Americas. I’m also taking advantage of my long relationships with crane manufacturers and I’m responsible for the development and sales of our crane lighting products too.

Why is lighting in maritime environments so important?

The importance of lighting in maritime environments can’t be overstated. As one of the few items specifically regulated by Health and Safety institutions, lighting represents a key pillar for all ports to operate safely and efficiently. Plus, as the technology becomes more affordable and energy costs continue to rise, LED lighting is now having a positive impact on the bottom line by reducing operation energy costs. It’s a truly exciting time to be in this industry.

What do you think the top three benefits of LED lighting for ports and marinas are?

First and foremost, safety is always the No.1 priority in ports. Visibility, light colour, and uniformity provide a safer working environment and reduce stoppages caused by accidents. Secondly, people are starting to fully comprehend the magnitude of energy savings that can be made by upgrading to LED technology compared to traditional incandescent lighting. One of our most recent projects has cut their energy costs by over $600,000 a year! This completely transforms OPEX budgets, turning a cost into earnings that can be used for much-needed CAPEX projects. Lastly, ports can have a negative impact on the local communities. Using LED lighting to reduce glare and light pollution can help minimise that impact and reinforce positive cooperation between a port and their community.

Same questions but for crane lighting?

LED crane lighting carry all the important benefits that terminal lighting provides. But with one important addition. The area directly under quayside cranes has the highest density of workers and the majority of accidents occur there. So, any step that can be taken to increase safety in this area has a tremendous impact on the port’s operations. Also, colour, lighting uniformity, and a dramatic reduction in glare have a profound effect in reducing eye strain and fatigue of the crane operators and ground staff. As the effect of exhaustion is similar to that of intoxication, the benefits of keeping workers fresh and awake are enormous.

What’s the most recent Midstream project you are working on? And what are the challenges you are overcoming and the solution you are providing?

Our most recent project, upgrading the terminal lighting with Fenix Marine Services at the Port of Los Angeles, has been an exciting challenge. Our customer wanted a complete turnkey solution that not only included the upgrade of their old system to LED, but also included a state-of-the-art control system. They also wanted us to obtain all necessary permits from the Port of Los Angeles engineering department, and manage their energy rebate application. During the project tender, our in-house Lighting Design team identified tremendous savings in an LED lighting system that provided a mix of our terminal lighting products, rather than a straight 1-for-1 replacement. This dramatically lowered the cost of the system, both in terms of installation of the system and lowering energy costs – that’ll continue for years to come!

How does Midstream differentiate itself in the world of lighting for maritime?

We are the only major LED manufacturer that specifically focuses on high-powered, industrial LEDs that are engineered for the maritime industry. Unlike other manufacturers that offer a ‘phonebook’ of products, ours are specifically designed only for the sectors we work in. That specialty promotes expertise and has been a critical component of our success over the years. After all, a ‘jack of all trades’ is a master of nothing.

How important is the environmental impact of lighting in the maritime world?

Very. Particularly in California, where we are beginning to see an increased focus on the environmental impact of ports. California has enacted the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), one of the first initiatives to eliminate emissions from all equipment at the port. I believe this is setting the new global standard of taking a broader, holistic look at the environmental impact of a port. Previously overlooked, lighting is now at the forefront as one of the most viable ways to immediately and dramatically reduce a port’s impact on the environment.

And for a bit of fun, tell us something about yourself that we don’t know?

I am a first-degree blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do, holding multiple state and national titles over the years. Now I am passing the tradition to my son, as my father passed it to me.

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March 04, 2020

We've won another Financial Times award!

Our absolute growth rate of almost 700% and compound annual growth rate of 99% is testament to all the hard work our team has been putting in. We’re continuing to grow as a company and we’re having resounding successes in the markets we serve. This is an incredibly exciting time for Midstream Lighting and there’s going to be more to come. Thank you to all our clients, partners, and everyone on the Midstream team

The Financial Times has just announced its annual award listing of the 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe, based on turnover.

And here at Midstream Lighting – world-leading designer, manufacturer and solutions providers of advanced LED floodlighting – we’re delighted to have won a place on this prestigious award list.

Not only that, we’re over-the-moon the FT has awarded us a place in the top 25% of Europe’s growing companies.

Maxine Kelly, of the Financial Times, says: “…the ever-greater pace of growth on this annual FT 1,000 ranking – now in its fourth year – suggests that the most nimble and innovative companies are thriving.”

Midstream Lighting’s Co-Founder, Yuli Grig says: “Our absolute growth rate of almost 700% and compound annual growth rate of 99% is testament to all the hard work our team has been putting in. We’re continuing to grow as a company and we’re having resounding successes in the markets we serve. This is an incredibly exciting time for Midstream Lighting and there’s going to be more to come. Thank you to all our clients, partners, and everyone on the Midstream team.”

Midstream’s other most recent awards include:

  • 2019: Sunday Times Fast Track 100
  • 2019: Sunday Times SME Export Track 100
  • 2019: Deloitte Fast 50
  • 2018: Queen’s Award for Innovation
  • 2018: Financial Times Future 100
  • 2018: Financial Times 1,000 Fastest Growing Companies in Europe
  • 2017: Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Winner
  • 2015: inter airport Innovation Award
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Feb 12th, 2020

With Light + Building only one month away here are the top 5 reasons to come by our stand:

#1 MODUS S PRODUCT LAUNCH

We’ll be launching our new Modus S Series at Light + Building and this amazing new product will be front and center in our booth. Be the first to see it in action!

#2 LIVE DEMOS

We’ll be demonstrating a whole host of products and solutions this year that cover all our sectors including sports, aviation and marine, it’s time to get up close and personal with everything we have to offer.

#3 SHOW-TIME DESIGNS

If you have current projects on-going and you want a Midstream design & quote our global design team will be ready and waiting to support you in real-time at the show.

#4 AWARD WINNING TEAM

Whether you have technical, sales or marketing questions we have you covered! The Midstream team will be at the show in force. Book a meeting now.

#5 THE BEST BEER IN THE HOUSE!

As always the Midstream booth will only be serving the best of the best refreshments, so head on over to meet our entire team, catch-up and have a drink on us!

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